Amazon e-books sales outpace hardcovers


21 Jul 201044 Views

While dropping the price of its Kindle e-book reader to US$189, online retailer Amazon.com also dropped a bomb on the publishing world, announcing that its sales of digital formats were outperforming hardcover books, with e-book sales up 300pc on last year.

For the past three months, for every 100 hardcovers Amazon sells, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says 143 e-books are sold. For the past month, this has risen to 180 e-books for every hardcover sold.

Bezos said: “While our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format.

“Amazon.com 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.”

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Although market observers have expected the arrival of the iPad and its iBooks platform to have a negative impact on the sale of the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, this appears not to be the case.

However, the sales of high volumes of e-books does not necessarily indicate that the Kindle device is doing equally well because the past year has seen Amazon releasing a Kindle desktop application for the PC and Mac, as well as a Kindle app for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.

Although Amazon does not give any official figures on the volume of Kindle devices sold we can assume that a percentage of these e-book downloads were for other devices supporting the Amazon e-book format.