An eBook provides the ultimate in convenience. No longer do you need to head to the high street to purchase the latest bestseller, or even to wait until it can be delivered to you. Instead you can simply select your title of preference, wait for a couple of minutes and voila, the book is with you in eBook form. If you own Amazon’s Kindle device you don’t even need to be connected to a computer to download your favourite books, as you could simply hop onto your mobile broadband network and have access to many titles on the move.
In our convenience lifestyle it’s no wonder then that eBooks have started to grow in popularity over the last couple of years. The success of this new technology has reached a new milestone now though, as Amazon has announced that, over the last three months, 180 Kindle eBooks have been sold for every 100 hardcover books. For the first time in history, eBooks have outsold their traditional hardcover rivals.
Although the figures released by online retail giant Amazon do not cover the sales of paperback books, it is obvious that eBooks are on the rise. The US in particular has latched onto the eBook market firmly, with the majority of sales coming from this country. However other countries are starting to get to grips with the technology, with Amazon starting to sell its Kindle eBook readers in Australia toward the end of last year.
One possible cause for the recent success of the eBook is the significant drop in price of the Kindle device itself. Many sources claimed that the new iPad from Apple would run the Kindle out of the water, however due to the high price tag associated with the Apple device the cheaper option has certainly maintained its popularity. Even Amazon’s large screen version of the Kindle, only released on the 1st of July, has already seen its price slashed to be cheaper than the cheapest iPad available.
If you are interested in getting hold of a Kindle for yourself to enjoy instant access to a range of different books, you should be aware that the performance of the device is not the same in Australia as can be boasted in the US. The connection to the 3G network to allow you to download new titles can often be painfully slow, due in part to confusion as to who actually provides the broadband coverage for Australian customers. You may also find that less content is available than expected, with many popular Australian authors not present at all.
As eBook technology is still comparatively new, we can certainly expect to see significant updates and improvements to Amazon’s Kindle service within Australia soon. Whether sales of eBooks will continue to rise to overtake that of paperback and hardback books remains to be seen, but it looks likely that this is a technology that is here to stay.