Sales of digital comic books exceeded that of paper-based comics in Japan last year for the first time.
The Research Institute for Publications says that sales of paper books in the category amounted to about 1.56 billion dollars in 2017. That's down more than 14 percent from a year earlier, marking a record decline.
As reasons for the drop, officials cite the facts that some best-selling series have ended, and there are few titles to fill the void.
Sales of digital comic books rose by more than 17 percent year-on-year to around 1.6 billion dollars.
Analysts say increasing numbers of people read digital comic books, thanks to discount campaigns. They note that old titles have been selling well.
Officials report that combined sales were down 0.9 percent. They say unauthorized uploads to the Internet have had a negative effect on the figure.
Authorities point out that the growth rate for digital comics shrunk last year.