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E-book sales surge ahead of hardcovers

Using data from almost 2,000 publishers, the Association of American Publishers reports that e-books have outsold hardcovers for the first time.

By Staff Writer / June 21, 2012

E-book sales in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $282.3 million, a 28 percent increased compared with last year's sales, while hardcover books during the same period reached $229.6 million, a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

R: Mary Knox Merrill

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The Association of American Publishers reported that there were more e-books sold than hardcovers for the first time ever, collecting information from more than 1,189 publishers for their findings.

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In the report, the Association said that in the first quarter of 2012, e-book sales totaled $282.3 million, which was a 28 percent increase from e-book sales last year. Meanwhile, hardcover sales came to $229.6 million, which nevertheless was a 2.7 percent increase from their sales last year. Sales for young adult and children's books hardcovers increased, coming in at $187.7 million.

However, sales for paperbacks for adults fell, coming in at $299.8 million with a 10.5 percent drop.

USA Today commentator David Albers may have summarized the thoughts of many consumers when he wrote of the choice between hardcovers and e-books: “Pretty much a no-brainer[,with] hardcover books selling in the $30 range and I can get the same version on Kindle for around $10.”

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