E-books outpace paperbacks in February sales

Just a few months after they got their own New York Times Bestseller list, electronic books hit another acceptance milestone- they’ve outpaced paperbacks as the single bestselling format in the US.

The sales stats turned in favor of electronic books earlier this year, with paperbacks outselling them in January. By February, ebooks took the top spot:

The Association of American Publishers revealed in their latest report, which compiled sales data from US publishing houses, that total ebook sales in February were $90.3m (£55.2m). The AAP said this report makes digital books the largest single format in the US for the first time ever, overtaking paperbacks at $81.2m. Paperbacks led up until January, with ebooks coming second.

Adult hardback and paperbacks plummeted 34.4% in February, compared with sales growth of 202.3% for their electronic counterparts in the same period. Deputy editor of The Bookseller Philip Jones commented on sales projections for the format:

“Ebooks have grown massively, but they do not yet match overall print books and nor is it predicted that they will. The most bullish predictions suggest that ebooks will account for 50 per cent of the US market by 2014 or 2015, and then will probably plateau.”

The AAP credits an influx of Christmas-gifted readers as well as broader offerings in the market for the recent jump in e-book sales.