Amazon: UK now buying more e-books than print books

Two years after the Kindle was launched in the UK, Amazon's customers there are now buying more e-books than printed books. In the US, the distance between the Kindle release and that milestone was four years

Amazon customers in the UK now buy more e-books through the company's services than they do physical books.

It has been more than a year since Amazon's US operations revealed that print had been eclipsed by digital in that country, but it was only on Monday that the company said the same feat had been achieved in the UK, two years after the Kindle appeared here.

Kindle Touch
Amazon has said UK readers are now buying more e-books from it than print books, just two years on from the Kindle's launch. Image credit: Amazon

"Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow," Kindle EU chief Jorrit Van der Meulen said in a statement. "We hit this milestone in the US less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle."

Amazon said it had sold 114 e-books for every 100 print books in the UK so far this year. This tally does not include free e-books.

The company also claimed that Kindle users in the UK bought four times the number of books than they did before owning the device, and touted the success of its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

"Over the past year, there has been more than a 400-percent increase in independent UK authors and publishers using KDP to share their books with the millions of Kindle readers worldwide," Amazon said.

The firm highlighted the fact that three of the top 10 bestselling authors in the UK Kindle Store rankings for 2012 were KDP authors.