The UK Publishers Association has just shared its latest Digital Sales Monitor, tracking sales till end April 2014, which demonstrates that UK “digital sales increased from £119.9m [$204.78 million] from January-April 2013 to £132.5m [$226.3 million] in the same period this year, a rise of 10.5%. This continues the increasingly strong performance of the digital formats which in 2013 represented 16% of total book sales, and has grown a massive 305% over the past five years.”
Even these impressive figures, however, considerably underreport actual digital book sales in the UK as a whole. “Data from companies estimated to represent c75% of total UK publisher digital sales are included in the analysis and in 2014, to supplement the quarterly collection/reporting of print and digital sales, digital sales are being collected on a monthly basis,” according to the Publishers Association. “Neither the figures in the Yearbook nor this analysis include sales from Amazon publishing, self-published authors or other new, digital-only companies.”
However, traditional publishers represented by the Publishers Association are clearly seeing a strong tailwind for digital as well. Furthermore, “the growth in sales was also spread across all recorded categories,” with all genres and formats, including audiobooks, also showing broad growth.
Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, commented that the data “shows the continuing development and growth of digital publishing in the UK. Increases in digital sales in both consumer and non-consumer sectors shows how publishing as an industry has embraced digital technology and continued its strong track record of innovation and service delivery.”