Jul 192010

Amazon announced today that their e-book sales have overtaken hardcover sales. The numbers are actually quite staggering: for the latest quarter, Amazon sold 143 e-books for every 100 hardcovers they sold. The numbers for the past month are even more impressive: 180 e-books for every 100 hardcovers — nearly double. Even more impressive is that they aren’t juicing the numbers, as they are not including free e-book downloads (like Apple probably did), and are even including hardcover sales where there is no corresponding Kindle version. Wow.

A few other tidbits:

  • Amazon’s e-book sales from the first half of 2010 were triple that of the first half of 2009.
  • Amazon exceeded the impressive industry sales stats I mentioned yesterday of 163% increased sales year-over-year in May, and 207% year-to-date.
  • It was recently announced that James Patterson was the first author to sell a million e-books, 1.14 million, to be exact. Of those, Amazon sold 867,881 of them (over 76%).
  • The growth rate of Kindle sales has tripled since the recent price drop from $259 to $189, and have increased each month in the quarter (April, May, and June). Perhaps now we can stop hearing about how the iPad (released April 3) will “kill” the Kindle?

One interesting note is that Amazon didn’t specify how many of its e-book sales are through the Kindle for iPad app. But considering that Kindle 2 unit sales have been increasing each month, and that the Kindle is better suited for hard-core readers than the iPad, I doubt that Kindle book sales on the iPad were more than a minor percentage.

Either way, very impressive numbers that paint a very positive outlook for e-books and readers.

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