But of course, Amazon — as ever — offered absolutely no proof of its claims. As the WSJ report noted, “the statistics that Amazon shared were all relative—it didn’t share actual sales figures. The company has never said how many Kindle devices or e-books it has sold.”
Still, I wouldn't be surprised that the total number of units sold is higher for e-books than hardcovers through Amazon.
I wouldn't be mourning the demise of the hardback yet.
First, it's summer. Isn't this traditionally a slow time for hardbacks? People grab up summer reads, and that's perfect for kindle. But hardbacks make a jump at Christmas and holidays. (And hardbacks are also a library and institutional thing.)
Personally, I'll continue to buy hardbacks at the same rate always, but I'll be glad to replace the paperback with ebooks.
That may be true now, but that's not really the point. The point is that in a year or two, that won't even be close to being true. It's important to read these stats as part of a trend, not as an isolated absolute.
Great snarky quote from the Kindle Nation Daily blog, on the relative flatlining of iBooks as compared to the Kindle-for-iPad app:
I don't want to speculate that Steve Jobs' wardrobe range is predictive of his approach as a bookseller, but while there may be retail businesses where carrying an unlimited supply of just a few items works well, bookselling is not one of them.
True dat. iBooks at the moment seems a bit barren--not very many choices, clunky and hard to browse--but I'm guessing it was set up as a bit of an afterthought. The ibooks themselves look much better on the iPad than Kindle books for iPad, though.
If true, and I'm sure it is based on everything I've read, credit goes to Amazon for creating the ultimate Trojan horse — the Kindle-for-iPad app. Pure tapeworm-tastic genius, bringing together the superior bookseller with the superior vehicle.