Ebook sales overtake paperbacks

Ebook sales in February topped all other formats, including paperbacks and hardcovers.

According to a report by the Association of American Publishers, ebook sales totalled $90.3 million in February, up 202 percent compared to the same month a year earlier.

It is the first time that ebooks have beaten traditional publishing formats, however there are few riders to the news. AAP noted that net sales data is compiled from publishers, not from book retailers like Barnes & Noble.

While publishers are normally happy to tell the world what they are selling, retailers don’t. Some publishers don’t squeal either.

However February’s strong numbers appear to indicate that lots of people got e-readers in their Chrimbo stockings and wanted books to try them out. We had suspected that things were going this way. In January, Amazon reported that its own e-book sales topped paperbacks.

However it does tend to push its Kindle e-reader and its sales are stacked more in favour of ebooks than your average retailer. Earlier this year Barnes & Noble forecasted that traditional book retailers have just two years to adapt to an ebook-centric industry.

It thought that in two years the market was going to shift completely.