Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Audiobooks Turn More Readers Into Listeners as E-Books Slip


It’s unclear if publishers will bounce back by year’s end, but there are encouraging signs. There have been some prominent best sellers, including “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Credit Arun Sankar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Sales of paperback books are up. Independent bookstores are thriving again. The threat of a digital apocalypse has subsided, as e-book sales have tumbled.
So why did publishers have a wobbly first quarter of 2016? Revenue was down 2.7 percent in the first three months of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015, according to a recent report from the Association of American Publishers, which tracks sales data from more than 1,200 publishers.
Sales of adult books fell by 10.3 percent in the first three months of 2016, and children’s books dropped by 2.1 percent. E-book sales fell by 21.8 percent, and hardcover sales were down 8.5 percent. The strongest categories were digital audiobooks, which rose by 35.3 percent, and paperback sales, which were up by 6.1 percent.

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