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E-book sales surge ahead of hardcovers

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R: Mary Knox Merrill

(Read caption) E-book sales in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $282.3 million, a 28 percent increased compared with last year's sales, while hardcover books during the same period reached $229.6 million, a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

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The Association of American Publishers reported that there were more e-books sold than hardcovers for the first time ever, collecting information from more than 1,189 publishers for their findings.

In the report, the Association said that in the first quarter of 2012, e-book sales totaled $282.3 million, which was a 28 percent increase from e-book sales last year. Meanwhile, hardcover sales came to $229.6 million, which nevertheless was a 2.7 percent increase from their sales last year. Sales for young adult and children's books hardcovers increased, coming in at $187.7 million.

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However, sales for paperbacks for adults fell, coming in at $299.8 million with a 10.5 percent drop.

USA Today commentator David Albers may have summarized the thoughts of many consumers when he wrote of the choice between hardcovers and e-books: “Pretty much a no-brainer[,with] hardcover books selling in the $30 range and I can get the same version on Kindle for around $10.”