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E-Books Outselling All Print Books on Amazon

Posted on 5.18.2011

Sales of Kindle books on Amazon have overtaken those of both print and hardcover formats combined, according to the online retailer.

Amazon began selling hardcover and paperback books in July 1995. Twelve years later in November 2007, the company introduced the revolutionary Kindle and began selling Kindle books. By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales and, six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com.

Today, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all printed book formats combined.

“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” says Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. “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.”

Recent milestones for the Kindle – and the digital book industry as a whole – include the following:

•    Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.

•    So far in 2011, the tremendous growth of Kindle book sales, combined with the continued growth in Amazon’s print book sales, have resulted in the fastest year-over-year growth rate for Amazon’s U.S. books business, in both units and dollars, in over 10 years. This includes books in all formats, print and digital. Free books are excluded in the calculation of growth rates.

•    In the five weeks since its introduction, Kindle with Special Offers for only $114 is already the bestselling member of the Kindle family in the U.S.

•    Amazon sold more than three times as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010.

•    Less than one year after introducing the UK Kindle Store, Amazon.co.uk is now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books, even as hardcover sales continue to grow. Since April 1, Amazon.co.uk customers are purchasing Kindle books over hardcover books at a rate of more than 2 to 1.

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