Amazon: e-books outsell dead-tree copies
Paper in decline
Amazon sold more e-books than physical books during the last three months of 2010, the online retail giant has claimed.
Amazon announced in July 2010 that it was selling more e-books than hardbacks, but that's no cause for amazement because hardback sales have been declining for years and are a small percentage of books sold in any case.
Outselling paperbacks, on the other hand, is a big deal. Arguably even a BIG DEAL.
Amazon sold 115 e-books for every 100 paperbacks it sold, it said.
Not all paperbacks have e-book editions, it's worth remembering. Had they, the e-book lead would undoubtedly have been higher. Though don't forget that not everyone who sought Book A and found it lacked an e-version will have bought the paperback - some will have bought Book B's e-version instead.
That said, e-books are not outselling paperbacks period. And, Kindle aside, it's a lot easier for Amazon to reach this point than most other booksellers.
Since it's entirely an online proposition, going on to the web, ordering a book and having it delivered to a Kindle - or a Kindle app running on an iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows Phone 7 handset - is no more difficult than having the physical copy delivered to your workplace or home.
But the digital copy arrives a darn sight more quickly.
Amazon's Kindle store now has more than 810,000 e-books on its virtual shelves
Amazon didn't say how many Kindles it sold during the quarter, though insiders say it will sell 8m this year, Bloomberg reports. The moles say it shipped 2.4m in 2010. ®
It's faster, but..
With a real book I can legally buy/resell/trade/loan/borrow it without constraints.
With an ebook I have no such rights.
Right now I can go to a garage sale and buy a used book for a pittance.
I can also resell a collectible book, like the first Harry Potter, for a significant sum.
They've shown they can withdraw a book I've paid for without my permission, or perhaps
I have theoretically surrendered my permission to them by using their device.
Remember the flap over the 1984 book they decided did not belong to the seller so they
recalled the editions, rather than simply compensating the copyright owner for their mistake
in allowing it in the first place? Stupid since they would have to refund the money anyways.
Ebooks can be useful, but usually not more than a PDF file on a notebook.
I see them as a great replacement for bulky reference books, which is why they sold all of
those CD/DVD versions of encyclopedia back in the day.
Once I have the same rights with ebooks as I do with real books, I'll consider it.
Until then, FAIL
Wonder how many were free
I love the kindle. Bought the 3 myself.
But with so many free books being downloaded willy nilly and each free download treated as a sale, is this truly a useful figure?
It would be interesting to see which group had the greater turnover - paperback or e-book.
My guess is that e-book has a little way to go yet.
Mills and Boon are available!
... Mills and Boon has a fair range of eBooks and there are also quite a few small niche publishers of similar types of material that only publish electronically, though quite often in ePub rather than Kindle.
As to whether all eBook sales matches all corresponding paperbacks, the Amazon figures are vague, and perhaps deliberately so. International sales via Kindle in most countries (except the UK, where we have our own Kindle store) are counted in the Amazon.com figures, which arguably inflates them, though to what degree it's hard to say. But, unless someone deliberately orders the equivalent paperback from Amazon.com rather than their local Amazon, it won't show up in these figures.
Whether this is significant in terms of the numbers is not clear, and probably never will be.
Like all 'figures' relating to Kindle, there are never any actual numbers, and it's really about generating momentum and the association of ebooks with the Kindle brand.
Confusingly worded article?!
Wait... are you saying that total of all e-book sales beats the corresponding sales of the paperbacks for titles where an e-version exists?!?.
Worth remembering that publishers are probably targeting the correct types of books on the e-book platform... e.g. younger readers - I doubt they put many Mills and Boon titles out as e-books.
Still quite astounding though!