Total net book sales were reported to be $23.8 billion, down 1.8% from $24.9 billion in 2008 -- which itself was down 2.6% from the previous year. Overall sales of trade books -- the fiction and non-fiction books you know and love -- totaled $8.1 billion, a 1.8% drop from last year. However, adult hardcovers jumped 6.9% to $2.6 billion, helped in part by a little-known author named Dan Brown. (Just shoot me now.)[...]
Trade paperbacks fared worse, falling 5.2% to $2.2 billion, and mass market paperbacks weren't so hot, dropping 4% to $1 billion.
E-books sales, however, were busting out all over. With month after month of exponential growth, it should surprise few that total 2009 sales were approximately $313 million, up 176.6% from 2008. And already in 2010, that growth curve is shooting up even more, as January sales alone were $31.9 million -- 10% of 2009's total, and a much higher proportion than the 3% to 4% of total book sales last year.E-books are off to a great 2010 start and you do have to wonder how big an impact Apple's iPad is going to have on e-book sales for the rest of the year. Are we approaching a tipping-point year for e-book sales, the year when they total more than 50% of all books sold? Next year, the year after, five years from now? It's going to be interesting to watch this evolve.