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There was a quote from Jeff Bezos at Monday's Kindle 2 launch, that seemed incorrect to me. Here's the quote, as noted by Engadget:

"More than 10% of the units we sell are Kindle book sales -- that's astonishing. So what happened? 230,000 things happened, and that's Kindle books. Even the best device without selection is useless."

This seems to be saying that 10% of the books that Amazon sells are Kindle books. Given that there only half a million Kindles out there, this number seemed impossibly high to me - given the tens of millions of people who buy printed books from Amazon.

Today, Bezos restated this but with more precise language. Of the 230,000 titles that are in the Kindle store, Kindle sales equate to ten percent of the sales for those titles.

Here's the quote from the Reuters interview with Bezos - with the bolded emphasis mine.

Reuters: Has Kindle been a big hit since its debut late in 2007?
Jeff Bezos: We had way more demand than we ever expected or even hoped for.
which meant that we were sold out during 2 holiday seasons. which is not a good idea - not the plan. we made more than we though we would need and we still sold out. so its a high quality problem in the sense that demand has been very very good.

Reuters: Popular yes, but aren't digital book sales still a fraction of physical book sales?
Bezos: In 14 months, for the 230,000 titles that we have Kindle additions, Kindle unit sales already represent more than 10 percent of Amazon's total sales in those 230,000 titles. We spent 14 years building our physical books business. And in just 14 months, this is already 10 percent. So we are all very surprised that it is being adopted so quickly.


I think ten percent is still a very impressive number, even in this context.
 

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Lizzy said:
I still dont get it. Does that mean they have only sold 23,000 kindles? Or are they talking books.
They are talking books.

Let's say that one of the 230,000 books is I, Robot. If that title sold 100 copies in that 14-month period, then the claim is that basically 10 of those copies were in e-book format.

Of course, my example is highly simplified, but then again, so are statistics. LOL
 

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mwvickers said:
They are talking books.

Let's say that one of the 230,000 books is I, Robot. If that title sold 100 copies in that 14-month period, then the claim is that basically 10 of those copies were in e-book format.

Of course, my example is highly simplified, but then again, so are statistics. LOL
I know many ways to make statistics not simple. It is not that difficult. (Evil grin)
 

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mwvickers said:
Of course, my example is highly simplified, but then again, so are statistics.
Of course you know that 73.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
 

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If you figure that Kindle owners are all dedicated readers that read far more than the average person this makes sense. For most of us, reading is not just a hobby, it's a passion, and one that we've never been able to indulge so easily before. I know I've bought at least 40 books from Amazon since I got my Kindle in September (and that doesn't count the free stuff that I've downloaded). If I hadn't had the Kindle, I might have bought 15 or so books in a comparable time period and I most likely would have bought them from a bricks and mortar store. Hopefully this will encourage the publishers to keep making more titles available in ebook format. ;)
 

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Harvey said:
Bezos: In 14 months, for the 230,000 titles that we have Kindle additions, Kindle unit sales already represent more than 10 percent of Amazon's total sales in those 230,000 titles.
I really hope that Jeff Bezos knows the difference between "additions" and "editions"
 

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Bezos knows enough to beat the economic situation - a rare company that's doing better rather than worse this year (and at Xmas even with no Kindles).

Another author asked, at the Amazon forums, for a citation on some statements made by someone re Amazon's Kindle vs Kindle books providing most of the (net) income.

I sent him to your blog post on this, harvey. Am doing my best to let others see what good stuff is here. (He's probably here already!)

<patting myself on the head> That was for Leslie re her request.
 

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artsandhistoryfan said:
I sent him to your blog post on this, harvey. Am doing my best to let others see what good stuff is here. (He's probably here already!)

<patting myself on the head> That was for Leslie re her request.
Thank you A&HF!

L
 
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