Amazon in the UK have just released news that for the first time ever eBooks are outselling printed books. We have heard similar news coming from the US, but now it looks as though the revolution has begun in ernest over here too.
The other shock news is that customers are also buying four times as many ebooks as they were before when they were buying printed versions. There is no doubt that peoples reading habits are significantly changing, and the how, where and when they look at books is being redefined.
It’s hard to know how many Kindles have been sold because Amazon will not release the sales figures, but they are clearly increasing exponentially. eReaders of all descriptions are being carried in women’s handbags, and nestled in to the inside pockets of suit jackets.
People now have their ‘good book’ with them at all times, and it is no longer a ball-ache or a hassle to carry around a thick, heavy tome just incase you get five minutes to yourself.
In a word… everywhere. There is no longer any boundaries to where you can read a book; physically or socially. It is accepted in to the mainstream and people are no longer classed as bookworms or nerds just because they’re reading.
I think the one major factor to this is that all Kindles look the same from the outside. Reading in public is no longer an advertisement in to your personality, your cultural standing, your sexuality, your class, or anything else. Nobody knows if you’re reading Fifty Shades of Grey or Tolstoy. This has to have made a difference in the volume of sales increasing.
All of the time. There is an insatiable appetite for more and more books because they are being digested so quickly. Also, the price of the average ebook means that you really can get through a large quantity without it hurting your pocket.
All of this looks very healthy for the future of ebooks, and with my own vested interest in the subject, it means that my own chosen route to the market looks good. Another interesting stat from Amazon showed that three of the top ten selling authors were self-published.
I’ve explained before about the level playing field on Amazon, and it appears at the moment to be a great marketplace where quality will out shine, and it does not seem to matter how the author is published, as long as it’s good.
It looks as though the revolution is gaining momentum, and similar to the music industry, all of the rules are being redefined. What do you think; is this a great opportunity, or perhaps just wishful thinking?