E-book sales jump at the start of 2011

At the same time, sales of hardcover and paperback books continue to drop.

Mark Lennihan/AP
E-book sales continue to climb as more readers switch from physical books to virtual ones.

Sales of electronic books in January increased by more than 115 percent compared to the same time the year before, a report released by the Association of American Publishers said on Thursday. According to the report released by the trade association, e-book net sales increased to $69.9 million compared to $32.4 million in January, 2010, continuing the rapidly rising demand for electronic books while sales of hardcover and paperback books continued to fall.

Sweeping technological changes have worried the book industry as it grapples with e-readers and tablets such as the iPad introduced into the publishing market as overall U.S. book sales have declined. Adult hardcover sales fell from $55.4 million in January 2010 to $49.1 million in 2011, while adult paperback sales decreased 30 percent in the same period, according to the AAP.

But sales in the higher-education category held relatively steady, dropping only slightly to $382 million for January, 2011 from $387.6 million for the same period the year before.

Edited by Bob Tourtellotte, Bernard Orr

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