Online Retailers Gained, While Brick-and-Mortar Lost In Wake of Borders Exit

Bowker recently released a study detailing the sales of online and brick-and-mortar retailers after Borders’ exit from the market. Here is a summary of the results:

  • Online retailers — led by Amazon —  earned 44 percent of America’s book dollars. This is up from 39 percent in 2011.
  • Barnes & Noble, including, remains the second largest bookselling outlet.
  • Women increased their lead over men in book buying, accounting for 58 percent of overall book spending in 2012, up from 55 percent in 2011.
  • Men are bigger hardcover buyers.
  • Ebooks continue their steady upward trend, with an 11 percent share of spending in 2012, compared to seven percent in 2011.
  • Despite the growth of ebooks, traditional print book output grew three percent in 2012.

This information is important for authors who have already self-published or who are considering self-publishing. It is essential that authors are aware of industry trends, so they can use the information to make the best publishing and marketing decisions for their books.

These results show the importance of offering an ebook version of your self-published book. Despite the popularity of ebooks, there is still a demand for print books. For many authors, the best option is to offer both a print and ebook version in an attempt to reach the largest market. However, this varies greatly from author to author and depends on the target market as well as the author’s personal goals.

To learn more about the Bowker report, visit

I’d love to know, how do the results in this report impact your self-publishing decisions?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s