Are you buying most or all of your books online? If so, you’re not alone. According to Bowker’s latest research, 44 percent of all books in the U.S. are bought online. That number includes both e-books and print books.

That’s up from 39 percent in 2011—not a huge increase, but still significant. If I had to guess, I’d think that Borders’ bankruptcy had a lot to do with it. Instead of going to another bookstore chain (like Barnes & Noble), buyers moved online.

Not surprisingly, Amazon increased its lead while B&N actually lost ground in the e-book marketplace (four percent down from six percent in 2011). That will come as no surprise to the readers of this site.

E-book spending overall also increased: 11 percent vs. seven percent, also not a surprise.

Here’s an interesting statistic:

“The growth of ebooks varies widely among the different publishing categories with their deepest penetration focused in fiction, particularly in the mystery/detective, romance, and science fiction categories, where ebooks accounted for more than 20 percent of 2012 spending.”

And what types of books do self-published authors tend to write? Books in those three genres. Although the press release didn’t mention it, I think self-pubbing is a big reason for those genres being so popular.

Once again, brick-and-mortar book businesses need to pay attention, or Amazon will continue to eat its lunch.


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