eBooks Now More Profitable Than Hardcover Books

It’s a milestone for the electronic age that traditional print publishers (specifically those who haven’t embraced electronic publishing) are likely groaning about.

The Association of American Publishers announced today that ebooks have now topped hardcover revenues for the first time in history.

And the trend doesn’t seem headed for a reversal any time soon.

From Tech Crunch:

Ebook revenues topped out at $282.3 million YTD while hardcovers hit $229.6. Almost exactly a year ago the tables were turned with ebooks hitting $220 million and hardcovers brushing past $335 million.

Incredibly, the only growth in hardcovers was observed in the young adult/children’s category. According to the AAP:

While Children’s/Young Adult physical format Hardcover and Paperback both saw strong double-digit growth (68.9% and 61.9% respectively), AAP’s first monthly data on Children’s/YA eBooks showed a massive +475.1% increase from 2011 to 2012. Some publishers have attributed this to the availability of more options for devices aimed at those demographics as well as a number of popular new releases.

All told, the publishing world (electronic and print combined) is strong.  The AAP surveyed 1,149 publishers to learn that total trade revenue spiked more than 27% during the past year.