Thursday, May 19, 2011

E overtakes Print at Amazon

So, are you a member of the "print is dead" party? Or the "there will always be both" group? Or the "If it isn't in print I won't read it" fringe? Where do you see print books five years from now?

Here's the first section of the press release: Now Selling More Kindle Books Than Print Books

SEATTLE, May 19, 2011

Amazon began selling hardcover and paperback books in July 1995. Twelve years later in November 2007, Amazon introduced the revolutionary Kindle and began selling Kindle books. By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Today, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books - hardcover and paperback - combined.

"Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly - we've been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, "In addition, we're excited by the response to Kindle with Special Offers for only $114, which has quickly become the bestselling member of the Kindle family. We continue to receive positive comments from customers on the low $114 price and the money-saving special offers. We're grateful to our customers for continuing to make Kindle the bestselling e-reader in the world and the Kindle Store the most popular e-bookstore in the world."

Recent milestones for Kindle include:

Since April 1, for every 100 print books has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.

So far in 2011, the tremendous growth of Kindle book sales, combined with the continued growth in Amazon's print book sales, have resulted in the fastest year-over-year growth rate for Amazon's U.S. books business, in both units and dollars, in over 10 years. This includes books in all formats, print and digital. Free books are excluded in the calculation of growth rates.

Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010.

Less than one year after introducing the UK Kindle Store, is now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books, even as hardcover sales continue to grow. Since April 1, customers are purchasing Kindle books over hardcover books at a rate of more than 2 to 1.


Unknown said...

I beleive the rise of popularity for e-books has only just begun. I don't think print books will ever dissapear, but I think e-books are sure to dominate the market soon. I got my Kindle less than a year ago, and I don't buy print books anymore. I don't have room on my bookshelves, so e-books are a welcome releif.

ECPI Editors said...

I used to say that print would remain the primary medium for art books, children's picture books, anything that was very based on graphic presentation. But now with the iPad and other tablets, more people will view these image-intensive books on the screen.


Bill Greer said...

I got a Kindle for Christmas and I'm surprised how much I like it. There's no going back. My wife and daughter now have Kindles too.

What I find different in my reading habits is that I used to buy hardcovers from Amazon for about $16 each. I won't touch a Kindle version for anything over $9.99 and I hesitate with some of those.

Joan Reeves said...

I'll quote Cher: "Nothing surprises me any more, and everything surprises me."

That's just my way of saying that I'm not surprised that ebooks are outselling print books on Amazon, yet, I AM surprised that it happened this fast.

I've had a Kindle 13 months. I love it more than I ever thought I would. First ebook I bought was Cynthia Wicklund's Lord of Always pubbed by Ellora's Cave. Fabulous book!

Not quite 2 months ago, I put my first ebook out, followed quickly by 2 more ebooks. In that time period, I've sold a combined 10,000 ebooks.

That's right -- 10,000! Am I surprised? No, I'm SHOCKED!! And delighted to be part of this history-making phenom.

Will print books disappear? No. But print will be reserved for special books. Genre fiction, like the sassy pure escapism I write, will be digital.

Best wishes,
Joan Reeves