Despite slowing growth rates in the final quarter of 2011, e-book sales rose 117% for the year, generating revenue of $969.9 million at the companies that report sales to the Association of American Publishers. Sales in all trade print segments fell in the year, however, with the mass market paperback segment showing the largest decline with sales from reporting houses down almost 36%, to $431.5 million. Adult hardcover and trade paperback sales were off 17.5% and 15.6%, respectively. In children’s, the YA/hardcover segment sales fell 4.7% and paperback sales fell 12.7%.
The religion segment had a solid year, with sales up 8.4% in all formats. And in audio, physical audio sales fell 8.1% at reporting companies, while downloadable audio rose 25.5% for the year.
In December, e-book sales rose 72% and the AAP noted that based a seasonal buying patterns it expects e-book sales to show strong gains in January and possible February as well as new digital device owners buy more titles. In the month, sales of children’s hardcover books rose, but sales fell in the other trade categories.