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Another Quarter of Triple-Digit Growth for E-Books

In the world of book publishing, something notable happened in June of this year. In the flat, unremarkable language of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), " E-books sales jumped up by 136.2 percent for the month over June '08 (to $14.0 million), reflecting an increase of 149.3 percent for the year."

Okay, what we have here is runaway growth, though not quite as impressive as the nearly 400 percent annual growth rate we saw in Q-1. Nevertheless, e-books continue to grow at rates that traditional books cannot, which is an indicator of which way the wind is blowing.

Meanwhile, U-C Professor Pamela Samuelson came out with a HuffPost piece called "The Audacity of the Google Book Search Settlement," which is probably the most coherent argument published to date on that critical case.

All of which is a reminder that the stakes in what is happening to the U.S. book publishing industry are easily as high as those for our domestic newspaper industry, even though there is surprisingly little public discourse to date about the fate of books in the digital era.

Related post:
May 15 E-Books Reach a "Tipping Point," Triggering Explosive Growth