O'Reilly's Mike Hendrickson dives deep again this year into the statistics and details of the computer book market in a 5-part series:
- State of the Computer Book Market 2008, Part 1: The Market
- State of the Computer Book Market 2008, Part 2: The Technologies
- State of the Computer Book Market 2008, Part 3: The Publishers
- State of the Computer Book Market 2008, part 4: The Languages
- State of the Computer Book Market 2008, part 5: eBooks and Summary
My high level summary:
- While general book sales were up YoY in 2008 (+30%), computer book sales were down (-8%) with a weak Q3 and Q4.
- The only computer book category to grow in 2008 was Consumer Operating Systems, driven by sales of Mac OS X and iPhone books.
- The top sellers in the Systems and Programming category were in C#, Mac Programming, and Virtualization. Software Project Management, Windows Administration, and Software Design books were all down.
- C# book sales continued to grow for the 4th straight year, passing sales of Java books for the first time (which have been sliding for 5 straight years).
- C/C++ and Visual Basic book sales both posted their 5th and 4th straight declines, respectively.
- Online e-book sales (often direct to consumer) are growing strong relative to the overall market
Languages ranked by 2008 book sales (%market share, relative to 2007 rank):
- C# - 15.58% (‰ Ô)
- Java - 12.09% (‰ Ò)
- PHP - 9.93% (‰àö)
- C/C++ - 8.36% (‰ Ò)
- ActionScript - 5.76% (‰àö)
- .NET Languages - 5.40% (‰ Ò)
- VisualBasic - 5.04% (‰ Ò)
- SQL - 4.57% (‰ Ò)
- Ruby - 3.51% (‰ Ò)
- Python - 3.41% (‰ Ô)
- VBA - 3.18% (‰ Ò)
- Objective-C - 2.56% (‰àö)
- Perl - 2.14% (‰ Ò)
The most telling charts from the series:
2008 Market Share by Language:
A Treemap view of the Programming Languages:
Percentage of 5 Year Sales Per Quarter by Media Type:
(Images copyright O'Reilly Media, and used without asking permission first -- will definitely take them down if necessary.)
Mike goes into far more detail on each topic over on Radar. Start reading the series here.