July 20, 2010
People who purchase books from Amazon.com apparently prefer to receive their reading material electronically. The online retailer reports e-books outsold hardcovers by 43 percent over the last three months.

The company also announced that sales of its Kindle device 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 and CEO of Amazon.com. "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 The New York Times Best Sellers. Over 510,000 of these books are $9.99 or less.

E-book sales explosion

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, the company said.

The e-book trend has been building over time. Amazon says it sold more than three times as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as in the first half of 2009. Industry data also reflect the e-book trend. The Association of American Publishers' latest data report that e-book sales grew 163 percent in the month of May and 207 percent year-to-date through May.