Kindle sales surge; ebooks eclipse hardcovers

Jul 20, 2010
0
Kindle sales surge; ebooks eclipse hardcovers

Amazon may have been pushed into lowering the price of their Kindle ebook reader after Barnes & Noble laid down the gauntlet with their nook discount, but it sounds like the decision ended up doing them a significant favor.  The Kindle sales growth rate has apparently tripled since the $70 reduction in June, while sales of ebooks have eclipsed sales of hardcover books.

In fact, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon has sold in the US in the past three months, they've sold 143 ebooks.  The numbers are even starker if you look at just the last 30 days: 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books.

Amazon say the figures include the full range of hardcovers - even where no Kindle equivalent exists - and doesn't take into account free Kindle titles.  Three times as many ebooks were sold in the first half of 2010 as were in the same period in 2009.

Press Release:

KINDLE DEVICE UNIT SALES ACCELERATE EACH MONTH IN SECOND QUARTER;
NEW $189 PRICE RESULTS IN TIPPING POINT FOR GROWTH

Amazon.com now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books

SEATTLE—July 19, 2010—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Millions of people are already reading on Kindles and Kindle is the #1 bestselling item on Amazon.com for two years running. It’s also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon.com. Today, Amazon.com announced that Kindle device unit sales accelerated each month in the second quarter—both on a sequential month-over-month basis and on a year-over-year basis.

“We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle—the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books—astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.”

Kindle offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, including New Releases and 106 of 110 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 510,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 75 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.

Recent milestones for Kindle books include:

Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of hardcover books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009.
The Association of American Publishers’ latest data reports that e-book sales grew 163 percent in the month of May and 207 percent year-to-date through May. Kindle book sales in May and year-to-date through May exceeded those growth rates.
On July 6, Hachette announced that James Patterson had sold 1.14 million e-books to date. Of those, 867,881 were Kindle books.
Five authors—Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts—have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books.
Readers are responding to Kindle’s uncompromising approach to the reading experience. Weighing 10.2 ounces, Kindle can be held comfortably in one hand for hours, has an e-ink display that is easy on the eyes even in bright daylight, has two weeks of battery life, lets you buy your books once and read them everywhere—on your Kindle, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices—and has free 3G wireless with no monthly fees or annual contracts—all at a $189 price.

Learn more about Kindle at www.amazon.com/kindle.


Must Read Bits & Bytes