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Amazon: consumers buying more Kindle eBooks than print books

May 19, 2011 | 10:44 am

Likjaanc

Amazon.com said on Thursday that the company now sells more eBooks than books printed on paper.

"Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive, in a statement. "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."

Since April 1, for every 100 print books sold on Amazon, 105 Kindle eBooks have been sold, as noted by Times reporter Carolyn Kellogg on our sister blog Jacket Copy.

"This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition," the company said. "Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher."

The success of eBooks isn't limited to just Amazon and its Kindle. The entire industry is pushing more digital copies now, with eBook sales tripling over the last year.

Among the recent contributors to eBook sales for the Seattle-based retail giant is the newest, cheapest version of its Kindle -- Kindle with Special Offers -- which sells for $114 and has risen to be the company's best selling eReader, Bezos said.

Unlike other Kindles, Kindle with Special Offers runs advertisements and digital coupons on the eReader's display in a strip across the bottom of the home screen or as a screen saver when the device isn't in use.

But while Amazon is more than willing to disclose that its eBook sales have passed print, the company is sticking to its usual policy of not disclosing actual numbers for just how big the sales of either are.

From Jacket Copy:

Amazon also notes that year-to-date sales of Kindle e-books total more than three times those sold in the same period last year. But what those numbers are is not known.

Although Amazon is quick to share news of the popularity of its e-books, it does not make public actual numbers of Kindles sold or e-books sold.

RELATED:

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Amazon Kindle with Special Offers: costs $25 less, runs ads

'Rich Dad' author to release autographed e-book edition of 'Unfair Advantage'

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: An Amazon Kindle eReader stands between a row of books in this arranged photograph. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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