E-books more popular than paperbacks in UK

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Ebooks are now selling in greater numbers than paperback in the UK 

Scottish newsE-books more popular than paperbacks in UK

by Rosie Harrison

According to Amazon, Electronic book sales have overtaken printed versions with 114 ebooks being sold for every 100 paperbacks.

UK readers switched to ebooks twice as fast as the US. Kindle EU vice-president Jorrit Van der Meulan is encouraged that it only took two years for UK readers to convert to Kindle.

The popularity of electronic books has boosted Amazon’s sales: in the last quarter the firms’ sales are up 29 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching a total of £8.18bn. This growth has had a positive impact on Scotland, creating 950 new jobs, mostly at a new distribution centre in Dunfermline.   

The conversion to ebooks is also welcome news for many authors as Kindles allow self-publication, increasing authors’ income as they avoid giving publishers a cut of their profits.

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Edinburgh–based publisher Hugh Andrew is confident that paperbacks will retain a share of the market. As Amazon sells 80 percent of the ebooks sold in the UK, it isn’t surprising or necessarily representative that they are selling a higher proportion of ebooks. He sees an opportunity for positive change:

“Paperbacks will undoubtedly change as a result. The cost of producing them will rise and at the same time they will become more carefully formatted and, ultimately, will probably become a much better product.”  

He also predicts that mainly ‘disposable holiday reading’ will sell electronically whilst other forms of fiction will continue to be sold in paperback. This prediction is supported as the most popular writer so far this year is EL James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey.

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published this page in News 2012-08-06 15:43:00 +0100