Sunday, July 31, 2011

E-Books overtake Print Books at Amazon

Jumbo Editorial Team

A recent report published in New York Times has brought to light the fact that E-books have started outselling Print Books describing the unfolding tale of the book evolution from ink to pixels quoting whose customers now buy more e-books than print books.

Since April 1, Amazon sold 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books, including books without Kindle versions and excluding free e-books.

This has not come as a startling disclosure to industry observers because the company had said last July that sales of e-books outnumbered hardcover books and it said in January that the same was true for paperbacks.

“We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, in a statement. “We’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.”

But people should not exile their bookshelves to storage quite yet, many analysts warned. Over all, e-books account for only about 14 percent of all general consumer fiction and nonfiction books sold, according to Forrester Research.

“E-book reading is a big deal and it’s going to continue to be even bigger,” said James L. McQuivey, a digital media analyst at Forrester. “But we are not to the point where e-books are a majority of unit sales and certainly not a majority of revenue.”

Amazon has credited the surge in e-book sales in part to its newest, lowest-priced Kindle with ads, which was introduced in April for $114 and is now Amazon’s best-selling Kindle.

E-books have become vastly more accessible to consumers in the last year. Across the industry, publishers have been rapidly digitizing their catalogue of books, making older titles available in e-book form for the first time.

Even smaller independent houses that had resisted selling e-books have changed their position and discovered a new way to sell their older books-traditionally a large part of many publishers’ revenues.

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