UK digital consumer book sales quadruple to £16 million

Sales of mainstream digital books in Britain rose from £4m to £16m between 2009 and 2010, according to figures released by the Publishers Association.

The £16 million figure includes all titles in the "general titles" category - so that's your novels as well as your consumer titles as well. We're guessing that consumer titles includes celebrity autobiographies, the ubiquitous array of celebrity cook books and the like.

The £16 million figure was well short of the £180 million figure for digital academic and professional ebooks and the digital/physical divide is still pretty vast (total book sales were £3.1 billion) but the increase shows that the Joe and Joanna Public are getting on board with the ebook revolution.

Over in the States, Amazon recently announced that it is now selling more Kindle ebooks than paperback books at a ratio of 23:20.

Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, said: "Digital publishing is growing at an impressive rate in whichever part of the sector you choose to look.

"Now that technology is putting e-reading devices into consumers' hands, we are starting to see the rapid growth of digital sales in this area too, as consumer publishers develop digital formats to reach wider audiences.

"The innovation in the digital marketplace and the strength of British publishers' export performance is only possible because of the robust and flexible copyright framework which underpins the UK creative industries."

Are you onboard with the ebook express? Or are you still partial to a nice paperback? Let us know, using the comments below.



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