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US book publishers are making more through online sales than physical stores

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Ebooks and audiobooks hit record highs, but the paperback stays on top

US book publishers are now seeing more net revenue come in through online sales than through brick-and-mortar stores, a joint report from two publishing trade groups said last week. The online sales figure represents last year's sales of both printed books and ebooks, including those sold through the websites of companies that maintain physical stores. The report also estimates that, in 2013, online retail accounted for 35.4 percent of total publisher revenue from general consumer fiction and non-fiction titles.

The report was released last Thursday by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. It is their fourth annual BookStats report. The report also found that ebooks hit a record sales high in 2013, though they remain less popular than the paperback. And despite selling more, they didn't bring in any more revenue for publishers last year, with the figure remaining flat from 2012. Audiobooks hit new heights of popularity last year too, bringing in more revenue and seeing more downloads than ever.