e-book sales exploded by 116% this January, totaling $69.9 million in the U.S.

e-book sales exploded by 116% this January, totaling $69.9 million in the U.S.

Was there a Kindle or iPad under your Christmas tree? Statistics point to yes!

Publisher’s Weekly is reporting preliminary estimates from the Association of American Publishers that e-book sales from 16 reporting companies jumped 115.8% this January, totaling $69.9 million in the U.S.

And it’s bad news for paperback book publishers. Paperbacks were down 30.9% from the reporting companies, falling to $39.0 million, $30 million below the sales of e-books. Hardcover sales fell 11.3% in January.

At the end of January, we reported that Kindle e-books sales had overtaken paperback books on Amazon.com. We’ve been tracking the rise of e-books over the past few years, and so while we’re not altogether surprised by this announcement, it’s a massive milestone.

What’s happening? The way we devour content is changing. We no longer want to commute or travel with big, paper bound books when we can simply tote along a Kindle. Reading isn’t dying though, far from. Think of all the different kinds of information you consume, reading while waiting for the subway train, in line at the grocery store, on your computer at work and curled up at night in bed on the iPad. The iPad, the Kindle, these are devices of leisure. They’re large enough to consume Tolstoy but small enough to slip into our purse.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the eBook scene, be sure to read up on EBookling, the disruptive darling of indie online book publishing.

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