Last year was a positive one for U.S. trade publishers, according to the Association of American Publishers‘ newest “StatShot” monthly report for December 2012.

Digital Book World has an extensive breakdown of the statistics from the report. Most notably, e-books accounted for 23 percent of net revenues for 2012, which is up from 17 percent in 2011 and just one percent in 2010.

U.S. publishers saw a net revenue gain of 6.2 percent ($7.1 billion) compared to 2011. The top categories were Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction and Children’s/Young Adults.

Between those two categories and religious e-books, publishers gained a 41 percent increase in net revenue, which translates to $1.54 billion.

Interestingly enough, the future might not be as bright for e-books. The survey noted that December—usually a busy month for sales, given the holidays—was among the worst months of 2012. E-books are still on the rise, but the acceleration of growth could slow down.

Nearly 1,200 publishers were used to obtain the data for the report.


  1. It would be interesting to line up the sales figures from Smashwords and KDP with the traditional publishing numbers. Did indie ebooks go down in December, too, or did they go up? If they went up, it might mean that indie is making progress but at traditional publishing’s expense. Sadly, I don’t think Amazon is going to release any numbers.

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