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Dead tree sales not dead yet

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Sales of e-books are soaring in the UK, but they're not yet completely cannibalising sales of dead tree formats.

According to the UK's Publishers' Association (PA) sales of e-book fiction during the first six months of 2012 - before the summer holiday, you'll note - were up 188 per cent on the same period in 2011. Non-fiction sales jumped 128 per cent.

Digital sales of general consumer titles increased from £30 million to £84 million between H1 2011 and H1 2012. Digital sales overall, which incorporates academic and technical publications, went from £77m to £145m, an increase of 89.1 per cent.

The rise more than offset a slight dip in physical book sale revenues, which dipped by less that half a percentage point: 0.4 per cent, from £985 million to £982 million.

The number of dead tree books sold fell more sharply: down 3.8 per cent, from 260 million to 251 million.

The total value of sales of all books - digital and physical - were up by 6.1 per cent between H1 2011 and H1 2012, the PA said, to £1.1 billion. Digital sales accounted for 12.9 per cent of that, up from 7.2 per cent. ®

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