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Kindle ebooks outsell hardbacks for first time

Amazon.co.uk figures reveal ebook sales growth

Amazon Kindle

Amazon has revealed that sales of Kindle ebooks in its UK online store have outstripped those of hardback books for the first time.

Amazon.co.uk has reportedly sold 242 ebooks for every 100 hardbacks, according to sales figures since 1 April 2011. 

Gordon Willoughby, European director at Kindle, said: ‘This is truly astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books from Amazon.co.uk for over 13 years and Kindle books for only nine months.’

Book buyers in the US have embraced ebooks in even greater volumes. The latest figures for Amazon.com reveal that it is now selling more ebooks than printed books across all paperback and hardback titles. 

While Amazon’s UK store sells more than 650,000 Kindle titles, there are 300,000 more ebooks available in the US, although the Amazon Kindle store had a three-year head-start on the UK. In the four years since the Kindle first went on sale it has become Amazon’s top-selling product. 

Discover all there is to know about ebooks using our ebook readers explained interactive tool.

Pricing controversy

Ebook pricing is under scrutiny, as in many cases the prices of an ebook is higher than the equivalent paper copy. In the UK, the Office of Fair Trading is investigating the practice of ‘agency pricing’, whereby publishers set the price of ebooks instead of the retailers. This has led, many feel, to ebook prices that are unrealistically high.

Do you think ebook prices are too high? Share your views on Which? Conversation.

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