Home Kindle E-Books Now Outselling All Paper Books on Amazon

Kindle E-Books Now Outselling All Paper Books on Amazon

Amazon announced a bellwether moment for electronic books today – Kindle e-books now completely outsell hardcover and paperback copies combined.

We are not going to sit here and say anything foolish like “the paper book is dead.” It most certainly is not. Since April 1, 2011, for every 100 paper books that have been sold on Amazon.com, there have been 105 Kindle books sold, Amazon says. It is not like the e-book has killed the paper book and it probably never will. But, e-books are growing and Amazon’s simple formula is driving the pace. Device ubiquity plus low prices and popular content equals: one killer platform steamrolling the competition.

Of the 950,000 books in Amazon’s library, 790,000 of them are $9.99 or less. Price and volume have always been a part of Amazon’s success. Kindle and e-books sales have certainly benefitted from this. If the success of Amanda Hocking is any indication, books in the $0.99 to $2.99 range are particularly popular. Yet, price is a driving point for mainstream titles as well as 69 books from the New York Times Best Seller list are $9.99 or less as well.

If this announcement seems familiar, it kind of is. Amazon always announces how well Kindle books are doing compared to physical books. In January 2010, the Kindle-to-paper book ratio was six e-books for every 10 physical books. In July 2010, Kindle books outpaced hardcover books. In October, Kindle bestsellers outsold print bestsellers two to one. Now, for the first time, all combined Kindle sales are better than print. What else is left to announce?

Well, there is also this: Amazon’s newest offer in the Kindle family, the ad-support “Kindle with Special Offers” is already the best selling version of the e-reader, according to company. At $114, it is hard to beat.

Imagine Amazon taking its pricing and product formula into higher end devices. Amazon Android tablets are coming this year, there is little doubt about that anymore. It is a tricky landscape to enter. Amazon needs to make the user experience work on Android tablets in ways that the early entrants in the Honeycomb wars have not and sell it at a price point attractive to consumers.

Yet with Kindle books doing as well as they are, it is imaginable that Amazon can subsidize the margins on the hardware with book sales and perhaps even an ad-supported tablet like the new Kindle. It is interesting to watch the development and Amazon has done well for itself. It was one of the original huge Internet companies and it continues to dominate because it invests heavily in innovation and product strategy. Kindle and e-books are but a piece of a puzzle.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.