Ebook sales soar in September as Girl on the Train builds up a new head of steam

Ebook sales through Amazon rocketed by 73% in September from the level seen in August as the film release of Girl on the Train brought a new surge of digital downloads for Paula Hawkins’ best-seller.

Total Kindle ebook sales leapt by $32 million over August’s sales, according to pricing vendor One Click Retail, which tracks pricing on millions of Amazon products.

The month saw a big turn-round between print and digital as sales of print books fell by over 50% during September compared with August. Print books toppled from top spot in Amazon product group sale growth to fifth position, with ebooks taking over first place.

One Click Retail’s figures show that print books had seen massive monthly growth in August when they were over seven times the value of the second-biggest Amazon product group (office products) and grew by 228% from July sales.

The August sales of print books were boosted by the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with the Harry Potter market proving to be particularly inclined to purchase print rather than ebooks.

Sales of print books on Amazon have proved to be strong this year as the company has been aggressively discounting a wide range of titles.

Surveys by traditional publishers’ trade bodies have reported a swing back to print books and weaker ebook sales. The downturn in trad publishers’ ebook sales is largely reckoned to be due to considerably higher prices following the return to agency pricing.

The surveys by trade bodies do not take into account the huge market represented by self-published authors, indie publishers and the fast-growing Amazon Publishing imprints. The millions of monthly borrows through the Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service are also not represented in the statistics.

Author Earnings’ million-title survey shows the Changing of the Author Guard in the ebook era