Kindle news from Amazon: ebooks now outseling paperback books

images.jpgFrom the press release:

Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. 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. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the numbers even higher.

The Company sold millions of third-generation Kindle devices with the new advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display in the fourth quarter and the third-generation Kindle eclipsed “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” as the bestselling product in Amazon’s history.

The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 810,000 books including New Releases and 107 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 670,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 74 New York Times Bestsellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.

6 Comments on Kindle news from Amazon: ebooks now outseling paperback books

  1. Wow. They said this would be coming soon but I didn’t think it would be this soon.

    This demonstrates the difference between a company that has fully embraced e-books and the rest of the industry… that clearly hasn’t.

  2. Note the “Since the beginning of the year” bit. A lot of people got Kindles for Christmas and have been buying lots of books as a result. Paperback books on the other hand get no such boost. The tune will be different in a couple of months when the new device mentality has settled down.

  3. I disagree Frode, it’s basically the end of January, a whole month after xmas and long enough for anyone who bought/got a kindle to have tried it out. I think they are now seeing those individuals decide that they actually like the e-reader and are now buying their 2nd, 3rd, etc books.

    I have bought my first 3 kindle books this month for my sony 650 that weren’t available in epub – they are all non-fiction books that no one else has managed to get in their e-stores. After a quick conversion in calibre, they are now on my sony. Amazon has done amazing stuff with getting books into their kindle store and also producing great customer service. Since all the DRM schemes are incredibly easy to convert, this means that the only sticking point now to conquer is geo restrictions.

  4. Yeah. Get rid of the “stupid” geo restrictions and we’re off to the races.

  5. @MarkChan — The numbers are through Q4 2010, that is, through December 31, 2010, and so exclude any sales that occurred in January. Frode may well be right; we need to wait for the 2011 results.

    One interesting note, however, is that Amazon’s income declined by approximately 2% even with the increased sales and Amazon missed Wall Street’s expectations (and its own projections) causing its stock to drop.

  6. @Rich, Frode, and Mark

    This was from the press release accompanying the earnings report, not the report itself. So “since the beginning of the year” in this case means January 1-25, 2011.

    I think Frode makes a good point that this may be a misleading time period. I also wonder if by specifying “the Company” they mean they are not counting used books sales from the marketplace. Between the lower used book price, and the lower Kindle book price, which are listed on every book page, its almost difficult to even find the new, hardcover or paperback version.

    That being said, last year at this time they were bragging about Kindle outselling hardcovers. So we can surmise that Kindle sales have tripled.

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