Amazon Now Sells More Kindle Books Than Paper Books

Amazon Kindle

For anyone who doubted the proliferation of ebooks, Amazon issued a press release yesterday announcing that they now sell 105 Kindle ebooks for every 100 hardcover and paperback books. This took just 3.5 years for Amazon to achieve, even with most publishers fighting the transition to ebooks every step of the way.

What’s more impressive is that those numbers include hardcover and paperback books that aren’t available for Kindle. And free Kindle ebooks aren’t included in the numbers either—considering the large number of free ebooks offered each month, it would probably be 2:1 or more if they were included.

A couple of other interesting stats, Amazon has sold 3 times more Kindle books so far this year than during the same period last year. And the new Amazon UK Kindle store is selling more than double the number of ebooks versus hardcover books.

Amazon is notorious for not giving any sales figures for any of this, however. Now that Amazon has Kindle reading apps for multiple platforms, it would be interesting to see the numbers for Kindle book sales on the iPad, Android tablets, smartphones, etc, and compare that to sales generated from the Kindle’s themselves. Of course that’s not going to happen.

Amazon has been selling books since 1995. They started selling the original Kindle and Kindle ebooks in November 2007. It’s hard to believe that a company founded on selling paper books, and one that has been doing it extremely well for the past 16 years, can switch to selling more ebooks than paper books in such a short amount of time, especially given the fact that a large percentage of people still don’t even know what a Kindle is. That really says a lot about the future of books and the publishing industry.

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3 Responses to “Amazon Now Sells More Kindle Books Than Paper Books”

  1. The one thing I wonder is whether they are classifying all those freebies as “sales”. The checkout process seems to be the same regardless so I would think that the answer is “yes” in which the news isn’t as impressive. I mean I “purchased” like 20 Dr. Vooks which I have archived.

  2. LOL. I skimmed the same article since I had already read about this news a few times before. I see now you addressed the freebies. Me bad. sorry.

  3. I suspect it could be higher if they could sort out the problem of resale and odd pricing. Some books are more expensive as ebooks than as paper copies. Some of this is publishers trying to protect their old revenues streams, some is dubious tax laws. When an ebook is only a few pence cheaper than a paper one but the paper one has a resale value (or can be given to charity) but an ebook cannot, the gap between prices can be too small.