Amazon sells more Kindle books than hardback
20.07.10 | Catherine Neilan
Amazon.com has sold more e-books than hardcovers – nearly half again as many – over the last three months, the company has revealed.
Between April and June or every 100 hardback books sold by the US retailer, 143 Kindle books have been bought. In June alone, this increases to 180 e-books. For the first six months, the company has sold three times as many Kindle books as it did in 2009.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Kindle, said: “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.”
The growth of Kindle books has outstripped wider e-book growth rates, Amazon said, citing figures from the Association of American Publishers, which put the rate at 163% in the month of May and 207% year-to-end May.
Five authors–Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts–have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books.
Bezos also highlighted the sales of the Kindle device, which has now been the best-selling item Amazon for two years running.
Unit sales accelerated each month in the second quarter-both on a sequential month-over-month basis and on a year-over-year basis-which Bezos interpreted as being down to the company finding the right price point.
“We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle,” he said. “The growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189.”
The US Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, and more than 1.8m free, out-of-copyright works.