Hold the presses! Amazon UK selling more e-books than printed ones

It's becoming a habit of Amazon's to report on the rise of the e-book at the expense of physical texts, and their latest announcement is no different. Sales figures show that in the UK, 114 Kindle purchases have been made for every 100 printed copies so far in 2012. A similar statistic was achieved in the US last year, but whether these are true indications of e-book supremacy is up for discussion. Free downloads were excluded from the tally, but those released via Kindle Direct Publishing without a paper twin were counted. The Guardian also notes that these are unaudited figures, so there may be a digit awry here or there. And with a few physical stores still around, there's no need to panic-buy that Kindle just yet.

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UK readers now buying more Kindle books than print books on Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk announces digital milestone on 2nd anniversary of Kindle in the UK

Luxembourg – 6th August 2012 – Amazon.co.uk began selling paperback books in October 1998. Almost twelve years later in August 2010, Amazon.co.uk introduced the revolutionary Kindle and began selling Kindle books to customers in the UK. By May 2011, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, at a rate of more than 2 to 1. Today, two years after introducing Kindle to UK readers, Amazon.co.uk customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all printed books – hardcover and paperback – combined.
"Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow. We hit this milestone in the US less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle," said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president, Kindle EU. "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."
Recent Kindle milestones include:

  • So far in 2012, for every 100 print books Amazon.co.uk has sold, it has sold 114 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon.co.uk where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
  • With Kindle, readers read more. In the UK, we have seen that Kindle readers buy 4x the number of books they did prior to owning a Kindle. And, Kindle owners continue to buy physical books as well.
  • Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) authors are benefitting from the success of Kindle, earning up to 70% royalties from the books they sell:
  • 'Love...from both Sides' by KDP author Nick Spalding is one of the top 10 bestselling items of the last quarter at Amazon.co.uk. Spalding has sold almost 250,000 copies of his books at Amazon.co.uk.
  • Rachel Abbott saw similar success in the first three months of the year. Her debut novel 'Only the Innocent' was one of the top 10bestselling items of the quarter at Amazon.co.uk.
  • 'Locked In' by KDP author Kerry Wilkinson was the #1 bestselling book of the three months to Christmas 2011. Since he began self-publishing his books through KDP in July 2011, he has sold over 300,000 copies of his books to Kindle readers worldwide.
  • Over the past year, there has been more than a 400% increase in independent UK authors and publishers using KDP to share their books with the millions of Kindle readers worldwide.
  • EL James is the #1 bestselling author in the Kindle Store at Amazon.co.uk, having sold over two million Kindle books in just four months. Her print and Kindle sales combined make her the #1 bestselling author of all time at Amazon.co.uk, eclipsing JK Rowling's total sales. She is a former KDP author.
  • The top 10 most popular authors of 2012 in the Amazon.co.uk Kindle Store are: EL James, Suzanne Collins, Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Lee Child, Nick Spalding, S.J. Watson, George R.R Martin, Katia Lief and Kerry Wilkinson. Three of these bestsellers – Nick Spalding, Katia Lief and Kerry Wilkinson- are KDP authors.

Customers continue to choose Kindle because they love the world-class reading experience it offers. Kindle and Kindle Touch offer the most advanced electronic ink display which reads like real paper with no glare, even in bright sunlight. Readers also love the added convenience of downloading their books in just 60 seconds, anytime, anywhere.
The Kindle Store at Amazon.co.uk offers customers a vast selection of over one million books - including the most best-sellers in the UK - plus subscriptions to hundreds of popular newspapers, magazines and blogs. Customers will also find great prices. More than half a million Kindle books are £3.99 or less and there are regular promotions, including Kindle Daily Deal, which offers customers a great discount on one popular e-book a day. In addition, over one million free books, including many of the classics, are also available to download.
Kindle books are "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" with free Kindle reading apps available for the most popular devices, including iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC , Mac and Android-based devices.