Ebook sales overtake US paperbacks for the first time

Ebooks pass another milestone

US figures show huge consumer demand for e-readers

The digital revolution continues apace in the old-tech world of publishing. In the US, the eBook has become the single bestselling format in American publishing for the first time, a year ahead of analysts forecasts.

The report from the Association of American Publishers, showed February’s eBook sales were $90.3m (£55.2m), compared to $81.2m (£49.8m) in paperbacks, a leap of 202.3% on the same time last year. Philip Jones, deputy editor of the Bookseller, believes that the UK is set to follow the US trend in the take-up of the technology, “the UK are a year behind but they are catching up quite fast.”

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Despite the challenge of the rapidly expanding tablet market, many of which come pre-loaded with an e-reader, the figures show standalone eBook readers have carved out an important niche in a hugely competitive marketplace. Their popularity is down to choice – there are over a million free books on the Amazon Kindle – as well as a lower price-point than tablets, speedy downloads and portability.

The news comes hot on the heels of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader becoming the best-selling product onAmazon.co.uk, way ahead of Sony and Samsung’s rival products.

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