30/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 14:56

Amazon selling more Kindle ebooks than print books

Category: Technology

Published: 6th Aug 2012 13:51:23

The UK's biggest book retailer Amazon now sells more ebooks than hardbacks and paperbacks combined, the company has said.

For every 100 print books sold through the site, Amazon said it sold 114 titles for its Kindle e-reader device.

It added that the average Kindle owner bought up to four times more books than they did before owning the device.

The strong figures have been boosted by titles such as multi-million selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

The book has sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, with two million ebooks of the title selling in less than four months.

The figures do not take into account ebook sales on other platforms, such as Apple's iBooks or the website for bookseller Waterstones.

Amazon's figures have also been boosted by a surge in popularity for self-publishing.

The company said there had been a 400% increase in authors using Kindle Direct Publishing since summer 2011.

Among them were some of the site's bestsellers. British author Kerry Wilkinson is one of the world's most successful self-published authors.

He has sold more than 300,000 copies of his work in the past year.

Ian Clark, blogger and co-founder of a group promoting greater use of libraries, said the figures should not be seen as a sign that ebooks were dominating over physical sales.

For every worrying story I've heard about an independent book shop struggling, I've heard about a good one flourishing”

He said that as Amazon was the only official vendor of books for Kindle - by far the most popular e-reader on the market - it had very little competition in selling titles for the platform.

With print sales, however, Amazon faces competition from many big, established retailers.

"To really judge the state of the ebook market, we need proper sales data so that we can compare across the board," he wrote.

Jonathan Ruppin, web editor for bookseller Foyles, said it is a trend the book industry must adapt to deal with.

"The proportion of sales that are taken up by ebooks will continue to increase," he told the BBC.

"At some point they will overtake printed sales across the whole market."

He said while online buying could put smaller businesses at risk, he was optimistic that more traditional bookshops still had an important role.

"There's an awful lot of doom-mongering about the retail book trade.

"But for every worrying story I've heard about an independent book shop struggling, I've heard about a good one flourishing."

The figures were released as Amazon marked the two-year anniversary of the Kindle's release in the UK.

"Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow," said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice-president of Kindle in Europe.

"As a result of the success of Kindle, we're selling more books than ever before on behalf of authors and publishers.

"And thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing, thousands of self-published authors have also been given an outlet to share their work with the millions of Kindle readers worldwide."

However, despite the e-reader's popularity, the company is still yet to announce plans to sell the Kindle Fire - a tablet computer - in the UK, despite it being on sale for over eight months.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Amazon selling more Kindle ebooks than print books [Online] (Updated 6th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444754/Amazon-selling-more-Kindle-ebooks-than-print-books [Accessed 30th Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Work starts on new wards at Glan Clwyd Hospital

    Work has started on the next phase of a multi-million pound hospital upgrade in Denbighshire.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Ebola: Experimental drug ZMapp is '100% effective' in animal trials

    The only clinical trial data on the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp shows it is 100% effective in monkey studies, even in later stages of the infection.
  • Iran President Rouhani hits out at US sanctions

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticised the US for new sanctions, saying they are "not compatible" with the spirit of current negotiations.
  • Sebastian Blanco: West Brom sign Argentine winger

    West Brom have completed the signing of Argentine winger Sebastian Blanco for an undisclosed fee from Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.
  • Woman, 77, hit by lorry outside Southend fire station

    A 77-year-old woman has been run over by a lorry outside Southend fire station.