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eBook Sales Sees Dramatic Rise


The rise of eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle and tablets like the Apple iPad are driving more eBook sales. eBooks are downloaded over the Internet to an eBook reader or tablet and replace the need to buy the actual paper version of the book. According to the Association of American Publishers, eBooks now represent nearly one quarter (22.5% to be exact) of all book sales, when measured by actual dollars. It’s a fairly dramatic rise considering they were just 17% in 2011 and 3% in 2009.

In total, book publishers sold $7.1 billion worth of books (print and electronic combined) in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of reading!  The eBook trend will certainly continue and maybe even accelerate, due in large part to the rapid adoption of tablet computers.

Tablets like the iPad are actually hurting eBook reader sales, as more people like all of the additional features of tablets over eBook readers. “The ebook reader market is on an alarmingly precipitous decline, sent reeling by more nimble tablet devices,” wrote market researcher Jordan Selburn, in a market report outlining the decline of eBook reader sales. Selburn’s firm, IHS, reports eReader sales by declined by 36% in 2012, and “will not recover.”

Contrast that with the tablet trend, which grew by 78% in the same year, according to another market research firm, IDC. They report 128 million tablets were sold across the globe in 2012. So while eBook readers are losing the popularity contest to tablets, eBooks will apparently not suffer as a result.

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