According to the Association of American Publishers, ebooks became the bestselling category in American publishing for the first time in February 2011.
(Reference article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/15/ebook-sales-milestone/p...)
Sales of ebooks for that month reached $90.3m. Second place sales went to paperbacks at $81.2m. (Keep in mind that ebook totals include children's books that may not come out in paperback). Ebook sales are rising in the UK, although the sales figures are about one year behind those of the U.S.
The surge in ebook sales is attributed to sales of inexpensive ebook readers and the release of backlist titles that may have been unavailable in print. If a reader likes one book, they can quickly purchase that author's full list. Ebooks are easily transported. Readers also have the power to make any title a large print by adjusting the font size on their ereader. Both traditional publishers and self-published authors are quickly jumping on the ebook bandwagon.
Does this mean that those of us who love to hold and read books will be forced to relinquish that pleasure? According to Philip Jones, deputy editor of the Bookseller, print books will not vanish. “The most bullish predictions suggest that ebooks will account for 50% of the US market by 2014 or 2015, and then will probably plateau.”
I wonder in what ways this will change how readers choose books and how authors and publishers sell them.