Sometime this week Amazon’s Kindle Store catalog will surpass the 400,000-title milestone, with the title count in many countries beyond US borders lagging about 20 percent behind, but the rate at which downloaded copies are flying off of Amazon’s virtual shelves all over the world is an even bigger deal.
On Saturday Amazon issued a press release announcing that “[o]n Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books.” That’s exciting and seemingly newsworthy, although it is natural that this would have happened with hundreds of thousands of new Kindle owners opening their Kindles and finding nothing to read on them but a snappy welcome letter from Jeff Bezos.
But that’s not to say it is not a big deal. It is the latest in a steady flow of data points suggesting not only that Amazon is dominating both the hardware and content markets of the ebook sector but also that the ebook revolution itself is moving with stunning alacrity from its inflection point this past September to a tipping point that should occur, at the latest, in 2014.
While all of this is great for Kindle owners and for Amazon, the folks for whom it is most compelling are authors and publishers. The sheer size of the installed base of Kindles — probably over 3 million now — is creating ebook sales numbers that will raise eyebrows in publishing offices around the world over the next few weeks. My own Kindle guide was already the #1 consumer guide in the Kindle Store before Christmas morning, but the three days since most gifts were unwrapped have already accounted for over two-thirds of its total copies sold for the month of December.
The current catalog of 399,563 titles, as I type this around dawn on December 28, can be a little daunting, so below for your shopping convenience is a breakdown of 19,822 Free Kindle Edition Books & Over 379,500 Other Kindle Books Sorted By Price. If you are reading this post on your Kindle and you would prefer to view it on the web just type bit.ly/KNDBlog into your browser.