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It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder
for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.
We are like eggs at present.
And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.
We must be hatched or go bad.

—C.S. Lewis

Dear friends:
 
It is undeniable: we are at transformation. And I suspect that 2012 may well be the most important year in any of our professional lives and, quite possibly, in the history of the book.
 
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of our 2011 year-end results for Sourcebooks. While these data points are just for one publisher, we believe that they can help us better think about the year that we get to create in 2012. I hope that they help you as well. I’d love to hear other comments and ideas about year-end 2011, so feel free to discuss.
 
Warm regards,

Dominique

 


 

2011 was the best year in our history! We weren’t sure what to think about this year, but strong growth in the ebook, gift, and mass markets drove our overall increase.

Sourcebooks 2011 Revenue Growth up 19%

Clearly 2011 was the year of the ebook. Our ebook sales were more than double the forecast (which we thought was aggressive). Our conversations with other publishers and the data we’ve seen suggest that we’re not alone.

2011 ebooks Revenue Growth up 795%

Though many questioned the long-term viability of the printed book (p-book) going into 2011, impressive performance from our bookselling partners limited p-book decline. The exciting news is that several publishers grew their POS sales, and Sourcebooks was among those to show growth. With the right strategic focus, we believe that print books can remain strong.

2011 Print Books POS Growth 

What will 2012 look like? If the week of Christmas is any indication, decline of print book sales looks modest and increase in ebook sales looks incredibly strong. With a continued increase in devices comes even more opportunity to reach new readers and users with our authors’ books.

2011 Christmas Week eBook Sales

Could a shift in ebook market share be in our future? While retailer market share for our ebooks has remained relatively consistent throughout 2011, Barnes & Noble’s Nook steadily gained share in the fourth quarter and posted amazing growth during December and the week of Christmas.

2011 B&N Nook Christmas Sales Up 437%

Comments  

 
+2 # Jim King 2012-01-18 10:06
Just so I am clear, are stating that your p-books PoS, as measured by BookScan, increased 11% from 2010 to 2011?
JK
 
 
-2 # Publicity 2012-01-18 10:28
Our p-books POS was 11 percentage points higher than the industry average
 
 
+1 # Dominique 2012-01-18 10:51
No, Jim. We're saying that we were 11% above the rest of the industry.
 
 
+2 # Andrew Malkin 2012-01-18 16:10
Congratulations Sourcebooks team. Not surprising given your combined efforts. Can you speak at all to if the eBook sales growth was driven by surprise breakouts or addition of new channel partners domestically or outside of North America?
Also, what % of rev was "e" in 2010? Impressive all around esp the Nook. Thanks.
ARM
 
 
-2 # Publicity 2012-01-18 16:44
Thanks Andrew! Our growth has been a combination of really nice growth amongst frontlist and midlist combined with some really cool ebook promotions. Those promotions have been amplified by merchandising support that various retailers have provided. Much like most of the industry, eBooks were less than 10% of our sales in 2010. To be at 28% with a healthy print business is pretty incredible.
 
 
+2 # Joanna Penn 2012-01-19 07:40
Wow! That's great Dominique. You must be thrilled! (and so must your authors)
 

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