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Value of digital book sales doubles

The popularity of e-book readers like the Kindle has seen sales of digital books climb to new heights, according to figures from the Publishers Association.

The organisation, which represents more than 100 publishers, said the value of digital fiction sales was up 188% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year.

There were also large increases in sales of children's books and non-fiction, which saw sales go up by 171% and 128% respectively during the same period.

It said the value of digital sales almost doubled from 77 million to 145 million over the period, while sales of physical books fell slightly from 985 million to 982 million.

The best-selling Fifty Shades Of Grey started its life as an ebook before being picked up by a publisher and has been a huge digital hit.

Publishers Association CEO Richard Mollet said: "The results of The Publishers Association's sales monitor show that British publishing continues to perform strongly despite difficult economic conditions.

"In particular, the huge increase in digital sales shows how rapidly readers and publishers are embracing e-book reading. 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. This is why the Publishers Association is at the forefront of calls to government to ensure that copyright is not eroded and that creators' rights are protected and supported online."

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