Amazon announced today that they’ve started selling more Kindle books than printed books in North America.
Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
“We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years”
Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon
Ebook sales aren’t limited to the US, less than one year after introducing the UK Kindle Store, Amazon.co.uk is now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books, even as hardcover sales continue to grow. Since April 1, Amazon.co.uk customers are purchasing Kindle books over hardcover books at a rate of more than 2 to 1.
Not surprisingly we’re also seeing this with the TameBay eBay Tools & Services Guide 2011 where both the print and the Kindle versions can be purchased on Amazon.com – Although it’s only been available for three days the Kindle version is proving the more popular.
This is a theme across the whole of ecommerce – the Kindle device is a mobile product where purchases can be delivered in seconds compared to a traditional book which has to be delivered by a carrier. Customers are becoming more impulsive so just as online purchases on mobile devices are increasing the purchase of a book which you can start reading now is becoming more attractive than purchasing a book which you can’t read for a few days.