UK Citizens Love Their eBooks: Amazon
August 6, 2012

Amazon Reports More eBooks Sold Than Paper Books In The UK

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

With Silicon Valley and some of the world´s largest and most technologically advanced companies calling America home, those in the USA often consider themselves to be on the bleeding edge of where technology is heading.

Now, it seems the citizens of the UK might be catching up, as they quickly adopt new technology, nearly keeping pace with Americans. Last month, a study was released which showed the British are leading the charge where text messages are concerned, with the average Brit sending as many as 50 texts a day. This study concluded that Brits prefer to talk to one another via text over face-to-face communication.

Today, a new study was released which suggests that not only do Brits prefer to communicate digitally, they also prefer to read in the same fashion.

Amazon, the American company behind the Kindle ebook reader, has just revealed their UK portion of their ebook store is selling 114 ebooks for every 100 hardback or paperback books sold. In the name of fairness, Amazon did include paperback titles which were not available on the ebook store, though they did not count free ebooks in their numbers.

It´s a trend that´s already been noticed in the States, as Americans were buying 115 ebooks to every paperback in January 2011.

The release of these numbers is somewhat surprising as Amazon has so far refused to release any sales figures of their ebooks in the UK. Amazon does, however, release sales numbers for their physical copies sold. Though they released these numbers today, they told the Guardian they would not discuss their plan to announce these numbers in the future.

In addition to buying more ebooks from Amazon´s Kindle store, Amazon also says British Kindle users were buying 4 times more books prior to owning a Kindle, a statistic which Amazon is calling a renaissance of reading.

"As soon as we started selling Kindles it became our bestselling product on so there was a very quick adoption “¦ [And they] are buying four times more books prior to owning a Kindle," said an Amazon spokeswoman, in a statement.

“Generally there seems to be “¦ a love of a reading and a renaissance as a result of Kindle being launched."

Though most of these ebooks are generally affordable, Amazon said this increase in ebook sales could also be attributed to the availability of some new best sellers.

For instance, EL James´ latest best seller, “50 Shades of Grey” has been quite popular in ebook form, with sales of the digital copy helping to push overall sales past two million in only 4 months.

Furthermore, 3 of the top 10 most popular authors on Amazon´s Kindle store so far in 2012 – Nick Spalding, Katia Lief and Kerry Wilkinson – were published by Amazon´s Kindle Direct Publishing.

"Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow. We hit this milestone in the US less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle. As a result of the success of Kindle, we're selling more books than ever before on behalf of authors and publishers,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice-president of Kindle EU.