Now that avid readers of erotica the world over no longer have to endure the judgment of the MFA degree holders working the registers at Borders, adult fiction e-books are selling like hotcakes, if hotcakes helped people have really intense Sunday-afternoon orgasms. According to a report on publishing sales from 2011, adult fiction e-books accounted for 30 percent of total net publisher sales, a significant jump from 13 percent in 2010. That means that more people are taking advantage of internet anonymity and loading up on extremely cheap dirty fiction rather than shelling out twenty-two bucks for the latest James Patterson Alex Cross Goes for a Picnic book.
Len Vlahos, executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, said that the increase in e-book sales is a welcome news for a publishing industry that is trying to keep pace with a rapidly-changing distribution model in light of the disappearance of brick-and-mortar stores like Borders. In a statement to Reuters, Vlahos said,
We're delighted to see it [the report] affirm that the industry has remained steady, and has even grown in some areas, in what continues to be a challenging economic time and through such significant transformation.
Total e-book sales still fell well short of combined print formats (hardcover, trade paperback and mass market paperback), as most people still prefer to impress houseguests by displaying all the books they've accumulated on overloaded bookshelves. The overall U.S. book sales market declined by 2.5 percent to $27.2 billion in 2011 from $27.9 billion in 2010. Though brick-and-mortar sales still account for the largest (31.5 percent) share of total net book dollars, that figure was down 12.6 from 2010. For anyone who's resisting e-readers because they get all finger print-y and don't have the freshly pulped smell of physical books, at least now you can enjoy your fiction eye-roll free.