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eBook sales outstrip paperbacks for first time

19th April 2011

eBooks have started to outsell traditional paperbacks in the US and experts predict the trend will cross the pond any time now.

According to new figures released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), sales of electronic books have increased by 202 per cent year-on-year.

In February alone, GBP 55.2 million worth of eBooks were sold in the US - compared to the GBP 49.8 million spent on paperbacks.

What's more, the AAP expects digital book sales to double in the coming year.

Speaking to The Sun, Neill Denny, editor of the Bookseller, said: 'eBooks have been sold in the UK for over two years now. Since last autumn there has been a big increase in the numbers being sold across all brands.'

'Right now the eBook market in the UK is about five per cent of the whole book market. That is compared to about one per cent last year, so they are growing at a rapid rate,' he added.

At the recent Big Picture Digitisation Initiative in Libraries seminar at the London Book Fair, digital book expert Jon Purday claimed that libraries need to start adopting eBooks if they are to survive the coalition government's austerity programme.

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