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Amazon: Kindle titles outpacing hardcovers (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
CNET News ^ | July 19, 2010 | Caroline McCarthy

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: books; dbm; digital; kindle
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To: abb

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.


51 posted on 07/20/2010 2:07:07 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: BenKenobi
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.

How do you build a reader?

52 posted on 07/20/2010 2:09:08 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: green iguana

Maybe not books, per se.. but the liberal establishment publishing media


53 posted on 07/20/2010 2:19:03 PM PDT by Mr. K (Physically unable to proofread- I swear I try!)
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To: The Working Man
I also have around 60 file boxes of books down on the garage that I am working on selling or donating

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.

54 posted on 07/20/2010 2:19:29 PM PDT by lawdave
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To: SJSAMPLE

“My next house will have a dedicated library.
No phone, no PC, no TV or radio.”

Sorry to see you leave FreeRepublic.


55 posted on 07/20/2010 2:20:52 PM PDT by Cyman
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To: Carley

Not really. I think there is provision for “sharing” books.
Its just clumsier...


56 posted on 07/20/2010 2:20:55 PM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: ladyvet
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.

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.

57 posted on 07/20/2010 2:21:36 PM PDT by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: MarkeyD
Also, too many stories on Amazon.com of them not honoring the Warranty.

They honored my daughter's warranty no questions asked. Replaced the entire device.

58 posted on 07/20/2010 2:26:19 PM PDT by lawdave
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To: Lorica

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.


59 posted on 07/20/2010 2:30:26 PM PDT by BenKenobi (We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. -Silent Cal)
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To: abb

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.


60 posted on 07/20/2010 2:31:51 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: BenKenobi

LOL, thanks. I was thinking some sort of software program. :)


61 posted on 07/20/2010 2:35:43 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: Carley

No it would not, share the Kindle.


62 posted on 07/20/2010 2:36:46 PM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: Lorica

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.


63 posted on 07/20/2010 2:38:55 PM PDT by BenKenobi (We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. -Silent Cal)
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To: ladyvet
I like to read two handed too.

That's why this eBookReader interests me.


64 posted on 07/20/2010 2:42:56 PM PDT by MarkeyD (Obama is a victim of Affirmative Action)
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To: packrat35

The Hack Holland books are the ones I read...great Texas stuff...magritte


65 posted on 07/20/2010 2:48:17 PM PDT by magritte ("There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself "Do trousers matter?")
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To: abb

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


66 posted on 07/20/2010 3:00:27 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Build a man a fire; he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire; he'll be warm the rest of his life)
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To: RJS1950

It takes a couple of hours to recharge the Kindle, and it can last for a week.


67 posted on 07/20/2010 3:01:49 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Build a man a fire; he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire; he'll be warm the rest of his life)
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To: MississippiMan
most self-pub titles sell no more than dozens of copies, no matter the format.

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.

68 posted on 07/20/2010 3:03:38 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: ElkGroveDan
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.

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.

MM (in TX)

69 posted on 07/20/2010 3:19:08 PM PDT by MississippiMan (http://gogmagogblog.wordpress.com/)
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To: Liberty Valance

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.

Go figure.


70 posted on 07/20/2010 3:34:04 PM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: OldPossum

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.


71 posted on 07/20/2010 3:38:00 PM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: abb

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 :-) ).


72 posted on 07/20/2010 3:45:45 PM PDT by DemforBush (Serpentine, Shel! SERPENTINE!)
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To: MississippiMan
maybe some significant author will step forward in the near future and actually put a percentage number forth on e-copy vs. hard copy.

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.

73 posted on 07/20/2010 3:58:35 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: Hodar

Thank you. I appreciate the input and info.


74 posted on 07/20/2010 3:58:48 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: abb
Happening slightly faster than predicted due to the economy. Wont be as fast as CD's relegated vinyl to a niche market though.

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.

75 posted on 07/20/2010 4:04:10 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: ElkGroveDan

Congrats to your wife and thanks for the info. What genre is she in?

MM


76 posted on 07/20/2010 4:08:50 PM PDT by MississippiMan (http://gogmagogblog.wordpress.com/)
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To: MississippiMan

Suspense.


77 posted on 07/20/2010 4:35:19 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: magritte

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.


78 posted on 07/20/2010 4:36:54 PM PDT by packrat35 (Planned Parenthood... killing more blacks than the Ku Klux Klan could have ever dreamed of.)
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To: abb
I think a good argument could be made that they indeed are just that.

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'.

79 posted on 07/20/2010 5:39:33 PM PDT by green iguana
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To: abb

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.


80 posted on 07/20/2010 6:34:28 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: ElkGroveDan
Suspense.

Very cool. I write thrillers. Gonna break through to the Published ranks someday.

MM (in TX)

81 posted on 07/20/2010 9:08:46 PM PDT by MississippiMan (http://gogmagogblog.wordpress.com/)
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To: Colonel Blimp

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.


82 posted on 07/21/2010 12:08:47 AM PDT by GOP_Raider (Please consider the logging and timber industries when printing this tagline)
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To: Cyman
I said library.
83 posted on 07/21/2010 5:10:15 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: tbw2

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!


84 posted on 07/22/2010 10:03:56 AM PDT by bootless (Never Forget. Never Again. (PursuingLiberty.com))
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To: abb

“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.


85 posted on 07/22/2010 10:16:14 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: abb

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.


86 posted on 07/22/2010 10:30:42 AM PDT by keepitreal ( Don't tread on me.)
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To: abb

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.


87 posted on 07/22/2010 10:58:24 AM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: RinaseaofDs; keepitreal; ex-snook

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
Erick Barnouw
Oxford University Press, New York, 1966

INTRODUCTION

Pg 3

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 men’s 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.


88 posted on 07/22/2010 4:40:00 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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