It happened so fast: E-books now surpass print book sales at Amazon
Less than 4 years after they were introduced by Amazon, e-books have now overtaken print.
It was just before Christmas of 2007 that Amazon introduced the Kindle and began selling e-books. Two and a half years later, in July, 2010, the company announced that it was selling more e-books than hardcovers. Six months after that, it said that e-book sales had overtaken paperback sales.Skip to next paragraph
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"Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we've been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years," Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a statement.
In part the company credits its Kindle with Special Offers (an advertising-supported version of the e-reader which sells for $114) with speeding the rise of its e-book sales. The low-priced device is "already the bestselling member of the Kindle family in the US," according to Amazon.
Outside of Amazon, how fast are e-book sales growing? According to Barnes & Noble executive Marc Parrish, 2013 will be the tipping point. In other words, traditional book retailers have only two years in which to adapt to an e-book-centric industry.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's Books editor.