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At holidays, ebooks sell more than print

In a move that had Asia’s trees all a-flutter, this season during the holidays it happened: ebooks sales of the top 6 bestsellers outsold print.

Thursday’s USA Today bestseller list (1/6/11) “will show digital’s new popularity: E-book versions of the top six books outsold the print versions last week. And of the top 50, 19 had higher e-book than print sales.” (Thanks to The Literary Saloon!)

Okay. Who got e-readers for Christmas? 

Though the question will remain what % of publisher revenue came directly from ebooks (not to mention author revenue), this factoid is proof positive that at least for those shopping for books last week, most were (1) online, and (2) strongly favoring the anti-product over the packaged, processed, shipped and stored product when it came to the paradoxical front-list (the most-valuable-and-simultaneously-disposable titles).

It’s also anyone’s guess how much publishers’ idea to print on toilet paper contributed to buyers’ decisions, but it seems most folks were already well-stocked there. (Also, don’t expect any traditional publishers to feel bad for you when you drop your iPad in the toilet. I found that one out the hard way!)

But woah. Not bad for a “derivative product” that didn’t even exist a few seasons ago…

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