Amazon, the leading book retailer in the United Kingdom, confirmed that the company’s current sales of ebooks have surpassed the combined sales of paperbacks and hardbacks.
The company said that print books and ebooks for its Kindle e-book reader device have achieved a sales ratio of 100:114. Kindle owners are purchasing four times as many books as they did prior to buying the device.
The erotic fiction bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey is said to be one of the titles that have boosted sales of Amazon ebooks, with over 31 million copies sold worldwide. Two million of these sales took place during a short span of four months.
Self-publishing also improved Amazon’s ebook sales, as authors who used Kindle Direct Publishing increased significantly by 400 percent. This includes British author Kerry Wilkinson, who belongs to the list of the site’s bestsellers.
But Ian Clark, a prominent blogger, said that Amazon’s sales should not lead to the conclusion that ebooks dominate print books. He argued that proper sales data is needed to be able to compare the real ebook market.
Jonathan Ruppin, Web Editor at Foyles, said the ebook trend is something that the book industry needs to deal with, adding that a boost in ebook sales might continue and will likely exceed printed sales.
Despite this, Ruppin still showed a glimmer of hope that traditional bookshops would still flourish despite the apparent growth of the ebook market.
Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice-President of Kindle’s European operations, reports that United Kingdom customers prefer Kindle books because of their availability and vast range of titles.