Sony’s 20p offer drives ‘e’

Sony’s 20p offer drives ‘e’

E-book sales figures from trade publishers show the huge impact price continues to have on digital sales, with Sony’s 20p e-book promotion becoming a prime driver of sales for some publishers.

Last week The Bookseller revealed the the top trade publishers saw aggregate e-book growth of around 120%, with agency-model publishers showing sales growth slightly behind this, at 102%. However, publishers on agency contracts with some retailers, but not all, saw sales growth of 149%, while e-book sales reported by smaller, non-agency publishers show growth even further ahead of this figure.

The statistics underline the significance of the 20p campaign in growing volume sales and also—because publishers are not underwriting the promotion—value sales.

Faber has revealed to The Bookseller that its e-book sales by value grew 260% year on year in 2012, with sales reaching almost £3m. The number, 21% of its overall UK sales, means Faber’s share of the e-book market is close to 1.3%—a third bigger than its share of the print market. Faber has seen a number of its e-books, including The Expats, Capital and Safe House, caught up in the 20p promotion.

Canongate has also revealed that its e-books sales have outpaced that of the wider market. It saw volume growth of 170%, with the number of e-books sold rising to 640,000. In value terms its market grew by 240%, with the value of its e-book sales up to £2.3m. It’s titles include current chart-topper Life of Pi, Bright Young Things and An Idiot Abroad. The number suggests Canongate has captured 1% of the e-book market, almost treble its share of the print market.

Pan Mac has seen a number of its bestsellers priced by Sony at 20p, including Fifty Sheds of Grey, The Stranger’s Child, Dead Man’s Grip and Perfect People. In 2012 its e-book sales grew by more than 200% to 4.5 million. Consequently Pan Mac’s share of the digital market is roughly double (7%) its share of the print market (4%).

The disparity in the numbers shows the huge impact price continues to have in driving digital sales; however some publishers, such as Hachette, have seen the value of their e-book sales outpace volume growth.