It was a matter of time before this milestone was announce and Amazon made the announcement first. It’s e-book division has outsold the hardback book division. Amazon reported it has sold 143 e-books for its Kindle e-book reader for every 100 hardback books in the last three months.
The rate of e-books accelerated over the three month report. In the last 4 weeks Amazon reports 180 e-books for every 100 hardbacks sold. Keep in mind these are e-books for the Kindle and does not take into account other booksellers also selling e-books. The e-books are definitely being highly accepted.
Amazon reported that James Patterson, mystery writer, has sold 1.1 million e-books to date, Stieg Larsson, who penned the Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and Stephanie Meyer who authored the very successful Twilight vampire series have each sold 500,000 e-books.
While e-books are being more widely accepted, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) reported hardback book sales were up by 22 per cent this year in the US. The association said e-book sales account for 6 per cent of total book sales. One publisher in London said: “There is no reason to suppose we won’t see the same thing happening here.”
Kate Pool, Deputy General Secretary of the Royal Society of Authors, said: “If you speak to most authors, they couldn’t bear to get rid of their old bookshelves, but if their readers want to read on an e-reader, then great. They are in it to earn a living after all.”
Part of the reason the digital e-book sales may not be as large in the UK as in the US is that though the Kindle has been available since October, one must visit the US Amazon site to get the device delivered. The iPad seems to be more popular than the Kindle in the UK.
Many are awaiting the move into the e-book market to see which readers come out on top and for prices to lower. Amazon reports the Kindle is their bestselling item. Amazon boasts of a 630,000 book catalogue with 1.8 million titles as listing for free. The AAP reported overall e-book sales had grown 163 per cent in May.