Yes, Amazon sell more e-books than dead wood, but calm down
Amazon is the world's biggest online retailer of books, so when they announce they're now selling more e-books than paperbacks, that's something of a big deal. E-books started outselling hardbacks last year; now they're outselling all books.
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos:
"Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books."
It's obviously a milestone on the timeline of publishing, but while the rest of the intermaweb gets over-excited over the fact, it's worth bearing in mind the context of the figures.
First, this announcement covers the US store only, not worldwide sales; it's important to bear this in mind, since the Kindle was available in the US well before any other territory.
There's also the point that it's the Kindle that's driving these sales; the Kindle is Amazon's number one product right now and, with the exception of airports and the like, is only available to buy through Amazon. In other words, it's no surprise that Amazon are selling so many e-books, because the company is simply satisfying the demands of its own consumer base.
The figures are impressive, but not ubiquitous - escalating e-book sales is a trend an process that will only gather momentum, but it's not the end of dead wood publishing just yet.