Amazon sells nearly two e-books for every one hardcover

By on July 20, 2010, 9:30 AM
The shift to digital books is well under way, according to an update by Amazon this week. The mega-etailer said that in the last three months, Kindle book sales have far outpaced those of the traditional variety. Without giving precise figures, Amazon said that it's sold 143 e-books for every 100 hardcover books and there's no sign of that conversion slowing down, either.

In the last month, Kindle owners purchased 180 digital books for every 100 hardcovers sold on Amazon.com. Although the transition away from physical media and literature has been a longtime coming, the company said it's "astonished when you consider the fact that we've been selling hard cover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."

Those numbers include hardcovers that don't have a digital copy, and that says a lot considering the Kindle "only" has access to around 630,000 titles, versus the millions available through the company's site. Also, it excludes the 1.8 million books that are in the public domain. It's believed that paperback sales are still ahead of e-books, but Amazon hasn't revealed those stats.





User Comments: 7

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't think this is overly surprising, considering we're talking about hardbacks. Frankly, hardbacks are a pain - they're big, heavy and expensive. Unless you want to build up an old-school library, most people I know wait for paperback versions of their books. So makes sense that the first casualty of e-readers would be those.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Well, I happen to prefer hardbacks, and I generally opt for them when possible.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I like hardbacks as well, but they are very expensive. I've bought my favorites and the classics in hardcover, but generally opt for paperback for most others.

I don't really get the e-craze though. Somehow, I kind of like having a physical object to show for my money. It gives more of a sense of ownership, at least to me.

princeton princeton said:

SAVE THE TREES! BUY E-BOOKS!

Anyway those figures aren't surprising. Technology is doing things ranging from helping people not have to press light switches to making it so we don't have to turn the page.

Guest said:

Well, if they said they sold 143 ebooks for each set of 100 hardbacks, that really isnt nearly 2. Although the kindle figure, which is, is quite impressive.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Both figures represent the same comparison -- ebooks (aka, those purchased by Kindle owners) versus hardcovers -- in different durations. The 143 to 100 looks back three months, whereas the 180 to 100 only looks back one month.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

The best thing about Amazon's e-books in particular is that they have built a platform around Kindle, so it's no longer about the reading device but you can buy a book once and read it on your PC, smartphone or iPad.

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