Skip to comments.Amazon: Kindle titles outpacing hardcovers (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 07/20/2010 1:19:19 PM PDT by abb
The Amazon.com Kindle e-reader and bookstore have reached a "tipping point," the company said Monday, with Kindle titles outselling hardcover books on the massive online marketplace for the first time.
"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," Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in an announcement release, referring to last month's price drop for the device. "In addition, 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."
And Kindle titles continue to outpace hardcovers, statistics from Amazon showed. In the past three months, 143 Kindle books were sold for every 100 hardcovers, but when that time frame is narrowed to a month, it's 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcovers. Total e-book sales tripled from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010.
This comes despite months' worth of claims of naysayers who speculated that Apple's sophisticated iPad might render obsolete e-readers like the Kindle. But with prices higher in Apple's iBooks store than for many Kindle titles, and a Kindle app available for both the iPad and iPhone, the supposed death of the Kindle seems far less imminent. Some have even surmised that the discrepancies between the devices may play to Amazon's hand rather than Apple's.
Amazon is slated to announce its second-quarter earnings on Thursday, and analysts are speculating that it'll post an extremely strong quarter.
Books are dinosaur media?
Maybe we can get Stephen King to finish “The Plant” now!
(it was a fun read)
I can understand this. Anytime I go into a local store to find a good novel to read, I can’t, because 90% of the shelf space is taken up by romance novels.
Family and friends share lots of books with each other.
The Kindle would put an end to that.
Got mine for Father’s day. No more carrying two or three books on travel, just one slim Kindle. Love it. BTW, the cost of the books is less than half of the published price. Fits in your coat pocket.
I wonder if they are comparing apples and apples on this...for every 100 hardcover copies of the new James Lee Burke, they are selling 143 e-books?...seems unlikely...magritte
Of course by limiting to vs hardcovers they’re missing 80% of the sales volume. Paperbacks are still what make the industry go round, publishers and stores love the price and profit margin of hardbacks, but for readers they tend to only buy hardbacks for favorite authors.
I have a Nook (Barnes and Noble’s brand) and has a “Lend Me” function that allows for book sharing.
Romance is the license to print money genre. As much as those of us who don’t read it like to scoff at it, romance sales are crazy, can blame the stores for stocking what people buy.
Of course by limiting to vs hardcovers theyre missing 80% of the sales volume. Paperbacks are still what make the industry go round, publishers and stores love the price and profit margin of hardbacks, but for readers they tend to only buy hardbacks for favorite authors.
They have pretty much what ever you want to read, old and new. Further, they have all the classics available for free or for about $.75. If its not in Kindle format, just request it. The great thing is you can download pretty much anywhere (books, magazines, newspapers) and are not required to pay a monthly internet fee (like the IPAD). Wonderful technology. Not good for pictures though.
“Family and friends share lots of books with each other.
The Kindle would put an end to that.”
That is one reason I got a Nook (from Barnes and Noble). If you buy an e-book from B&N you can “lend” it to another person for up to 14 days. Another reason is that I can buy e-books from other eReader sellers like Sony and upload them onto my Nook, and I can share those books with others as well.
The problem with this statistic is that the “number of titles” includes self-published “books” that Amazon facilitates for the Kindle (My Life as an Indianapolis Fry Cook). Now if they were to show the count of titles that are also in physical print, and then compare the electronic vs. print sales then you’d see a different story.
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My wife and I both read a lot.But..
We usually get the paperback version, read it, change hands, take it to the used book store and trade.
Very few books do I want to read more than once.
Then why have a bunch of books on a Kindle/Nook or whatever.
When they rent them for 30 days for around $5 with an option to buy count me in.
Great until a societal collapse and the electrity goes out and the batteries die.
So the other person has to buy a Nook too?
Between the two of us we would have spent hundreds of dollars, yes?
I think a good argument could be made that they indeed are just that.
I didn’t say anything about what’s on Kindle. I’m just saying that passing hardcover isn’t as big a milestone as they’re trying to say. Hardcover sales have always been a small portion of book sales, the book industry revolves around paperbacks, cheaper to buy and less shelf space.
As for Kindle itself, eh. I like books. E-book just plain doesn’t interest me in any way. Not as long as I can go to the library book sale and buy 3 tote bags of books for $40. $180 for a reader just doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Glad you like it, but I will be the last person on earth to get one, probably a couple of weeks after I get a cellphone.
And Kindle devices aren’t needed to read Kindle titles. You can download a reader from Amazon for use on your PC.
If that happens, reading as a leisure activity will likely be a rather low priority.
I’m still somewhat sentimental. I don’t buy too many hardcover books or even new ones unless someone buys them for me as a Christmas or birthday present, so I usually wait until I can find a used copy in paperback.
Seeing as how I’ve become a lot cheaper recently, I find the kindle to be far too expensive for my little frugal crusade.
No, I can’t blame them. There must be some reason that these books occupy 90%+ of the shelf space in every single store around here. Sucks for me though, because I am just looking for a good thriller or horror type of novel.
No. Amazon Kindle’s sales are driven by price.
The “call back” function to wipe the material off your device at the publisher or Amazon’s request is a sticking point for me. It should also be a concern for the politically incorrect. Publish a book, distribute on millions of eReaders, have the publisher or Amazon cave on censorship, and with an IT command, the reading material disappears off those screens.
The print books, however, are still in human hands and available to their minds.
By print books of material at risk of recall or censorship - it will be the only way to keep it. And to check against the endless editing that the digital world is increasingly subject to.
I am familiar with this topic. I wrote: Amazon Kindle Publishing for Idiots Expanded Edition
Not good for the paper industry either (which I just retired from after 35 years)
My thoughts also. Kindle and the other devices are a nice portable device that can be easily carried and are great vehicles for those types of books that I pass on or sell when I’m done. Good luck reading them when BO brings us all 5 hours of power a day and/or you have no way of recharging them. We’ve had weather related power outages that have lasted days and I could still read my books while the handheld devices died quickly.
Myself. Over the past three years, my older sister (a packrat like me) has got me going to all the library book sales that happen all over the place. I've got boxes and shelves of unread books!
I’d wholeheartedly disagree. I’m not too keen on kindle, especially not when they can make text change and disappear. Too much similar to the ‘memory hole’, and other arguments that you cannot control information on books, but you can control information on these little e-readers.
I wouldn’t personally buy one. However, I did like using project gutenburg to acquire my readings for university, and building a reader for myself. It saved me thousands of dollars over a four year education.
Among other things, most Romance "novelists" get paid next to nothing.
I can agree with this. I have one of the first thousand or so Kindles that were sold. I love and I use it every day. And so far I have bought a little over 500 titles for it so far. And in the last two years I have gone to E-Books exclusively. It just makes sense for me to have my entire library in one hand.
I also have around 60 file boxes of books down on the garage that I am working on selling or donating. As a Kindle version of one of those titles comes available I buy it. With many of the titles in storage going back to the 40’s and 50’s that is going to take some time. Of course I just bought a Lester Del Rey collection for 99cents as a E-Book. What a deal!
And of course as always there are some exceptions to that rule. Any Survival/Prepping type of book is also bought in hard cover. If TSHTF then electricity to charge the Kindle may be hard to come by.
One little ol’ EMP and all kindle type platforms are worthless. That said, I’d love to have a kindle. ;o)
Unless you’re reading a book on carpentry, farming or a Chilton’s guide to your 1998 Chevy Lumina.
Books, the paper kind, ARE HERE TO STAY.
I know a lot of sf/f/h authors and it drives them nuts. The first question they get asked by publishers these days when they bring in a new book is “is there anyway we can market this as romance”, because that’s where the money is. That’s why we have Twilight and the various smutty vampire stuff, because it turns out romance readers are perfectly cool with mixing genres. Annoys me to no end though, reading a perfectly good horror book and all of a sudden everybody is trying to get in everybody else’s pants.
I have no interest in squinting at some tiny screen, either. The OldPossum's just low-tech.
“So the other person has to buy a Nook too?”
B&N also has a reader for your PC, Mac, etc., and the digital books can be read using that application. So you could lend a book from your Nook for someone to read on their laptop...
Actually, acid-based paper is not very durable. Check out a fifty-year old paperback and see how brittle are the pages. True, it can be archived, but it takes some expertise.
All that said, I myself LOVE books. Here I sit in my home office surrounded by shelves and boxes overflowing with books. I have a Nat Geo collection that goes back to about 1939.
I posted the article for discussion and debate purposes. It has done that, LOL!
True. But not all reading is leisure. There is a great deal of reference material that would be useful after a societal collapse.
I love, love, LOVE my Kindle. It instantly downloads my fave blogs, including American Spectator, Townhall, SHTFplan, and National Review Online. Last week I purchased Larry Schweikart’s book, A Patriot’s History of the United States. (Larry is a fellow Freeper.) Since I have my Kindle with me everywhere I go, it’s just easier to read his book via Kindle than the actual book at 960 pages!
Wish I could afford one. Also, too many stories on Amazon.com of them not honoring the Warranty. And it’s $109 to extend the warranty to 2 years.
I bought my wife a Kindle for her birthday. She loves it.
There are several advantages to it. Books are cheaper. She can get what she wants within a minute (regardless of where she is) and it is lighter than a traditional hard back book.
The only disadvange is you do not end up with a hard cover you can trade in at the used book store, but that was always a minor consideration.
A surprise was we can actually sign on to FreeRepublic via the Kindle. It is not a full function screen, but it is good enough to read headlines and some stories.
This may skew the number-of-titles stats, but it does nothing to lessen the fact that total number of Kindle sales exceeds hardcovers. While there are of course exceptions, the sad truth is that most self-published material is garbage and most self-pub titles sell no more than dozens of copies, no matter the format.
Tons of classics for free too. Also, if you check here: http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_85650291_15?ie=UTF8&node=2245146011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-1&pf_rd_r=10VF3HGRR809QZ9JR6FF&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1268594442&pf_rd_i=1286228011, there are limited time promotional offers for free novels, etc! :~)
I am the proud owner of maybe 3,500 hardcovers and I only wish I had maybe 1,500 more, mainly to fill gaps in my World War 1, World War 2 and Soviet Union collections. Family members think I’m extravagant because I spend any spare money I get on books and classical music — as opposed to permitted extravagances like big cars, boats, furniture, consumer electronics, vacations, golf, theater tickets, etc.
Honestly, I’d rather read a book or listen to Beethoven in the comfort of my home. I wouldn’t know what to do on a cruise or resort vacation. I’d probably just drink too many of those cocktails they pass out with the fruit and umbrellas on top — and maybe wind up passing out myself.
Books are things of beauty in a way no electronic device can ever be. On a couple occasions recently, I had to tough out the eyestrain and read an entire book from a pdf file. One of them was conservative sociologist Edward Banfield’s classic “The Unheavenly City,” which is still relevant after about 40 years.
Still, I never would have done this if my local library had a copy. I wanted to read Banfield and I didn’t want to wait for interlibrary loan. It’s for situations like this that I can see the value of a Kindle or some other reader. But print will always be my first choice — books are relaxing but I can’t imagine curling up on the couch with some electronic tablet.
If you want beauty in your life, spend some of your disposable income on fine books and classical CDs. Then enjoy them and don’t worry about being a called a technophobe.
You still read Burke? I finally couldn’t stand the anti-Republican crap he spewed in every book.
This may sound strange but one of the great joys of my life is curling up at night with my dogs, a beverage of choice and a real book. I love the feel, the smell, the weight of it in my hands. I can get lost for hours in a bookstore or a library. Maybe if I traveled I would enjoy a Kindle.
Twilight. That explains it perfectly. I have always enjoyed authors like King and Koontz, and my taste in movies is very similar. Generally speaking, I don’t like a bunch of mushy stuff mucking up a good thriller.
When you turn off the whispernet to the Kindle, the battery can last for several weeks or more. You can also buy a solar charger for it that costs about $25.