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Amazon Claims Dramatic Kindle Growth

7/19/2010 04:30:32 PM Eastern
Seattle - Amazon.com is claiming major growth with its Kindle device since it lowered the price to $189.

While not providing specific unit sales numbers, Amazon said in a statement 24 hours before rival Apple reports its quarterly financial that the Kindle e-reader's unit sales accelerated each month in the second quarter -- both on a sequential month-over-month basis and on a year-over-year basis.

"We've reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle. The growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189," said Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon.com, in a statement.

"In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books -- astonishing when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months,"  Bezos said.

The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, including new releases and 106 of 110 New York Times Best Sellers. More than 510,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 75 New York Times Best Sellers. More than 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle, according to the retailer.

Amazon.com said recent milestones for Kindle books include:

Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 143 Kindle books. Over the past month, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 180 Kindle books. This is across Amazon.com's entire U.S. book business and includes sales of hardcover books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded, and if included would make the number even higher.

Amazon sold more than three times as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009.

The Association of American Publishers' latest data reports that e-book sales grew 163 percent in the month of May and 207 percent year-to-date through May. Kindle book sales in May and year-to-date through May exceeded those growth rates.

On July 6, Hachette announced that James Patterson had sold 1.14 million e-books to date. Of those, 867,881 were Kindle books.

Five authors -- Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson and Nora Roberts -- have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books.
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