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Monday, July 19, 2010

Amazon Kindles Are Selling Like Hotcakes

Posted by on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM

It's the press release that rocked the publishing world: Amazon just announced that Kindle and Kindle e-book sales are doing incredibly well.

"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 "In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. 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."
Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books. This is across'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.

The full press release is over here. I still expect the Kindle format to lose some ground as iPads, Nooks, and other e-book platforms proliferate, but Amazon's head start on e-books continues to look ridiculously smart.


Comments (10) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Somehow I doubt these metrics.

You'd expect to see more sales of the chipsets for them if it was the true picture.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 19, 2010 at 4:59 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 2
I bet Bezos is "Over the moon!" about this!
Posted by michael strangeways on July 19, 2010 at 5:06 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
Anecdotal evidence: I saw a crapload of them in the Seattle and San Jose airports this weekend.
Posted by Fnarf on July 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM · Report this
josh 4
I don't know. I think that iPad (or other multi-format compatible devices) only helps the Kindle format. Since buying an iPad, I've found that I'm much more likely to find a title of interest in the Kindle store than in the iBookstore.
Posted by josh on July 19, 2010 at 6:16 PM · Report this
I have to agree with Josh. The smartest thing Amazon has done with the Kindle is make it mostly platform agnostic. I can read the books on my Android phone, my wife can read them on her iPhone. We can read them on a windows laptop, or a mac. If we ever buy a tablet, we'll be able to read them there too. I can do all this without ever buying a Kindle device.
Posted by arbeck on July 19, 2010 at 6:38 PM · Report this
Fnarf 6
In Seattle and San Jose airports I saw only one iPad, which some six year old was playing a very loud pingy game on.
Posted by Fnarf on July 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM · Report this
Doesn't this assume Bezos is smart enough to not try lying whenever he thinks he can get away with it?

When has that ever been the case?
Posted by Montdidier on July 19, 2010 at 11:08 PM · Report this
gember 8
I'd believe this, in no small part because I don't really know anyone among my early-30s yuppie friends who buys hardcover books. These sales aren't replacing hardcover book sales.

I agree that they will lose market share, but I think that's because the market is encompassing more people. I still think the Kindle will remain the frontrunner for people who read 1+ books a week, while iPad will attract casual readers. It will help Kindle loyalty tremendously that they've been rolling out software improvements - the highlight and share feature is promising, the collections are LONG overdue.. I think they will do well as long as they don't try to go the color LCD "does everything but none of it as well as a dedicated device" approach that tablets take; if what I want is something that does everything an iPad does, I'm just gong to buy an iPad. And they ought to be furiously advertising with people reading on the beach, which with the addition of a ziplock bag makes Kindle stand out from both iPad AND paper.
Posted by gember on July 20, 2010 at 6:34 AM · Report this
I usually buy Kindle books on my iPad. The decision to be platform agnostic was a brilliant one.
Posted by ScottinAL on July 20, 2010 at 8:34 AM · Report this
trstr 10
There could be a few things wonky with these statistics. For example:

How do sales of hardcovers compared with Kindle sales of the same title?

Has the number of hardcover titles declined as the number of Kindle titles has risen?

Have hardcovers ever been a big seller on Amazon, compared with brick and mortar sales?

This might not be as impressive of a statistic as it seems.
Posted by trstr on July 20, 2010 at 6:41 PM · Report this

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