Kindle books outsell print books on Amazon.com

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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.

53 Responses

  1. I like paper books and lounging around in the garden or bath, chucking it on the floor, spilling tea over the pages etc etc then passing it on to a friend or charity shop.

    What John said.

  2. When the VHS Video was all the rage those of us selling Paper Books were always being told that Paper Books were Obsolete. We were being told that VHS Video was the way forward. Have you tried to buy a VHS Video or a Video Recorder recently? The best places to find a VHS Video is at a Car Boot Sale and the going rate is a quid or so each. Since then we have had other electronic Whizz Bang devices with the kindle just being the latest and with each the Paper Book is supposed to be even more obsolete. Sorry lads the Paper Book will be around long after the kindle and all the other electronic whizz bang devices have themselves gone to the Car Boot Sale. So what is the future? Well the quality end of the market will remain the Hardback Book. The kindle and similar will probably take over from the paperback “pulp” end of the market. (Remember when the Paperback was first published it was supposed to take over from the Hardback as it was so much cheaper and would allow so many more to have access to Literary and Educational Material). The cheap book that you buy at the Airport or Railway Station to read on the plane or train and then discard. I understand that there are also copyright questions about many “download” books for kindles(I am not an expert on copyright). But if kindles are going to cause problems for the writers and publishers then it could be a severe blow to future publishing which can only be a great blow to mankind(All the Knowledge of Mankind is in (paper) Books). So I shall continue to sell(until I finally retire) and collect books(I have a fair sized Library of my own)

  3. Given that tablets are outselling laptops, and that the Kindle App is a free download as are several other reader apps, and that eBay are making heavy investment into the mobile side of things, and that Cloud is the future with all our files being stored on isolated servers ready to be called up on demand by the file owner, it surely has to be only a matter of time before eBay reintroduce file download sales.

  4. I’m a luddite in many ways (mobile phones – meh), but I love my Sony reader, I haven’t read a ‘real’ book since getting it 2 & a half years ago. I don’t download pirate books, I either buy them, download free books legitimately in the public domain (classics etc) or loan them from UK lending libraries. As Kindle download business is booming on Amazon, clearly plenty of other people are prepared to pay for legitimate downloads too.

    I’ve read far more since getting my reader and no longer have piles of read books cluttering the place up before giving them away as I never saw the point of keeping most books after I’d read them.

    Horses for courses – but obviously I’m not the only convert to reader devices, whether Kindle or otherwise!

  5. Is a library still a library without books?

    At least with a paper book the battery won’t go flat and it doesn’t need any kind of connection to something else.

    What about the books read (and kept copies of) that have had a major influence on a life? Or that bring back fond memories or where/when it was read? Can a chunk of plastic invoke the same memory/sensory response?
    I was given a book by my Mum when I finished my exams. She wrote an inscription in it. Can’t do that with a download. Students can’t make notes in the margins of downloaded books.

    What about children’s picture books?
    I have many books that were bought for me and read from by my parents when I was a child. These same books I read to my daughter at bed time. We still have them and no doubt she will read to her children from them too when the time comes (and even is she doesn’t, I will, it’s Grandma rights!)

    I think readers are a fad. A novelty.
    You can’t buy the download books as a gift to give to someone at Christmas or birthday/graduation and you can’t pass on or forward a downloaded book to a friend or family member.

    I will never give up on books, although I may have a reader in the future. It wouldn’t replace my book-reading habit, just enhance it.
    No tablet can replace this kind of relationship you have with a real book.
    It would be a sad thing if it did.

  6. we love books too , nowt the matter with books we sell lots of books
    the more rare they become, the better we like it,
    we also really !really !really !like being able to click google, ebay, saleroom .com etc etc
    rather than spend weeks trawling reference books, and price guides

  7. Energy crisis?

    UK will soon be desperately short of generation to meet both base load and peak shaving.

    Renewables esp. wind can generally provide neither.

    Except should have built Severn barrage long ago – up to 10% UK needs in one hit (sorry about the worms).

    Cleaned up coal (at least 300 years supply in UK – but we seem to import lots just now) and nuke for base load.

    Gas – if we can hang on to enough – for peak shaving.

    And throw in a bit of wind if you will.

    Energy planning is about real life and politicians are about getting re-elected.

    Energy planning cannot be entrusted to politicians.

  8. “UK will soon be desperately short of generation to meet both base load and peak shaving.”

    Grow a beard!

  9. plenty of energy available for everyones needs,
    its providing affordable energy thats the problem
    those that whinge about windfarms and the view should switch off there electrics and get in their mud huts

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