Thursday, January 27, 2011

eBooks Take No. 1 Slot In Amazon Book Sales, Ahead Of Paperbacks, Hardbacks And Expectations, As The Company Has First $10 Billion Quarter

Amazon had a great 2010, and eBook sales were a big part of the success.  The company today announced Fourth Quarter sales rose 36% over the previous year’s Fourth, up to $12.94 billion.

Contributing was growth of ebook sales, which last July were predicted to outpace paperback sales sometime in the second quarter of 2011.  Instead, "since the beginning of the year," the company sold 115 ebooks for every 100 paperbacks, putting the ebook format in first place in book sales.  Amazon said it now stocks 810,000 ebooks in the Kindle Store.

Importantly, paperback sales at the company continue to rise and, even if “cannibalized” by ebook sales, are still thriving and growing.

Despite competition from the iPad, Android tablets and smartphones as eBook readers, Kindle device sales continue to boom.

"Thanks to our customers, we achieved two big milestones," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of "We had our first $10 billion quarter, and after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl e-ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on

“Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected - and it's on top of continued growth in paperback sales."

“ is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books,” according to Bezos.  “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'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.

Other highlights from today’s announcement:

“The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 810,000 books including New Releases and 107 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 670,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 74 New York Times Bestsellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.”

“The company sold millions of third-generation Kindle devices with the new advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display in the fourth quarter and the third-generation Kindle eclipsed "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" as the bestselling product in Amazon's history.”

“Net sales increased 36% to $12.95 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $9.52 billion in fourth quarter 2009. Excluding the $139 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 37% compared with fourth quarter 2009.”

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