By Harry McCracken | Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 8:45 am
First, Amazon.com started selling more Kindle books than hardcovers. Then Kindle tombs overtook paperbacks. And now Amazon is trumpeting a new milestone: it’s selling more Kindle books than hardcovers and paperbacks combined.
Amazon quotes founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in its press release:
Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly — we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.
I’m startled, too–as interesting as the Kindle obviously was when it shipped in November of 2007, I would have guessed that books for it would become a healthy minority of Amazon’s business within a few years, not the majority in terms of unit sales. (Then again, Amazon has marketed the Kindle far more aggressively than I would have predicted, more or less turning over its home page to Kindle promotion.)
I’m doing my part to help the company make the big transition–generally speaking, if I’m buying a book from Amazon and it’s available for the Kindle, that’s the version I get. Then again, I still buy plenty of paper books, although I try to buy them from local independent bookstores who need the dough rather than from Amazon.
And I have a few questions related to today’s landmark: