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eBooks Outsell Print Books at Amazon.UK

Philip Overby

Article Team
Interesting. I think this trend will continue. I (sadly?) haven't bought a print book since getting my Kindle. And yes, I am one of those that likes both print and e-books. For someone that travels a lot, the Kindle is just easier overall for me.
I don't think I've bought a print book since we got our first Kindle. Well, one or two cases, usually as gifts for people who don't have Kindles. Or special things; we once bought my parents a book of goofy old-fashioned postcards as a holiday gift, and it wouldn't really make sense in an ebook format (at least, not then; there were no color ebook readers).


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
If you've got a Kindle, the only reason to buy a paperback is price, and the only reason to buy a hardcover is luxury. So, I would guess ebook sales will peak around 90% of the market or higher.

What are they doing in schools nowadays? That's going to be a big part of how quickly things change. If Amazon gave out free Kindles to school children, books would be nearly dead within a decade.


I must admit to possibly having some small influence on the pendulum swing, not because I'm buying ebooks (I'm not - I don't even have a reader) but because I'm buying fewer physical books. I'm using the library more than I used to because when I move out of my parents house I won't have the space for even a quarter of the books I have so I've got to limit what I buy.

I don't think the ebook market will be as much as 90% of books sold for a while. For a start, a lot of people don't have e-readers, myself included. This is partly due to the cost - while it might be cheaper to buy one e-reader than, say, fifteen books, add the price of ebooks and it'll take a while to make it worthwhile; though compared to getting most books form a library, even if you're paying a nominal fee to reserve a book like my local library charges (35p to reserve a book when it's already out, and get it sent to the right library, because the whole county's libraries are interlinked and share books), it's very expensive indeed; but I digress - people reading library books doesn't take up a share of the market except the library's need to buy the books in the first place. Partly it's to do with the feel and smell and Romance of real books (I love nothing better than the smell of a book, whether new or old).

Also some publishers create a delay after hardback publication before paperback and ebook are published. Thus fans of an author who want to read a book as soon as possible will, in this case, buy the hardback. Yes it's more expensive, and that's the point, but that will still hold a portion of the physical sales until all publishers put ebooks out in tandem with hardback release.

I wonder what the proportion of traditional vs self-published books are as far as the physical/digital ratio goes. I would imagine the self-pubbed books would be leading the charge on this, but it'd be interesting to see the figures if anyone knows where to find them.