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Amazon announces e-book sales have overtaken hardbacks

by Scott Bicheno on 20 July 2010, 10:51

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Tipping point

All products have a pricing ‘sweet spot', which represents the perfect equilibrium between consumer appeal and profitability, and Amazon reckons it's reached that with its Kindle e-reader, following a recent price cut.

"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," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

"In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. 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."

The announcement went on to list some recent Kindle milestones, including the fact that last month Amazon sold nearly twice as mant Kindle books as hardbacks. Also, some recent Association of American Publishers' data reveals that total e-book sales doubled year-on-year in May.

We were reminded that the $189 price gets us an e-reader with global 3G and no additional fees. To be honest, we hadn't really considered buying an e-reader until now - not being convinced that the up-front outlay was justified by the convenience of not having to carry a bunch of books around. But we think Amazon has a point now, especially considering any Kindle book can also be viewed on most other mobile devices if you don't happen to have your Kindle to hand.


HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Its not the price of the ebook readers that I think is a joke its the fact the ebooks cost the same or more than the paperback version. Until this is rectified I will always get the paper version as I am getting more value for money.
That's why I am quite surprised that people are buying ebooks than regular books. I.e. surprised by Amazon's announcement.
People are buying the ebook rather than the hardback edition. Which says to me that people want the book asap but don't want to lug the tomb that is a hardback or pay the extra for the health benefits that entails.

I've always wondered just how many copies of hardbacks they actually sell. Always assumed it was a fraction of what the paperback sold.
Yeah, I think Funkstar's hit on the answer there.

Couldn't believe it when I saw the title, thinking it meant paperbacks, but since it's hardbacks I'm hardly surprised. Looking at my bookshelf right now, there isn't a single hardback there.
40% of my 300+ books are hardback :P I prefer them lol