Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 22, 2010

Amazon Says E-Book Sales Tops Hardcovers

  E-Books Top Hardcovers at Amazon

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
Published: July 19, 2010

Monday was a day for the history books — if those will even exist in the future.

Amazon.com, one of the nation’s largest booksellers, announced Monday that for the last three months, sales of books for its e-reader, the Kindle, outnumbered sales of hardcover books.

In that time, Amazon said, it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there is no Kindle edition.

The pace of change is quickening, too, Amazon said. In the last four weeks sales rose to 180 digital books for every 100 hardcover copies. Amazon has 630,000 Kindle books, a small fraction of the millions of books sold on the site.

Book lovers mourning the demise of hardcover books with their heft and their musty smell need a reality check, said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “This was a day that was going to come, a day that had to come,” he said. He predicts that within a decade, fewer than 25 percent of all books sold will be print versions.

The shift at Amazon is “astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months,” the chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, said in a statement.

Still, the hardcover book is far from extinct. Industrywide sales are up 22 percent this year, according to the American Publishers Association.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Save those hardcover books, they may be antiques someday.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I’ve been reading this kind of stuff on Publishers Lunch and it saddens me more than I can express. First Yankee Stadium—now this *sigh*
    Donna

    Like

  2. I don’t belive a word of this publicity stunt. Doesn’t
    Amazon have their own ebook publishing company? Check Writer Beware site.

    Like

  3. Hmm . . . I wonder about things like ‘inflated sales figures’ and then there’s the nature of marketing in general.

    Am I suspicious? Cynical? Or maybe just old fashioned. I’ll read the article again.

    Meanwhile, don’t give in hardcovers, paperbacks, don’t waver!

    Like

  4. We all have cell phones or most of us do. We have emails, twitters, facebooks, etc., so I’m curious why so many people are opposed to the ebook things-I haven’t seen one yet, and I haven’t had a second to look into one. However, I plan to keep an open mind about it. Years ago I was reluctant to get a computer, and I kept the old dial up far longer than anyone I knew. Somewhere along the way, I became very accepting of new technology. I even purchase songs on itunes, and I swore I’d never do that because I thought buying one song here and there was not showing enough support for the artists. Again, I don’t know what ebooks are all about, but I don’t think they will do away with real books. The ones with bindings. I’m curious about ebooks and I think more importantly my mind is open to whatever it is.
    CB
    p.s. I took a technology class this year, and my professor told us that there is some sort of technology in the works that will be able to reverse aging!! He said it is believed to be about 10-15 yrs. away. Now that’s a piece of technology I’ll drop everything to check out!

    Like

  5. I am wondering if this e-book phenomenon could ever affect the picture books/early readers books. I can’t imagine my 5 year old learning to read from anything but an actual book. I love sitting with him, pointing to letters and sounding out words, and then quickly his eyes darting over to check out the illustrations. An electronic book just wouldn’t cut it with parents and early readers, in my biased opinion =)

    Like

  6. My picture book just went out of print. If I retain the copyright, I’d like to turn it into an e-book.
    As much as I love the feel of a book, I think the iPad will work well for a picture book.

    See this link:
    http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/42762-the-ipad-meets-the-children-s-book.html

    Like

    • I’m curious what you mean by “if you retain the copyright”? Don’t you have the rights to your work? If not, who does?

      Like

      • I’m pretty sure I do. I signed the contract 10 years ago and am not sure where it is. Just having a senior moment.

        Like

  7. Today’s kids are all about technology. They are not us. Kids are growing up with laptops, cell phones, and every other techy gadget you could ever imagine. From what I understand, technology is going to explode over the next 5-10 years. My tech. professor, who is a techy wiz, said that what we’ve seen so far, in terms of tech. advances, is minor compared to what is on the horizon.

    Also, a good friend of mine, who is a reader, bought the ipad or nook or something for her 8 yr. old-they love it. My heart sank a little when I heard that, but at least they are reading. I guess the advantage seems to be that parents can download or buy books without going to the store and it is immediate, so not waiting for a delivery. Does anyone know if that is correct?

    Like

    • I find it more sad than anything. Technology has its place, and there’s no stopping anyway, so we have to accept the future, but parents opting for ebooks simply because it saves them time and is a bit easier than buying a real book truly saddens me 😦
      Donna

      Like

      • Donna,
        I think anything in life will have its positives and negatives, but I think each person has to decide for themselves whether or not they will accept technology and work with it or ignore it. Everyone uses some sort of technology just because it’s easier, in fact, I was just LOL-ing with a friend recently about how we use thesaurus.com because it’s easier. However, I did purchase the Writer’s Thesaurus from B&N a week ago!

        I think the internet offers a lot more exposure for writers and authors and agents and publishers. This blog is a good example. Illustrator Saturdays and guest blogging, etc. I’ve purchased single songs on Itunes, so those artists made more sales because of that. I never would have purchased the whole CD for one song. I think writers/authors will have a better chance to sell to more parents via the internet/ebooks because it’s easier. When I say easier, I mean at their convenience! Today’s parents don’t have the time to browse through bookstores. If they are going to browse, it’ll be online.

        I have two teenagers, and I just finished college as an adult! Whether it was in college with the younger students or at home with my kids and their friends, today’s kids are all about the electronics. I’m sure you know this, but I continue to be amazed by how much these younger generations are engrossed in technology.

        Like

  8. So I had a few mins. today and wandered into a Barnes and Noble. Greeting me as I entered was a woman, who was selling “The Nook.” I think that’s what it is called. There was a huge display for this thing right inside the front door. It can store like 1,500 books, and the cost is cheaper than ordering the real thing or getting it at the store. And books can be bought from home. Although it wouldn’t be the way I choose to read a book, I could definitely see how today’s kids would really enjoy it, really. It would sit nicely alongside their ipods, cell phones, and laptops!

    Then, I skimmed an article on an agent’s blog that discussed how some agent or editor (can’t remember which it was) was considering taking their projects directly to an Amazon ebook thing, which really upset the publishers because it takes work away from them. I guess that might be or is the concern with the electronic books.

    I hate the business end of anything, so I’m going to go draw something or write something. More importantly, I’m looking forward to the big race next week in Monmouth. Looking at Lucky vs. Super Saver–horse race. Now, that just sounds cool!

    Like

  9. Hey, Chris 🙂
    Yes, I know that technology has pretty much won out with the younger generations, and I use my fair amount (though I don’t have to have the trendiest or state-of-the-art) of technology, but if picture books and books in general are going to be electronic, not only is this a lot more EMF exposure, but it’s more that’s reliant on electricity and battery power. It’s the pull further and further away from things more natural and earthly. I just find it sad 😦
    Donna

    Like

    • Donna,

      At least electronic readers will save trees!!

      CB

      Like

      • LOL…yes, Chris, they’ll save trees, BUT I would MUCH rather see trees saved by eliminating the zillions of pounds of JUNK mail we all receive, and the unnecessary exotic-wood furniture and stuff like that, but not books—well, not GOOD books at least 🙂
        Donna

        Like


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