Jan. 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM ET
When Amazon announced that its third-generation Kindle "eclipsed 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' as the bestselling product in Amazon’s history," we knew it'd only be a matter of time before we heard the announcement that Kindle books outsell paperback books. And now, about a month after that Kindle announcement, it's here, from Jeff Bezos: "Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com."
This comes six months after Amazon announced Kindle book sales had overtaken hardcover sales and had predicted Kindle books reaching this milestone in the second quarter of this year, so it's ahead of schedule. Not only that, but the company announced that its fourth quarter sales topped $10 billion for the first time.
Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. In July, Kindle books surpassed hardcovers, selling 143 for every 100.
Hardcover sales still trail Kindle books, with the latter selling three times as much during this same period. These numbers stretch across "Amazon.com'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." Amazon reminds us that "millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle."
The numbers are mind boggling: the U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 810,000 books including new releases and 107 of 112 New York Times bestsellers.
The price point of Kindle books may also have something to do with its sales: over 670,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 74 New York Times bestsellers.