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E-books Market Share at 22%, Amazon Has 27%

First published on www.publishersweekly.com

 

E-books accounted for 22% of all book spending in the second quarter of 2012, only a one percentage point gain from the first quarter of the year, but up from 14% in the comparable period in 2011, according to new figures from Bowker Market Research. In the year-to-year comparison, the hardcover and trade paperback segments both lost two percentage points each to e-books, while mass market paperbacks’ share fell from 15% in the second quarter of 2011 to 12% in this year’s second period. (See our chart.)

With the fall of Borders and the growth of e-books, Amazon increased its market share of consumer book spending between the second quarter of 2011 and 2012, although its growth slowed between the first quarter of 2012 and the second period. Still, the e-tailer was easily the largest single channel for book purchases in the second quarter, with an 11 percentage-point lead over Barnes & Noble. B&N’s share of unit purchases fell by two percentage points between June 2011 and June 2012, most likely due to sluggish sales of print content through BN.com. Independent booksellers managed to hold their own in the period, maintaining a 6% share of units.

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