Amazon released further stats this week to underline the success of its Kindle adoption with the headline news that its .co.uk site is outselling print copies by more than 2 to 1. The site now sells 242 Kindle books for every 100 print books sold.
According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, they "never imagined it would happen this quickly." So what has led to this juggernaut of adoption? Here are five reasons to help explain how they did it.
1. The aggressive Christmas campaign
Launched in the UK in August 2010 to much fanfare, Amazon backed the Kindle aggressively. It reserved the prime advertising slot on the homepage to promote its availability and price, as it had done with previous success on its .com site.
Direct emails promoted Kindle editions and their immediate availability against print, searches produced Kindle editions next to print - both in the drop-down search box and on the results page. Amazon was committed to making the Kindle its number one selling gadget and format and this top-down backing resulted in success from these integrated campaigns.
Availability is also an important factor that encouraged Christmas sales. If the weather behaves itself, December is the traditional month for media stories about the shortage of that year's top-selling presents. The Nintendo Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS and others have all been blighted by speed of production and distribution issues. While the Kindle wasn't immune to this, it managed to handle the volume of sales in a more efficient manner.
2. Clever advertising
Amazon's UK launch was backed with the company's first television campaign. This featured a couple sitting on a beach, positioning the Kindle not only as your ideal travel companion but firmly against the iPad and other mobile devices. Its E Ink screen enables you to read in direct sunlight, something the iPad can't compete with.
3. In-device purchasing
The Kindle's easy in-device purchasing with one-click checkout has pushed sales much in the same way that Apple grew its app sales. It's just as easy to buy your books through the Kindle as it is on Amazon's website - and importantly, personalistion and upselling make it just as tempting.
4. The Kindle App
Even if you don't own a Kindle, you can buy Kindle editions from its app. Enabling and encouraging iPad as well as laptop, netbook and PC users to buy and read Kindle editions meant sales weren't restricted to Kindle reader owners.
5. Cheap pricing of Kindle books
With Amazon pushing the Kindle as the number one selling present for Christmas 2010, many publishers took advantage by dropping prices. Amazon also took a loss on many titles by increasing the consumer discount, making many book purchases an easy decision. This stimulated sales and encouraged consumer migration from print.
Despite many Kindle editions now being more expensive than the paperback version, the convenience of in-device purchasing, and its convenient masking of print price, means that many consumers have found it difficult to go back to print. This is Amazon's real achievement.