New chapter for publishing as Amazon Kindle overtakes print

EBOOKS are outselling their printed counterparts at Britain’s largest bookseller Amazon for the first time, the web giant has revealed.

Across Amazon’s UK operations, 114 Kindle ebooks have been sold for every 100 hardback or paperback editions this year. The figures also showed that ereaders are sparking a boom in total book sales, with Kindle owners buying four times as many titles – whether in print or ebook format – as they did before they owned the device.

Ebooks overtook print in 2010 in the US, but Amazon said the market had grown a lot quicker in Britain, with the milestone coming just two years after the Kindle’s UK launch.

“To reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle,” Jorritt Van der Meulen, the vice president of Amazon’s European Kindle division said. He pointed out that the results were not due to a decline in physical sales, saying Amazon’s print business continues to grow.

Amazon has dominated the ebook market since the introduction of the Kindle, with its success attributed to the low prices Amazon charges for titles, as well as the flexibility of the system, which allows readers to access Kindle books on tablets and phones.

Amazon also runs a successful ebook publishing operation, with independent authors able to sell their work. Three of the top 10 ebooks were sold via Amazon’s own Kindle Direct Publishing operation.