Hold onto your hats – and your books – because this just may shock you. Amazon this week released a report that says that sales of the Amazon Kindle versions of books are outselling hardcover books nearly 2:1!
In a statement released yesterday, Amazon said that “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.”
Says Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, “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.”
In the first six months of 2010, Amazon has sold 3x as many Kindle’s as they did for the same time period just a year earlier, in 2009.
In addition, Amazon has released free Kindle applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones, which allow users of those devices to order the Kindle version of books and have them immediately delivered to their device for reading within the free Kindle application. The Kindle applications are also easy to use, and visually stunning (much more so than the experience of reading a book on an actual Kindle, in fact).
The figures released by Amazon this week include book sales across Amazon’s entire U.S.-based book business, and include sales of hardcover books even where there is no Kindle edition (although it is unclear whether by “hardcover” Amazon means paper-based books, including paperbacks, or the more traditional meaning of “hardcover”; clearly one usage suggests a more impressive Kindle lead than does the other). Also, says Amazon, “Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.”
Adds Bezos, “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.”
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