Amazon say Kindle e-book sales now higher than books

by Dale Wright

New figures from Amazon suggest that we just can’t get enough of our Kindle e-readers.

According to figures from the ecommerce giant, Amazon sold 114 e-books for every 100 ‘real’ books in their store.
amazon kindle logo Amazon say Kindle e book sales now higher than books

There are now three Kindle models in the UK: the original Kindle Keyboard, the new Kindle and a third model, Kindle Touch, which is available with and without 3G connectivity. Unlike the iPad or tablet computer, Kindles use a tiny amount of battery power to turn a page and don’t have a backlight, so one charge can last as long as a month. Anti-glare e-ink screens also makes them easy on the eye, particularly when the sun is shining.

Amazon’s Kindle store has been criticised for selling e-books at high prices, particularly when compared to paperbacks and hardbacks. E-books are subject to VAT, whereas print books aren’t, and this also pushes prices up – much to the dismay of consumers.

In response to price complains, Amazon launched a Kindle Daily Deal where one book a day is discounted to 99p. They also run sales and promotions, and many of the e-books in their store are priced under £4.

Hundreds of classics – such as Dracula, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and works by Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare – are free to download from the publisher, although these aren’t included in the figures released today.

Amazon have said that price isn’t an issue and paperbacks are as competitively priced as hardbacks. Sales of e-books have overtaken physical books within two years here in the UK; in the US, it took four years for that to happen.

Unfortunately the figures from Amazon are unaudited, so there’s no independent proof of their claims about e-books. However, until there’s a Kindle that can display colour images, it’s unlikely paperbacks and hardbacks will be in any danger of dying out.

Do you have a Kindle and a Snugg Kindle case? Or do you prefer to take a real book with you on holiday?