Amazons Kindle Books Outsell Hardbacks

22 Jul

Amazon Kindle book sales are now outselling Amazon’s hardback books in the U.S. Amazon says in the last month they have sold 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books. This includes the sales of hardcover books that aren’t being sold in a Kindle book form. Although Amazon hasn’t revealed its sale of paperback books it is still believed that they are selling more paperbacks than Kindle books currently. This could in part be due to the fact that Amazon has millions of books on site but only 630,000 Kindle books available.

Since the cost of the Kindle hardware was cut to $189 last month from the previous price of $259 Kindle hardware sales have tripled. It was this lowered cost that was the tipping point to increased sales and the eventual eclipse of the hardback book, says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Possibly what makes these numbers more astonishing is the fact that Amazon has been selling books for 15 years, they only started selling Kindle books 33 months ago.

Though there was some skepticism whether people would give up their paperback books it’s apparent that the convenience of downloading books immediately and having a stack of books in one slim electronic device is enough to have book lovers reaching for a Kindle.  Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change, predicts that within a decade, fewer than 25% of books will be sold in print form. “This was a day that was going to come, a day that had to come,” he said.

Despite the increased sales and the popularity of the Kindle books, Amazon stock has dropped 13% in the last three months. Investors are worried the iPad would replace the Kindle as the most popular form of digital book reading. Now it seems the iPad actually helps Amazon book sales. Owners of iPads, iPhones, Blackberry’s, and Android phones are all able to download their books from sources such as Amazon onto their devices, while Kindle owners are only able to shop from Amazon. So many owners of devices other than a Kindle are also able to buy books from Amazon.

Some industry analysts say many people do not see the iPad and the Kindle as interchangeable; instead they see the need to own both. Youssef H. Squali, managing director at Jefferies & Company in charge of Internet and new media research says Amazon’s latest sales figures are “clearly an indication the iPad is complementary to the Kindle, not a replacement.” This announcement could allay some of the investors’ fears that the iPad threatens Kindle sales.


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