While e-books did experience a surge in popularity somewhere around 2011, e-book sales have been declining for several years now. Meanwhile, printed book sales are up. Within the span of a decade, the e-book bubble has burst.
E-book sales over the years
Sales data from about 1,200 publishers gathered by the Association of American Publishers indicate that e-book sales in the US declined 18.7 percent in 2016. E-book sales continued to drop in the first quarter of 2017, when trade books in e-book format alone decreased 5.3 percent. On a similar note, e-book sales in the UK plunged 17 percent in 2016, according to The Publishers Association. With the same trend on display in previous years, the decline in e-book sales is becoming a pattern.
Ditching e-books in favor of print
Recent data also suggest that readers are ditching e-books in favor of print. The Association of American Publishers reports paperback sales went up 7.5 percent in 2016, and hardback sales 4.1 percent – a trend confirmed by The Publishers Association, which states that physical books in the UK sold 7 percent more in 2016, children's books even surging 16 percent.