Friday, February 04, 2011

The Day E-Books “Arrived”

It’s possible that February 13th, 2011, will go down in history as the day humankind understood the electronic book had well and truly arrived. And why? That is the day The New York Times new e-book bestseller list will appear in the print edition. As hauntingly ironic as that statement seems to some of us.

The Times’ intention to include e-books in its bestseller lists was announced last November when the paper said it would add the new lists early in 2011, “in an acknowledgment of the growing sales and influence of digital publishing.”
Janet Elder, the editor of news surveys and election analysis for The Times, said the newspaper had spent two years creating a system that tracks and verifies e-book sales.

“We’ve had our eye on e-book sales since e-books began,” Ms. Elder said. “It was clear that e-books were taking a greater and greater share of total sales, and we wanted to be able to tell our readers which titles were selling and how they fit together with print sales.”

E-book sales have risen steeply in 2010, spurred by the growing popularity of the Amazon Kindle and by the release of the Apple iPad in April. According to the Association of American Publishers, which receives sales data from publishers, e-book sales in the first nine months of 2010 were $304.6 million, up from $105.6 million from the same period in 2009, a nearly 190 percent increase.



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