Sales of digital fiction books increased by 188% in value terms in the first half of the year, compared to the same January to June period in 2011, according to statistics released by the Publishers Association.
Meanwhile, overall digital sales of general consumer titles, including fiction, non-fiction and children's, increased to £84m for the January to June period, compared to £30m for the same period in 2011.
Sales of children's digital books were up by 171% over the same period, with digital non-fiction e-books also up 128% in value terms. Overall, digital sales grew from £77m in the first half of 2011 to £145m in the first six months of 2012, with physical book sales falling 0.4% by value, from £985m to £982m, and 3.8% by volume, from 260 million to 251 million, when comparing the two first half periods.
The value of total sales of books, combining digital and non-digital books, increased by 6.1% in January to June 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, generating £1.1bn revenue in the first six months of the year. Digital sales accounted for 12.9% of the total value of sales in January to June 2012, up from 7.2% in the equivalent period in 2011.
PA c.e.o. 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."
The information was collected through the PA Sales Monitor, which collects data from close to 250 publishers, with combined sales estimated to account for 76% of total UK publishers' sales.