Kindle outselling print books on Amazon

Although Amazon's figures don't really tell the full story...
Darren Allan

August 7, 2012

Amazon UK has announced that it is now officially selling more Kindle eBooks than printed hardback and paperback books.

Previously, Kindle books had been creeping up on this milestone, but this is the first time the online retailer has sold more eBooks than printed ones. And it represents something of a digital renaissance, according to Amazon.

So far in 2012, Amazon’s figures show that for every 100 printed books sold, 114 eBooks have been flogged on the site.

VP of Kindle in Europe, Jorrit Van der Meulen, commented: “Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow. We hit this milestone in the US less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle.”

Also, Amazon noted that Kindle owners buy four times as many books as they did before they owned the e-reader hardware.

Of course, there’s a point to be aware of here, and the reason that folks buy many more Kindle books is because there are a lot of very cheap, self-published novels out there.

This rather skews the figures in favour of eBooks versus the traditional printed medium. If you took the top 100 books of this year, and pitted Kindle sales against printed sales, we’re betting the eBook would still be some way behind the printed titles.

Of course, it’s undeniable that there is a digital revolution underway when it comes to publishing, and soon enough eBooks will be on top, there’s no question. It’s how book publishers adapt to this reality which is the real point of interest here.


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