Amazon Reports e-Books Outselling Print

In case anyone still doubts the significance of the e-book revolution, Amazon announced today that Kindle e-books are now outselling all print books in their on-line store (hardcover and paperback combined).

Amazon began selling hardcover and paperback books in July 1995. Twelve years later in November 2007, Amazon 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 print books – hardcover and paperback – combined.

In the same statement, Amazon also said the the US$114.00 “Special Offers” Kindle is now the best-selling member of the Kindle family of e-reader devices. This would appear to once again illustrate that Amazon seems to be doing a pretty good job of keeping on top of what the e-book market wants, especially “sometime later this year” when they plan to embrace the EPub e-book format, the primary alternative to the MOBI format (upon which their AZW format is based) and the most popular format used for e-book lending in the US.

If you like factoids, here are some more from the press release:

  • 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 3x 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.