Friday, July 23, 2010

Giving E-books a Spot on the Charts (Time)

Will 2010 be the year of the e-book? With Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook and a host of other e-devices now on the market, readers have more alternatives to old-fashioned paper and ink than ever. And as a result, digital sales are soaring: the Association of American Publishers reports that e-book sales jumped 207% in the first five months of this year, and on July 19, Amazon announced that it now sells more Kindle e-books than it does hardcover volumes. (See what authors and celebs are reading this summer.)

But don't bother looking for your favorite e-title on a bestsellers list: With the exception of USA Today, national print lists don't track e-books or include their revenues in sales figures. With these digital downloads now accounting for more than 8% of the total consumer book market, though, that's going to start changing soon. "We're certainly looking at it really closely, and will find some way, I think, to inform readers about e-book sales," says Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the influential New York Times Book Review. "But what kind of list it will be, at this point, is undecided."


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