E-book Sales Eclipse Traditional Paperbacks

April 18, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

E-BOOKS: A person tests an e-book reader during the 31st Paris book fair on March 18 in Paris. E-books sales have now exceeded paperbacks in the U.S.
E-BOOKS: A person tests an e-book reader during the 31st Paris book fair on March 18 in Paris. E-books sales have now exceeded paperbacks in the U.S.
According to a report from the Association of American Publishers (AAP), February 2011 sales of e-books have exceeded paperbacks.

E-books have now officially become the most preferred format of books for U.S. readers.

The recent report shows that revenue from e-book sales was at $90.3 million in February, which is an increase of 202 percent compared to a year ago. AAP announced that for the first time e-books had become top "among all categories of trade publishing."

Amazon.com Inc., the biggest bookseller on the Internet, had already said that its own e-book sales outsold paperbacks in January, thanks to Kindle being the No. 1 selling product at the Internet retailer.

Commentators had attributed such results in part to the success of the Kindle. The e-book reader industry is now inevitably driving sales trends upward, with Barnes & Noble creating a competing Nook e-book reader, and Apple’s iPad tablet computer also serving as a capable e-book reader, in addition to its many other uses.

Tom Allen, president and chief executive officer of AAP said, “The February results reflect two core facts: people love books and publishers actively serve readers wherever they are," in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor.

Despite the popularity of e-books, there has also been some backlash from consumers, not unlike that experienced by the music industry at the infancy of MP3s. Some consumers complain that e-book prices are still too high, and some vendors attached DRM (digital rights management) software to the e-books sold digitally.

AAP is the industry association of book publishers.