Amazon's Kindle Outsells Hardcopy Books by 80%

KC Kelly Ph.D.'s picture

The Kindle electronic reader is blowing off the shelves in stores and Amazon.com is selling more downloaded books than ever. More and more people are turning to reading books that they have downloaded from the Internet than they are to buying hard cover books in bookstores. Great for Internet companies, bad for the bookstores.

As digital books are taking over the publishing industry, sites such as the Internet retailer, Amazon.com are saying that they are now selling 80% more downloaded books than hardbacks. Amazon's download format is for its Kindle electronic reader as well as other devices.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive stated,"The Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Astonishing when considering that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years and Kindle books for 33 months."

With the convenience of downloading books online, there is less and less reason for people to spend the time and gas money to get into their cars to visit bookstores. The Internet has been taking over many industries and it is now making its way to the publishing industry. Although paperback books were not included in the statistic, it may be safe to say that if they were included, the statistic may have been higher, but that is not a concluded fact.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Wilkofsky Gruen Associates Incorporated did a survey. The study showed that, “Although revenue from retail sales of printed books has been stagnant for several years, electronic books were forecast to surge to $1.6 billion in sales in 2010 from $1 billion last year.”

It seems as though publishing companies are trying harder than ever to compete with the online companies by lower their prices on their inventory of books sold for retail purchase in stores. However, they are having a difficult time keeping up with the new trend. Amazon said, “For its full second quarter, 143 electronic books were purchased on the site for every 100 hardcover books sold.”

Barnes & Noble, still trying to fight for sales, lowered the price of the Kindle’s rival, the e-book reader, Nook, from $199 to $150. However, it was only hours later when Amazon made a huge decrease in the price of the Kindle portable reader to make it more affordable for people to purchase it. When Amazon lowered their price of the Kindle from $189 from $259 last month, they said sales of the device tripled.

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