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Top 10 Kindle books outsell dead-tree versions 2-1

Amazon's most popular books slurped up by e-readers

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Amazon's top 10 books are selling twice as many digital editions as hardback and paperback combined, although the company still isn't providing any hard figures to back up the claim.

In July Amazon said that digital editions were outselling paper books overall, but now the top 1,000 books are selling more digital editions than hard copies, with the ratio being more than two to one for the top 10 titles.

It would be interesting to know how many Kindles have been sold, and how many of those digital editions are being downloaded onto tablets and/or telephones, but Amazon isn't sharing those figures. The company has always been very tight-lipped about volumes, which makes sense when it is more interested in Kindle the platform than Kindle the device.

Not that the devices aren't selling; the Kindle is Amazon's best-selling piece of electronics on both sides of the pond, though the fact that it's not available anywhere else obviously plays its part. The new Kindle is very cheap, and reviewed well despite still having a keyboard attached. But the battle for readers is more about platforms, and content, than technology.

It is the content aspect that is getting more interesting. Kindle launched Kindle Singles a couple of weeks back, offering a revenue-generating platform for those whose internal book is more of a pamphlet. Yesterday "Borders - GET PUBLISHED" went live for bloggers who want to find a way to make their content pay; the programme suggests copying and pasting blog content to create your own book which can then be sold for up to $9.99 ... assuming anyone is prepared to buy it.

But with attention spans declining so rapidly, perhaps the market is ripe for shorter texts. Given time, one of those top 10 books will only be available in electronic form, but we can't help thinking it will be a very long time. ®

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