AMAZON HAS REVEALED that it now sells more electronic books through its Kindle e-book store than it does traditional printed books.
In a statement published this afternoon, the Seattle-based bookseller said that the sales of electronic books were now higher than any printed format, having overtaken hardback sales in the middle of last year.
“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” company founder Jeff Bezos confirmed, adding: “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly.”
Since April 1, the company said, it had sold 105 Kindle books for every 100 printed books – including sales of hardback or paperback books with no electronic equivalent.
That figure discounted the sale of free e-books, which if included would have made the gap between the two media even higher.
The ferocity at which the sale of e-books was picking up such pace that the total rate of sales for Amazon’s core US business was growing faster than ever before on a year-on-year basis, the statement further elaborated.
The UK and Ireland store, which only introduced a Kindle equivalent last year, was also already seeing electronic sales outnumber hard copies – with electronic copies outnumbering print editions by more than two-to-one since April 1.
Amazon – founded in 1995 as a mere bookstore, though it has since branched out into sales of all types – also said that the latest edition of its Kindle e-book reader, priced at £111 (€126) in the UK store, has already become the bestselling model of the e-reader in the US.
That feat comes in spite of the edition only being launched five weeks ago, Amazon said.
Do you think electronic books will ultimately come to replace the sale of new printed books?