Entertainment

E-book sales outpacing hardcovers: Amazon

E-book sales for the Kindle digital reader have surpassed hardcover book sales at online retail giant Amazon, founder Jeff Bezos says.

E-book sales for the Kindle digital reader have surpassed hardcover book sales at online retail giant Amazon, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says.

"Even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format," Bezos said in a statement on Monday.

"Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books — astonishing when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."

According to Amazon officials, 143 Kindle e-books were sold for every 100 hardcovers sold in the past three months. Looking at the past month, 180 e-books were sold for every 100 hardcover titles.

The company also said it sold three times as many e-books in the first half of 2010 as it did during the first half of 2009.

The sale of paperbacks was not included in the tallying.

Amazon also maintained its policy of declining to reveal the exact sales numbers for the Kindle device or for e-books.

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Bezos attributed the "tipping point" to the company's recent price drops for different versions of the Kindle reader.

Amazon slashed prices on the Kindle in late June and early July amid increasing competition, namely from the newly unveiled Apple iPad portable tablet computer — which features a colour e-reader — but also from rival devices such as Barnes & Noble's Nook and the Sony Reader.

With files from The Associated Press

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