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eBook Sales Up, Amazon’s Kindle Eyed

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Amazon remains mum on the issue; there’s no telling if we’ll ever find out how many Kindles the company’s moving.  There has been a documented rise in eBook sales, however, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to connect A and B.

eBook Sales Are Rising
 Jeff Bezos
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia.com)

Admittedly, bigger jumps have occurred before; the International Digital Publishing Forum’s figures show a huge increase between the third and fourth quarters of 2006, for example.  Still, Richard McRoskey notes, "In January, y/y revenue from e-book sales jumped 24 percent for U.S. publishers."

What’s more, there’s good reason to believe the number could have been larger.  McRoskey brings up a supply-side problem by continuing, "Just imagine what might happen when Amazon is able to start fulfilling Kindle orders."

Finally, although we’re still at conjecture-level thinking, it seems that some investors have bought the Kindle-eBook connection.  The stock market is doing well today, but Amazon’s rise is beating both the Dow and the Nasdaq in terms of percentage gains.

CEO Jeff Bezos recently stated that he hopes to have Kindle’s in stock "within the next few weeks."

eBook Sales Up, Amazon’s Kindle Eyed
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  • Guest

    ebook sales almost always jump in january as people receive new handheld devices of all kinds as holiday gifts in late december. Many people read ebooks on blackberry, palm, windows mobile, and smartphones, all of which jump in sales that time of year.

    Not enough kindles were in stock to significantly increase the figures for january. Perhaps one-third of the jump was directly due to kindles, at most. All ebook retailers noted large gains. It is true that part of this was all the hype and marketing centering around kindle increasing awareness of ebooks for the general public, the rising kindle tide lifting all boats.

    Kindle will find that there will be stiff competition from iphone (which by july will be a very nice ebook reading platform because of the newly released SDK) as well as other low cost and more open devices that will launch directly because of Kindle’s perceived success. The irony is that Kindle will dramatically increase the ebook market in 2008 but the primary beneficiaries of this will not be Amazon themselves due to their supply blunders, but rather all the other ebook retailers and device makers who will gain more sales (combined) that Amazon does for themselves. This is not to say that Amazon won’t sell a lot of devices and a lot of content, they will. But had they not had this supply problem they could have been dominant. They will be a major player, but they will not dominate now, they gave more nimble competitors too much time to capitalize.

    It’s basic marketing: don’t stimulate demand until you can fill that demand yourself, otherwise you’re just making demand for your competition.

  • Guest

    While this is a great new "gizmo" and seemingly timed right for holiday shoppers, I believe that the lack of product availability has hurt Amazon more than they realize. Not only have I postponed my book purchases until I can get my hands on a Kindle, the purchase itself will cut deeply into my book-buying budget. I believe that this one-two punch might be the downfall of this eReading contender. Additionally, Amazon’s inability to keep the item in stock while the early adapters clamber to get their hands on one of this year’s hottest electronics items will eventually see the market’s desire die down.

    The longer I wait, the more my burning desire dwindles to a smoldering want. Eventually, it will fizzle out entirely. I start thinking about what usually happens when demand exceeds supply, manufacturers start rushing to get units out the door and quality starts to suffer. Therefore, I have to think to myself that I must wait until the hype has completely run its course. I could get stuck with a shoddily crafted device, and I’ll need to wait even longer for an RMA and subsequent replacement, after the Kindle that I waited so long to receive fails due to infant mortality.

    The next thing you know, I won’t have purchased a book for an entire year or more because of the never-ending wait for this revolutionary device. Will 2008 book sales be diminished due to this revolution? I guess that remains to be seen. How well did they hold up in the first quarter? My bet would be that this is hurting Amazon and it may take awhile for them to recover.

    In the meantime, I’ll be patiently waiting for Kindle v2.1 (if I can wait for 2.0, I may as well wait for 2.1). I hope my mind doesn’t turn to mush while my book reading is put on hold.

    T. Rasmussen
    Patient Early Adapter

  • terry

    I’ve been trying to decide which e-book reader to get for my mom. I figured I would have to get her both an ebook reader and a laptop, so she could download things (now she downloads ebooks from http://www.ebook-search-queen.com/ ). Knowing that the Kindle doesn’t require her to go to her computer, or even have a wireless network setup, makes my decision easy. For her needs, it is the ideal item. Thank you for this!