Amazon.co.uk selling twice as many Kindle books as hardbacks

Amazon.co.uk selling twice as many Kindle books as hardbacks

Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperbacks and hardbacks combined, with its UK business shifting twice as many e-books as hardbacks, it has announced today.

Gordon Willoughby, the European director for Kindle, called the UK rate of Kindle purchases “truly astonishing” considering the company has been selling hardbacks for 13 years, and Kindle books for nine months. Since 1st April 2011, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.co.uk has sold, it has sold 242 Kindle books. The figure excludes free Kindle books but includes hardcover sales even if there is no equivalent Kindle edition.

Amazon.co.uk's bestselling digital titles appear to be those most competitively priced. Among the UK bestsellers it identified are the basement by Stephen Leather, which is on sale at 49p, The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris, priced at £1.20 and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson sold at £3.50. An Amazon.co.uk spokesman refused to reveal how many Kindle books it had sold in total.

Founder and c.e.o Jeff Bezos said the American company “never expected” Kindle books would outsell both paper and hardback covers together as quickly as it has. Amazon.com has sold three times as many Kindle books so far this year as it did during the same period in 2010. Bezos said: “Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. 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."

Amazon.com began selling Kindle e-books in 2007 and announced in July last year that Kindle book sales had surpassed hardback sales. In January this year Amazon revealed Kindle books were selling more than paperback books.