London-based Bloomsbury Publishing, the company behind the Harry Potter series of novels, has reported a massive surge in e-book sales in 2010 and the early part of 2011.

The publisher’s e-book sales netted the company £79,000 in 2009, but by the end of 2010 this figure had risen to £1.5m. And Q1 sales in 2011 were strong too, having drawn £1.1m in digital books sales between January and March.

This news is in keeping with the overall trend elsewhere, with Amazon.com reporting earlier this month that it is now selling more e-books than paperbacks and hardbacks combined.

Bloomsbury also announced that it was setting up a new digital global publisher called Bloomsbury Reader, which will be run out of London and New York. Bloomsbury Reader will publish books currently unavailable in print where all English-language rights have already reverted to the author or the author’s Estate and where there is no edition currently in print.

Founder and Chief Executive Nigel Newton said:

“Demand for digital delivery, including e-books, is increasing significantly. It will change the publishing business model, creating one worldwide market. The publishing world is handling its own revolution.”

With more and more tablets coming into the market, it’s likely this will fuel this publishing revolution too, with newspapers and magazines also rushing to develop apps for the common mobile operating systems.

Whilst many doubted whether readers would be willing to swap print for digital, the exponential growth of e-book sales over the past year or so proves that Kindles, Nooks and tablets will play a major role in the future of the publishing industry.