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.
How are those fifty year old electronics holding up?
I’ve considered digital books, but I prefer paper.
Like you, I like to be surrounded by them.
My next house will have a dedicated library.
No phone, no PC, no TV or radio.
How do you build a reader?
Maybe not books, per se.. but the liberal establishment publishing media
That is the reason why I got my Kindle. I was simply running out of room for all the books. I have really enjoyed mine. I like the ability to search for a new book late in the evening when the book stores are closed. Also the cost of the book is 1/3 of a hardback, so for me that is 3 times as many books.
“My next house will have a dedicated library.
No phone, no PC, no TV or radio.”
Sorry to see you leave FreeRepublic.
Not really. I think there is provision for “sharing” books.
Its just clumsier...
You and I share the same pleasure, my friend, except my critter of choice is a Tonkinese cat. ;-)
I adore dead-tree books too. I love the smell of ink, the paper, the feel of the page edges as they curl...but my 40-something eyes aren't too appreciative these days.
I'm going to take a lot of flack for this, but I'm looking at an iPad. I don't think of it as a computer at all, but a utility device that will keep my calendar and hold my appointments, let me read a book, listen to music, watch an anime, type in notes or work on a writing project, all without hauling out my laptop or waiting for the desktop to power up. It'll help me in the kitchen with recipes (I want a magnetic docking station for the 'fridge!), make waits in doctor offices more pleasant, and I'll be able to expand the text size and put off bifocals a little longer.
Here's another point that reading this thread made me think of -- eReaders may help with allergies. Books are notorious dust collectors and bug-magnets unless you keep them locked away. Why have the books if you have to store them in airtight conditions? An iPad or eReader (my husband has the bigger Sony) would put a lot more reading material in my hands rather than paper on my shelves.
They honored my daughter's warranty no questions asked. Replaced the entire device.
Put all the course listings together, and printed them off. Presto, homemade reader. Cost was about 10 buck, and about an hour of time with a laser printer.
I still have quite a few hard cover books I have to finish up before I take the plunge. I’ve already purchased a couple of Kindle books to read at work on my desktop during lunch. What I’m even more grateful for is the rise in the number of audio books so now I can catch up on my reading even when I’m working out.
LOL, thanks. I was thinking some sort of software program. :)
No it would not, share the Kindle.
Yeah I know. I even had a side business going for awhile doing the same thing for people when the bookstore was late on ordering books for our class.
Paid for a year’s tuition that way, and the bookstore couldn’t get angry at me because they screwed up big time. Their books never did come, and we still needed to do the work, so.
The Hack Holland books are the ones I read...great Texas stuff...magritte
I got my Kindle DX for Daddoo’s day last year, and I love it. I read newspapers and magazines more than books, and it’s excellent for that. Unless you like advertisements. The Kindle editions only have the text.
I’ve had to send too much time in Dr’s waiting rooms these days, and it’s nice to have that one thin item to bring with me. Problem is, I rarely get to read it because people are always asking me about it...lol
It takes a couple of hours to recharge the Kindle, and it can last for a week.
I'd say the most obscure title can sell a couple hundred, even if its just friends and family. If tens of thousands of titles sell several hundred each it all adds up.
If this were true across the board an author like Stephen King (for example only, I didn't ask him) would say his sales last month were more than half e-books. Publishers are very stingy with their sales numbers however individual bestselling authors who I have in fact asked, report e-book sales are presently somewhere between 1% and 3% of print sales. So something is out of whack here.
As a writer myself, I've paid a lot of attention to this issue over the years. Based on many discussions and observations, I'm comfortable saying that the vast majority of self-pubbed authors can only dream of sales in the hundreds. I believe most are in the dozens, if that much.
And yes, publishers are very tight-lipped about sales, but maybe some significant author will step forward in the near future and actually put a percentage number forth on e-copy vs. hard copy.
Before you jump to the Kindle, you may really wanna look at the lowly iPad. It can run Kindle applications, so any book you can buy on Kindle, you can view on the iPad. And there is a Barnes and Noble app, as well as iBooks. This doesn’t begin to cover the other features (10-12 hr battery life) such as watching movies, music, surfing the net, email, viewing pictures (and edititing them), ect. Stuff that neither the Nook or Kindle can do - oh yes, and the iPad does them in beautiful IPS color.
My complaint (and this is really my view) is that Kindle, Nook and all e-Books are too expensive! Consider, with paperback or hardcover books you have the cost of printing, the cost of paper, the cost of freight, the storage and logistical costs and the expensive ‘shelf-space’. This all costs money, requires human effort and tangible shipping costs.
Meanwhile, the lowly e-book is the same base material the publisher delivers to the book printint company. It weighs NOTHING, it is trasnferred from a small file on a hard drive somewhere to your device (or account). The same file may be copied a virtually unlimited number of times.
Same advertizing costs, but zero shipping, zero printing, zero storage, zero shelf-space, zero stocking
Yet, the e-book is almost the same price as a tangible book.
The iPad apps (Kindle, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, ect) all have the ability to change the font, the font size as well as the color of the print and the color of the page to virtually anything you want.
I too have the old eyes - so I bump the font size up a notch or two... makes reading without my $3 readers a pure pleasure.
I’ve got the iPad; and have never regretted it for a moment. And, depending upon which model you get, they aren’t that much more (but they ARE more) than the competition. The good news is that while the Kindle/Nook all are basically eBook readers, the iPad is virtually as limitless as your notebook in it’s capabilities.
I’m generally tech-friendly, but I gotta say my luddite tendencies come out when it comes to books. I like having a book in my hands when I read (usually a paperback, as I’m far too cheap to buy hardcovers :-) ).
My wife is an author with 14 bestsellers in print. I am able to check her sales at any moment. I've seen the numbers of other bestselling authors she is close to, some really major authors. I'm telling you with my hand on my heart, e-book sales are about 3% of popular fiction across the board, right now, today.
Thank you. I appreciate the input and info.
I figure paper will co-exist for 4 to 12 more years, then be a niche product.
Sharp is now releasing a solar powere e-reader, expect the non illuminated serious reader market to go that way, while ever more powerful phone/tablet convergence devices fill the needs of casual readers.
Dell Streak & iphone 4
A large part of the reading market already carries a suitable device for casual reading.
Congrats to your wife and thanks for the info. What genre is she in?
I used to read the ones set in Louisiana. Can’t remember the name of the main character now. He can write but he increasingly kept putting in his anti-Republican crap till I finally quit reading him.
Yes, if you mean that the printed page will eventually go the way of the silver halide (film) photograph.
But that's not what I think of when I hear 'dinosaur media'.
I got a Kindle for Christmas, and love it.
It is a great thing to be able to carry over eighty titles in a slim package. Not to mention I can download for free many of my favorite classic titles.
The bad thing is it is a temporary technology. I have books that were owned by my grandmother, that are still readable. My daughter will not be able to use the Kindle as it will wear out.
Very cool. I write thrillers. Gonna break through to the Published ranks someday.
Oh, I’ve never worried about being labeled a “technophobe”, in fact I have a somewhat lengthy wish list over at Amazon that seems as though it gets longer and longer. Most of it consists of Civil War related books right now, but if I can find a nice, lightly used copy of a book I clearly intend to read and all I basically have to pay for is shipping, I’ll be right on it.
Thanks for that - it happened to “1984” within the last year. What about the Kindle books downloaded to the desktop computer version (which I have)?
About to check out your book!
“Books are dinosaur media?”
The MIT media lab squandered a boatload of cash (I believe it is in the tens, to hundreds, of millions) on a project looking for the electronic replacement to paper.
I guess I applaude the audacity of such a project, and I have no doubt that it has likely resulted in many patents, the idea that paper is obsolete is ridiculous on its face.
Paper is the least expensive and most dependable method of recording written information in a permanent way.
If it requires electricity to maintain, then a record isn’t a record.
Saying that, e-books are an efficient way of toting around a bunch of books. I’d be nervous about reading a Kindle in the pool. I fall asleep and dunk my paperback, I’m out $12 max maybe. Do the same thing with a Kindle and I’m out $189++.
I told my wife to wait about two years and she can pick one up for about $40 or so. Nothing magical about a Kindle.
Woe betide the company that locks their books into a format. Apple can tell you that it leads to single digit market share over time.
Love my Kindle.
For important books that I think I want my kids to see and read later, I buy a hard copy, but for the run of the mill novel or memoir, I buy on Kindle.
Also, I have found some contemporary histories from the turn of the 20th century that are out of print (thus costing $100+ for hard copies when you can find them) that have been converted to Kindle format (and free)- so you can’t beat that. The savings on two of those books paid for my device.
Print books for me. My reading is non-fiction. I can write in margins, underline what I want for reference and then give it to someone else if I want to. I also like to give books and presents and write in them. Works for me.
I look at gadget stuff as something that needs to be bought again and again ‘to have the latest’ updates because the older one will not be supported at longer.
Here is some more food for thought on the history of humankind’s communication systems.
A Tower in Babel: A History of Broadcasting in the United States, Volume I to 1933
Oxford University Press, New York, 1966
Every medium of information has made names and meanwhile, values. New media have meant new values. Since the dawn of history, each new medium has tended to undermine an old monopoly, shift the definitions of goodness and greatness, and alter the climate of mens lives.
In ancient Egypt, the transition from stone as in the pyramids to papyrus as transmitter of truth, prestige, and doctrine seems to have brought on or encouraged many other changes. Because papyrus was portable, it helped rulers exercise authority over wide areas. But the power now had to be shared with armies of copyists, and the literate became a privileged class. Because papyrus was scarce, control of its production became crucial, and again this meant a sharing of royal power, in this case the managers of productivity. All this meant a shift away from absolute monarchy, a dispersal of authority, that is said to have penetrated deeply into Egyptian life. Papyrus begat bureaucracy.
Toward the end of the Middle Ages, the arrival of paper in Europe began to undermine a church monopoly of knowledge, which had been based on the scarcity of parchment and on the skills of monastery copyists. Ample supplies of paper now encouraged the development of printing, and spread written communications to new fields and ideas. It became an instrument in the growth of trade, the rise of the vernacular, and the spread of heretical ideas via tract, story and image. It reinforced the rise of merchant, lawyer, explorer, scientist. The chain reactions echoed through centuries.