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E-books on the rise with sales of digital books growing 18-fold in 2010


March 1, 2011 - London

The sale of e-books is on the rise, with Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Harry Potter books, saying its digital book sales grew 18-fold in 2010.

Now e-books account for 10 percent of Bloomsbury print sales as more customers download titles to read on iPads, Kindles and other hand-held devices.

The publishing house said revenues of 90.7 million pounds were up 4 percent in the year to December 31, while profits excluding one-off items went up to 8.4 million pounds from 7.7 million pounds a year earlier.

Strong demand for Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Eat, Pray, Love', which was turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, and the Harry Potter books following the film release of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', helped Bloomsbury's sales in the final quarter of the year.

Bloomsbury predicted that 2011 will be "the year of the e-book" as more titles become available for download and sales of hand-held devices such as Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad grow rapidly.

The company also predicts that Britain is gaining the kind of momentum seen in the U.S., where e-books account for 15 percent of sales.

The trend was highlighted by the success of the 2010 Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson's 'The Finkler Question', which saw 42 percent of its U.S. sales through e-books in its first month.

"Bloomsbury had an excellent year with a number of best-selling titles and particularly buoyant sales in the final quarter," the Daily Mail quoted chief executive Nigel Newton as saying.

"We are also benefiting from our strong position in digital publishing which continues to experience exciting and unprecedented growth," he stated.

ANI

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