Amazon: Kindle books now outselling print books

By on May 19, 2011, 1:00 PM

Amazon began selling hardcover and paperback books in July 1995. Twelve years later in November 2007, Amazon introduced the Kindle and began selling Kindle books.

In July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales. In January 2011, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Now, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon customers are purchasing more Kindle books than all print books combined.

Since April 1, for every 100 print books sold on Amazon.com, 105 Kindle books have been sold. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded (if included the number would of course be 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 US books business, in both units and dollars, in over 10 years. This includes books in all formats, print and digital, and once again free books are excluded in the calculation of growth rates.

Furthermore, actual device sales are also very high. Amazon sold more than three times as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010.

The US Kindle Store now has more than 950,000 books (175,000+ were added to in the last five months), including New Releases and 109 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 790,000 of these books are $10 or less, including 69 New York Times Best Sellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle devices.

Arguably the best part of the Kindle ecosystem is Amazon's Whispersync technology. It saves and synchronizes your full library of books, bookmarks, last page read, highlights, and annotations across all of your Kindles and Kindle apps for the Mac, PC, Android devices, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone, and soon HP TouchPads and BlackBerry PlayBooks.

"Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books," Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said in a statement. "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. 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."




User Comments: 11

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r3dark said:

Were doomed! soon as we start depending on these devices what are the chances of someone launching an emp device across the us like in home-front game and create us illiteracy for new generations =0.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That is mind blowing. I thought it would be years and years - even decades - before e-books got to this point. (shrugs) Hard to argue with technology....

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

r3dark said:

Were doomed! soon as we start depending on these devices what are the chances of someone launching an emp device across the us like in home-front game and create us illiteracy for new generations =0.

Considering the Library of Congress keeps a number of hard copies (when able to) as well as electronic versions that are stored in EMP resistant (not proof mind you, at least as far as I know) data centers, the likelyhood of completely wiping out past literary work is unlikely, especially since they are afterall still selling hard copies, just not as fast as digital ones.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

They need to start selling textbooks from my college for this because right now I pay on average $500 a semester(every 5-6months) for books alone.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Xclusiveitalian said:

They need to start selling textbooks from my college for this because right now I pay on average $500 a semester(every 5-6months) for books alone.

Protip: Buy used and buy online as much as possible. It can cut your book costs by 50% or even more if you can manage to get all your books this way. Buying new in a digital format or in a ream format (for binders basically) does not really cut the cost to the student very much.

BrianUMR said:

Xclusiveitalian said:

They need to start selling textbooks from my college for this because right now I pay on average $500 a semester(every 5-6months) for books alone.

You don't want that. The Ebook will be the same price and you won't be able to sell your books back ever. So instead of now playing $500 and getting $100-$200 back at the end of the semester you will pay $500 and have your textbooks to keep.

yRaz yRaz said:

BrianUMR said:

Xclusiveitalian said:

They need to start selling textbooks from my college for this because right now I pay on average $500 a semester(every 5-6months) for books alone.

You don't want that. The Ebook will be the same price and you won't be able to sell your books back ever. So instead of now playing $500 and getting $100-$200 back at the end of the semester you will pay $500 and have your textbooks to keep.

It would be interesting to see the hard copy come with an e-book version.

Leeky Leeky said:

It would be interesting to see the hard copy come with an e-book version.

I agree, why can't you buy both as one item. If your paying for the hard copy surely including a digital version isn't too much hardship.

tonylukac said:

5 years ago I worked for a library. Look what happened.

Arris Arris said:

Got a Kindle recently, got to be careful when buying reference/text books. Many for computer related topics come with CD/DVD material. Many Kindle versions don't yet have downloads to accompany the book and you are stuck reading through missing the point of any "Open/See the example on the DVD" parts. This is more a shortcoming of the publishers/Kindle conversion system than the technology as a whole.

Guest said:

I wonder how many are free books.

You never get free paper books

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