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Amazon U.K. E-Book Sales Surpass Print
Amazon announced that for the first time in the U.K., sales of e-books have surpassed all forms of printed works.
Last year Amazon revealed that e-books had surpassed paperback and hardcover books in terms of overall sales. Now it seems that trend has made its way across the pond, as Amazon’s U.K. arm just announced that British readers are also buying more e-books than any other format.
In the past, European consumers have been saddled with a reputation that paints them as lovers of all things analog, eschewing a number of digital innovations popularized by Silicon Valley in the U.S. But in recent years Europe, and the U.K. in particular, has shed any hints of Luddite tendencies, with the Kindle’s popularity in the region serving as just the latest example.
“Customers in the U.K. are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow,” Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of the Kindle EU division, said in a statement. “We hit this milestone in the U.S. less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the U.K. is remarkable and shows how quickly U.K. readers are embracing Kindle.”
A good deal of this shift toward e-books in the U.K. has been driven by self-published authors such as British-born E.L. James, the writer of the hit novel 50 Shades of Grey. James sold over 2 million e-books in just four months, and is currently the No. 1 best-selling author of all time on Amazon U.K., ahead of even J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
“We’re selling more books than ever before on behalf of authors and publishers,” Van der Meulen said. “And thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing, thousands of self-published authors have also been given an outlet to share their work with the millions of Kindle readers worldwide.” Of the top ten most popular authors on Amazon U.K., three are self-published authors who used the Kindle Direct Publishing system.
In July 2010, Amazon announced that sales of electronic books for its Kindle e-book reader surpassed sales of hardcover books on the site. Six months later, sales of Kindle books surpassed that of paperbacks. Last year, Kindle book downloads topped hardcovers and paperbacks combined.
By Adario Strange, PCMag