According to a recent Amazon press release, electronic books delivered via Amazon’s Kindle platform now outsell hardcover editions:
“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.com. “In addition, 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.” [Read More]
Writing on the North Plains blog, WeSpeakDigitalMedia.com blog, Joshua Duhl comments:
“Publishers are still highly selective in publishing eBook titles because they still lack the infrastructure to quickly and easily put out all books as both hardcover and eBooks. There are many more books that could potentially be e-published, especially if they had better eBook publishing and distribution processes. It illustrates both just how far the industry has come, and just how fare it is from getting to “long-tail” eBook publishing.” [Read More]
Of course, Amazon do not discuss the role of the iPad in the ongoing rise of electronic books, although this would increase the volume of potential eBooks sales still further. The economics of print publishing certainly do appear to be increasingly difficult to justify and in the same way that B2B news/magazine titles have increasingly migrated toward electronic only distribution, the same can be expected of books also now. The cost savings in terms of warehouse storage for print titles alone makes this trend seemingly inevitable.