Legal sales of e-books in Russia increased almost 2.3 times in 2011, marking a third year of explosive growth, though remaining modest in absolute terms, the Federal Press and Mass Media Agency said on Thursday.
Sales of digital books stood at 135 million rubles ($4.4 million) in 2011, compared to 60 million rubles in 2010 and 11 million rubles in 2008, the first year for which statistics are available, the agency said in an annual report on the book industry in Russia.
By comparison, the U.S. e-book market stood at $1.3 billion and British at 186 million pounds ($300 million) in 2010, the latest year for which statistics are available, the report said.
The Russian e-book market is dominated by two players: LitRes, the biggest copyright holder on Russian-language books, which controls 54 percent of the market, and Imobilco with 20 percent.
A total of 122,900 books and leaflets, including paper and electronic publications, were published in Russia in 2011, with a combined print run of 612 million copies, the report said. In 2008, the combined print run was 760 million copies.
The most popular Russian writers in 2011 were pulp crime novelists Daria Dontsova, Yulia Shilova and Alexandra Marinina. The foreign bestseller writer list was topped by Alexandre Dumas, followed by Agatha Christie and Barbara Cartland.