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E-books finally dust print on Amazon

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Twelve years after it sold its first book, Amazon now sells more e-books than printed copies. The e-commerce giant said just six months ago that digital books for its Kindle were already outpacing paperback and hardcover book sales. The company said it sells 105 Kindle books for every 100 print books. It excludes free e-books from its analysis because it would skew the results even higher in favor of digital formats.

The popularity of its Kindle e-books has fueled "the fastest year-over-year growth rate for Amazon's US books business, in both units and dollars, in over 10 years," the company said in announcing the milestone May 19.

What's true for Amazon, though, isn't necessarily the case elsewhere. As The New York Times piece on the news points out that e-books still only account for 14% of "all general consumer fiction and nonfiction books sold" according to Forrester Research.

Nonetheless, it's only a matter of time – sorry Library lovers – until digital outperforms print elsewhere as well. A trend we all know well in marketing. From the NYT:

Even if e-books overall do not outsell print books outside of Amazon, the online bookstore is certainly a strong indicator of a trend. E-book sales in March were $69 million, an increase of 146 percent from the year before, the Association of American Publishers said Thursday. Sales of adult hardcover books grew 6 percent while paperback sales decreased nearly 8 percent.

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