Today’s Wall Street Journal online quotes Amazon.com as saying that ebooks have outsold hardcover books over the last three months.
Additional statistics from that article include: “Amazon sought to suggest that Amazon remains the leading retailer for e-books. The company said that of the 1.14 million James Patterson e-books sold as of July 6, nearly 868,000 were from Amazon.” Also, “in June, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had claimed that his company’s iBookstore, which launched in April, had taken 20% of the market.”
My observations of these developments are two-fold.
One. Everyone is claiming “dominance” but no one is sharing actual verifiable data. It’s like standing on the playground in pre-school and saying “my Dad can beat up your Dad.”
Two. Claiming that e-books have outsold hardcovers is disingenuous if they are counting free downloads as sales. Remember when Amazon claimed that on Christmas Day they sold more e-books than p-books? Of course they did. Everyone who received a Kindle as a gift, turned it on and downloaded books. Who else was shopping for books on Christmas Day?
Remember the news adage “if it bleeds it leads.” So just because something makes a great headline and a press release doesn’t necessarily reflect day-to-day mundane reality.
By the way, take a look at the comments section of yesterday’s blog entry. Randy Ingermanson provided some great thoughts and I responded with a couple other things to consider as well as part of the ongoing discussion on this issue.