Sales of digital fiction book soar Publishers Association says

A huge increase in the value of digital book sales in the UK has been announced by the Publishers Association (PA).The value of digital fiction sales in the first half of 2012 was up 188% on the same period in 2011.

Meanwhile physical book sales saw a drop in value, dipping 0.4% year on year.

Industry experts said that while the figures were healthy- other areas of the industry, such as bookshops, continued to struggle financially.

“Certainly the strong e-book growth has taken the tarnish off the otherwise tricky market,” said Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller.

“It is good news that the market is transitioning and making money from that, but it is moving to a trickier situation where there are fewer booksellers.”

The figures show impressive increases across the board in a year where e-book popularity – in particular the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey – hit the headlines for racking up massive sales.

Sales of digital children’s books were up 171%, while non-fiction titles increased by 128%.

The total value of sales of all books – digital and non-digital – were up by 6.1% for the January-June period.

This generated revenue of £1.1 billion for the first half of the year, the PA said.

“The huge increase in digital sales shows how rapidly readers and publishers are embracing e-book reading,” said Richard Mollet, the PA trade body’s chief executive.

“Whether books are enjoyed physically or electronically, publishers will continue to invest in exciting authors and titles. They can do this because of the stability provided by the UK’s robust and flexible copyright framework.”