NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- E-books may be the publishing medium of the future, but they're already leaving a bit of literary history behind.
The announcement of Apple's (AAPL) New iPad and the continued growth of Amazon (AMZN) Kindle products, the Barnes & Noble (BKN) Nook line of e-readers and Google (GOOG) Android-based tablets in general are giving e-books Library of Congress-sized platforms for expansion. Yet even with a growing base of new releases, low-priced "singles" works from up-and-coming authors and a sprawling library of free books out of copyright, the e-volumes are still missing characters such as Holden Caulfield, Paul Baumer, Atticus Finch and every witch and wizard in Hogwarts.
The Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group's BookStats survey released in August found that e-books have grown from 0.6% of the market in 2008 to 6.4% in 2010. That looks like a small sliver, but it's a 1,274.1% bump in publisher net sales revenue year over year.Overall e-book net revenue for 2010 climbed to $878 million as unit sales increased tenfold to 114 million. That growth is particularly present in adult fiction, where e-books are now 13.6% of revenue. That also doesn't include the 4.4 million public domain e-books -- which include just about everything published before 1923 -- downloaded from Project Gutenberg within the past 30 days. E-books' overall unit share was still only 14% of fiction and nonfiction books sold for the first six months of last year, but they outsold their pulp counterparts on Kindle-peddling Amazon last year and have outsold them on that site during the holidays each year since 2009. It's been a similar story for the Nook and Barnes & Noble, where e-book sales now outnumber those of their paper contemporaries by a 3-to-1 ratio. Overall, according to the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales were up 160% during the first half of the year. Their $390 million in sales still trailed the $473 million brought in by adult paperbacks, but eclipsed the $386 million spent on adult hardcovers and the $359 million spent on young-adult hardcover and softcover titles combined. Still, authors, heirs and publishing houses haven't all leaped at the chance to see their works in e-Ink or to trade in their binding for a bit of memory space. We've come across eight literary pillars that haven't made the leap to e-books yet. They're all still readily available, but you're going to have to risk a paper cut to read them again:
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