Are e-books the preferred medium for reading material?
by Keris Lahiff
Times are a’changing. Of this you are probably already aware. And, chances are you didn’t read that in a book (or at least one you’d be holding in your hot little hands).
At least that is according to Amazon’s latest report – Amazon, the US-based international e-commerce store, reported that in the fourth quarter of 2010 it sold more e-books than paperbacks in the US. In fact, for every 115 e-book downloads sold, it sold 100 paperback books on a like-for-like basis. This doesn’t account for any free e-book downloads, which would make the ratio significantly higher in favour of electronic literature.
“Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com,” says Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Last July, we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year , so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected.”
So what does this mean for the more traditional paper form of book? For traditional booksellers, it looks like high time for a business model restructure. At least that is the business warning signal, for one big bookselling business – Borders Group Inc. According to The Wall Street Journal, the international business has secured a $500 million credit line and hired a network of bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers to prepare for the future.
But the traditional paperback isn’t a dying medium just yet, if sales on Amazon are any indicator. The business says paperback sales continues to grow.
“It’s on top of continued growth in paperback sales,” says Bezos of the e-book format’s growing popularity.
Published on: Thursday, February 10, 2011