13 August 2012 by Dominic Lenton
The Kindle was officially launched in Britain in August 2010 and by May the following year e-books were selling better than hardbacks. The next milestone of outstripping all physical sales - one which took four years to achieve in the US - was reached this month.
According to Jorrit Van der Meulen, the vice-president responsible for Amazon's European Kindle business, print business continues to grow, and the company is selling more books across the board than ever before.
The devil's in the detail though. Figures exclude all the free books that are so effective at drawing readers into the Amazon ecosystem but create a perception that e-books should be cheaper all round than print editions. Publishers would have you believe that this is a myth, with printing and distributing books accounting for only a small proportion of costs when royalties, marketing and other aspects of bringing a new title to the shelves are considered.
The pile them high and sell them cheap ethos that is anathema to most traditional booksellers creeps into Amazon's list of reasons why readers love their Kindles. "More than half a million Kindle books are £3.99 or less, and there are regular promotions, including Kindle Daily Deal, which offers customers a great discount on one popular e-book a day."
No arguing with the idea that the public buying more books is a good thing, but what does it mean for the book trade if - somewhere along the line - revenue's being slowly eroded?
Posted By: Dominic Lenton @ 13 August 2012 01:08 PM General
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