images.jpgSimon & Schuster’s profits are up and so are revenues. The revenue increase was, in part, because of increased digital content sales.

Their CEO, Carolyn Reidy, reports the Bookseller: … echoed other US publishers in indicating that ebook sales “right now” were approximately 8% of adult sales, but added that the exact percentage has been changing every month. With a nod to the Odyssey Editions flap, Reidy estimated that the number of titles it had available digitally would double if they were able to agree upon royalty rates with rightsholders for titles not yet available electronically. Reidy said they were “clearing those royalty rates piece by piece”.


  1. It’s not hard to believe 8% at mid-year 2010 is 20% by end year 2011. e-book revenue, as a percentage of a mainstream publisher’s adult sales, is about to become critical to the bottom line and not just one person’s pet project on the publishing team. We may finally see some real enthusiasm promoting customer friendly e-books, better quality, more attention to backlist, and strategic vs churlish pricing.

  2. Don’t hold your breadth on prices Alexander. The main publishers are seeing this eBook market right now as a gold rush where they are making super-profits. They know it won’t last but I think they will be milking it for as long as they possibly can (my guess is the end of 2011). It’s in all of their interests to do so, so it will be interesting to see who breaks ranks first in order to break out into the mass market and grow the overall book sales numbers.

  3. The figure of 8% is in line with recent figures from AAP (Association of American Publishers). So no surprise there.

    As for pricing, I guess I’m in a minority but I believe that 2011 will probably be the last hurrah for the mass-market paperback. I expect a number of the ‘Big 6’ American publishers to stop releasing new titles in MMPB by the end of next year, and to instead rely on e-books for ongoing back-list revenue. That, in turn, will eliminate the whining about “the e-book costs more than the MMPB” for those titles, so e-book prices can stay elevated.

    MMPB sales have been in a decline of late anyway, from the AAP data. Comparing the first five months each year (since that’s what AAP has released figures for in 2010):
    • 2007: $329.2 million
    • 2008: $322.6 million -2.0%
    • 2009: $286.3 million -11.3%
    • 2010: $263.1 million -8.1%

    For comparison, e-book sales for the first five months of 2010 were $146.0 million, almost exactly triple the sales for the same period of 2009.

  4. It will be interesting to see what happens. Personally I believe the hard copy book will be a very robust format. I believe that once the eBooks percentage of all hard copy books gets to about 20-25% growth will level off and only reach figures like 35-40% by about 2020. I believe hard copy paper backs will continue full blast into the post 2020 period.

    I hope Teleread will still be here so we can compare predictions LOL

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