Kindle Outsells Paperbacks

by Rachel Baker on January 28, 2011

Amazon.com just released their fourth quarter sales numbers. If you are interested in their financial information, there’s a whole lot of information here – I, however, at this juncture, am not. What I found interesting is the snippets of information about the Kindle sales.

Major Kindle highlights from this press release are:

  • Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the numbers even higher
  • The Company sold millions of third-generation Kindle devices with the new advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display in the fourth quarter and the third-generation Kindle eclipsed “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” as the bestselling product in Amazon’s history
  • The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 810,000 books including New Releases and 107 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 670,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 74 New York Times Bestsellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle
  • Amazon added to its growing list of “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps, launching a Kindle app for Windows Phone 7. In addition, the Kindle for Android app was updated to enable users to buy, read and sync over 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines. All Kindle apps let customers “Buy Once, Read Everywhere”–on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. All Kindle apps are free and incorporate Amazon’s Whispersync technology, which allows readers to seamlessly switch between devices. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books purchased from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in the Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.

“Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected – and it’s on top of continued growth in paperback sales.” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

I wonder if quarterly sales went up 36% predominately due to the holidays only, or if they will continue to see increases each quarter because of the accessibility and decreased costs of books via Kindle.

It will be fascinating to keep on eye on this.

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