E-book Sales Surpass Hardcover for First Time in US

E-book sales surpassed hardcover books from U.S. publishers for the first time, according to the latest figures from the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Adult e-books brought in $282.3 million in the first quarter of the year—a 28.1 percent increase from the same period a year ago. In comparison, sales of adult hardcovers totaled $229.6 million in the first quarter of the year—up 2.7 percent from the same period in 2011.

Faith-based publishers reported a 48.9 percent increase in March from religious e-books compared to the same month last year, according to AAP. The category also saw a rise of 49.2 percent and 86.5 percent, respectively, in February and January versus February and January 2011.

Religious hardcover sales were up 5.9 percent from January to March over the same period the previous year to nearly $79 million, while religious paperback sales were down more than 29.6 percent for the same period, totaling $45.6 million. Overall, year-to-date book sales from religious presses saw a 1.8 percent decline to $169.5 million.

Based on figures compiled from 1,189 publishers, AAP's Monthly StatShot report included data from Concordia Publishing House, Gospel Light, Moody Publishers, NavPress, Thomas Nelson and Tyndale House Publishers, among others in the Christian market.

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