This is quite the announcement for the book world: Amazon says it’s selling more ebooks than hardcovers. According to a press release issued by Amazon, the company is selling more Kindles which is leading to an increase in ebook sales.
“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 Amazon.com in a press release. “Even 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.”
Among the company’s noted milestones:
- Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books. This is across Amazon.com’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.
- Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009.
- The Association of American Publishers’ latest data reports that e-book sales grew 163 percent in the month of May and 207 percent year-to-date through May. Kindle book sales in May and year-to-date through May exceeded those growth rates.
- On July 6, Hachette announced that James Patterson had sold 1.14 million e-books to date. Of those, 867,881 were Kindle books.
- Five authors–Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts–have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books.
The writing was on the wall a long time ago for book publishers, and we’re just now starting to see it actually happen in the marketplace.