By Marcus Leach

Following on from figures released this week showing that the sales of digital books were up by 20% on 2010, it has been revealed that academic and professional books still dominated digital sales in the UK last year despite an increase in the fiction sales.

Publishing industry insiders had expected ‘general titles’ to dominate the sale of eBooks and although their sale quadrupled to £16 million they were still dwarfed by £180 million generated by the academic and professional sector.

Robert Ashton, one of Britain’s best selling business authors, said that he wasn’t surprised by the sector’s dominance.

“I think it's a reflection both of technology enabling change and people wanting explicit relevant accessible content,” said Mr Ashton, who currently has three titles in Amazon’s top-ten listings.

“Business publishing lends itself to eBooks because the reader can reference the information they need immediately without having to visit a book shop or wait for a delivery."

The sale of downloads is still a small proportion of total UK book sales which topped £3 billion in 2010. The growth in digital sales would seem to indicate that Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader will increasing become part of our lives in the future.