The death of print? ebook sales overtake paperbacks for the first time
Amazon’s latest financial results show what many have long predicted – sales of electronic books have overtaken print book sales for the first time.
The company announced today that it is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, it has sold 115 Kindle books.
Over the same period, it has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition.
Crucially, the company stated that free Kindle books were excluded from the figures, and if included would make the numbers even higher.
Amazon had previously announced that Kindle sales had surpassed sales of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the bestselling single product in the company’s history.
Time to pack up the printing press?
Of course, the runaway success of the Kindle is only part of the story – many popular books and magazines are also finding their way on to other handheld devices such as the iPad, and new tablet-only magazines are being launched by the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
So despite the long-running old media vs. new media debate, does this news finally mark the beginning of the end for Gutenberg’s dream?
Do you think the printed book’s days are numbered? Let us know below.
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