Bookshops in Australia and New Zealand have reported good sales over the 2014 Christmas period.
In Australia, sales were up 2.6% in value and 1.3% in volume over the 4-week trading period to 27 December 2014 year-on-year*. The sales boost was primarily due to an increase in children’s book sales. The quantity of fiction titles sold was stable (up 0.2%). However, value was down 4.8%, possibly as a result of discounting by bricks and mortar stores to compete with online retailers.
New Zealand Christmas sales increased a whopping 10.5% over 2013*, headlining a resurgence in annual sales reversing the downward trend of the previous three years. Christmas sales came in at NZ$49.6m ((A$47.2m).
eBook sales data is still hard to come by, but The Guardian reported this month that print sales of adult fiction books have declined in the UK by over £150 million pounds since 2009 as ebooks account for an increasingly large chunk of sales.
According to The Bookseller’s editor Philip Jones, ‘Almost any drop in adult fiction sales can mainly be put down to the migration to digital, which is still continuing.’
The Bookseller is anticipating consumer ebook sales for 2014 in the region of £350m. Most big publishers are still reporting double-digit ebook growth, and almost all of this is in fiction.
In other ebook news, Apple Director Keith Moerer said that the iBookstore is growing at a million users per month**. The iBookstore was launched in the US in 2010. It is now available in 51 countries. Apple customers have downloaded one billion books globally.
Moerer said that while Apple doesn’t track reading behaviour, they have seen that more book sales are coming from iPhones (as well as continuing from iPads) since the introduction of the larger screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.
* Data supplied by Nielsen Bookscan and reported in the Weekly Book News
** As reported in Publishing Perspectives