Digital books now overtaking print sales

It appears that digital book sales are starting to club traditional printing to death.

According to Amazon, Kindle digital versions of the top 10 best-selling books are now selling more than twice as often as print copies.

Steve Kessel, senior vice president of Amazon Kindle said that Kindle books are also outselling print books for the top 25, 100, and 1000 bestsellers – it’s across the board.

He said that it was remarkable when you consider that it had been selling hardcover and paperback books for 15 years, and Kindle books for just 36 months,.

The first indicator that ebooks had taken off was when Amazon announced in July that sales of electronic books for the Kindle have overtook hard cover book sales.

Kessel said that “for the top 10 best-selling books on Amazon.com, customers are choosing Kindle books over hardcover and paperback books combined at a rate of greater than two to one.”

Amazon said it sold more than three times as many Kindle books in the first nine months of this year as in the first nine months of 2009.

What appeared to be the tipping point for ereaders was when a price ward took place resulting in the Kindle, the Sony Reader and the Nook dropping to a price which was acceptable.

It is felt that ebooks might lead a renaissance in reading. The industry has been suffering lately from high priced products and book distributors going under.

Typically, one of the biggest costs for books are distribution costs at around 60 percent of the final total. Production costs are usually about 15 percent. An ebook costs a fraction of that cost to make and distribution can be done from a single server leaving the publisher and the author to profit.

The only problem then becomes the marketing of each title.