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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bloomsbury say readers are going Harry Potty over eBooks

Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury is on course to make 25 per cent of its revenue from ebook sales in 2011. This follows a massive uptick in sales of the nascent digital reading format, further confirming ebooks will soon outsell hardcover books.

Crazy sales

Through January and February of this year, sales have been up an incredible 600 per cent compared to the same period in 2011, and if this momentum continues, Bloomsbury ebooks will account for a quarter of all of the publisher’s sales.
The executive director of the publisher, Richard Charkin, said: ‘If sales continue the way they have in January and February, which we would fully expect, they are going to be off the scale. If that is an indicator of future growth then we expect digital sales of Bloomsbury titles be as high as 25 per cent of sales. They could be even higher.’

More profit, and greater savings

Last year Bloomsbury had sales of £90.7 million, and pre-tax profits totaling £5.5 million. Considering digital books sell for similar – and often greater – prices than that of their physical equivalents, and they’re cheaper to retail since there are no printing costs, the margins are healthier. Charkin says ‘the biggest saving is in cock-ups’, which could be anything from print errors, to over-estimations of the print run, leading to excess stock on hand.

Lots of books published

Last year Bloomsbury ebooks totaled 1,800 in the number published. Their biggest ebook sellers include Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidentional, Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands, and Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, each of which sold north of 90,000 digital copies.
Bloomsbury ebooks are on course to eventually overtake sales of physical books much like what has been seen on Amazon. On the popular online retailer, in the US for the first time ever, ebooks outsold paperbacks, with 115 sold for every 100 paperbacks. And with an uptick in ebooks sales, there will be a natural uptick in ebook reader sales, too.

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