Ebook sales fell by 1.6% to to £554m in 2015, the first drop recorded in the seven years industry body the Publishers Association has been monitoring the digital book market. Meanwhile, sales of printed books grew by 0.4% to £2.76bn.
“Digital continues to be an incredibly important part of the industry, but it would appear there remains a special place in the consumer’s heart for aesthetic pleasure that printed books can bring,” said Publishers Association chief executive Stephen Lotinga.
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Lotinga said that strong sectors include adult colouring books, such as Lost Ocean by The Secret Garden illustrator Johanna Basford, as well as The Complete Alice, the 150th anniversary edition of Lewis Carroll’s famous fairytale.
The biggest hardback seller was The Girl on The Train, selling more than 546,000 copies – the newly released paperback version has sold 60,000 copies in just three days.
EL James’s Fifty Shades spin-off, Grey, sold more than 1 million copies in paperback, while To Kill A Mockingbird writer Harper Lee’s eagerly anticipated second novel, Go Set A Watchman, sold 360,000 copies.