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.
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.