For the first time ever, Amazon.com claims it is selling more digital books than those made from trees.
Amazon, which has become one of the world's most familiar brands, started flogging books over the Internet in 1995. The company introduced its own Kindle e-book reader in 2007 and within three years digital downloads surpassed those of hardback titles. Six months after that the number of e-books downloaded surpassed the number of paperbalcks sold, and today Amazon has announced that it is selling more titles for Kindle than all other books combined.
"Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly - we've been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon.com.
In real terms Amazon has sold 105 digital books for every 100 print books it sells, including books where there is no Kindle edition, since April 1st this year.
Sales of Kindle books in 2011 have boosted the company's earnings so much that it had its best figures for year-on-year growth for more than a decade, and the oufit has already sold three times as many Kindle titles so far this year than it did in the whole of 2010.
Despite launching less than a year ago, Kindle sales in the UK already exceed those of hardback print editions by two-to-one.
Amazon offers close to a million paid-for Kindle titles and millions of out-of-copyright freebies published before 1923, or 'classics' if you work in the marketing department.
Some users find it hard to understand why digital editions are so expensive and we stick our oar in here.