The following overview provides key data for the two leading English markets, those of the US and the UK, as a benchmark for the more in-depth representation of trends and developments in places where English is not the first language of the average reader.
The US publishing industry and the US public have embraced new reading formats like no other nation. For readers, ebooks came as a natural and permanent choice in addition to printed books. Publishers have effectively responded to consumers’ fast-growing acceptance of new reading devices by constantly redefining and expanding new concepts for books.
“The eBook phenomenon continued in 2012 with eBooks ranking, for the first time, as the year’s #1 individual format for Adult Fiction” was the headline in the BookStats report on US publishing in 2011, issued jointly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) in July 2012. The $27.2 billion 2011 US book market declined by 2.5 percent from $27.94 billion in 2010, while unit sales grew by 3.4 percent, as did the number of new print titles, from 328,259 million in 2010 to a projected 347,178 million in 2011 (Bowker, June 5, 2012).
By the end of 2012, with incomplete data available for the entire 12 months, a somewhat complex picture took shape. Unit sales of print books had fallen over 9 percent according to Nielsen BookScan, continuing the decline seen a year earlier, from 2010 ...