Another Quarter of Triple-Digit Growth for E-Books

Last Updated Aug 12, 2009 11:24 PM EDT

In the world of book publishing, something notable happened in June of this year. In the flat, unremarkable language of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), " E-books sales jumped up by 136.2 percent for the month over June '08 (to $14.0 million), reflecting an increase of 149.3 percent for the year."

Okay, what we have here is runaway growth, though not quite as impressive as the nearly 400 percent annual growth rate we saw in Q-1. Nevertheless, e-books continue to grow at rates that traditional books cannot, which is an indicator of which way the wind is blowing.

Meanwhile, U-C Professor Pamela Samuelson came out with a HuffPost piece called "The Audacity of the Google Book Search Settlement," which is probably the most coherent argument published to date on that critical case.

All of which is a reminder that the stakes in what is happening to the U.S. book publishing industry are easily as high as those for our domestic newspaper industry, even though there is surprisingly little public discourse to date about the fate of books in the digital era.

Related post:
May 15 E-Books Reach a "Tipping Point," Triggering Explosive Growth

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital,, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.