Kindle E-Books Turn Amazon’s Page

The digital format outsells traditional paperbacks, according to Amazon

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The Amazon brand was given a serious boost with the launch of their Kindle e-reader, and they are still reaping the rewards as the digital book formats are outselling the more traditional reading medium, paperback books.

According to their fourth quarter report, for every 100 paperback books sold, Amazon sold 115 books in Kindle’s format.  Furthermore, the e-book format is also outselling hardback books — normally, the most expensive of the three formats — by a factor of three.

In their own words:

Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the numbers even higher.

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Considering how much Amazon pushes the Kindle device, the news probably isn’t all that surprising, but as a reader, the news is greeted with some melancholy.  Considering e-book buyers are missing the tactile sensation of page-turning, as well as the feel of the cover surface and the weight of the book in one’s hands is a little disappointing.

But then again, think of all the trees being saved — provided the physical books being outsold were never put into print.

Nevertheless, Amazon’s profit increase shows just how well the Kindle/e-book format does for them.  In 2010, their net income rose 28% to $1.15 billion.  It’s safe to say the explosion of the Kindle and its e-books has much to do with Amazon’s increasing profits.

Kindle E-Books Turn Amazon’s Page
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