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Old 03-07-2008, 09:04 AM   #1
Richard Herley
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Kindle books outsell publishers' expectations

Silicon Alley Insider is reporting that 'Evan Schnittman, head of biz dev at 35,000-title textbook publisher Oxford University Press, says a pal at one of the "biggest trade publishers in the world" called him this week, shocked at how well Kindle-formatted books had sold in December, just after the Kindle's launch.

'That prompted Schnittman to look at his royalty statements, which he said "stunned" him: He had expected to sell up to 200 Kindle titles in December, but says the real numbers were "an order of magnitude" more than that.'

(Via TeleRead)

Amazon are apparently not releasing any data about the number of Kindles sold so far, but this is still an interesting anecdote.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:51 PM   #2
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Before all the Kindle haters jump on here and mention that this may very well be the beginning of the apocalypse and that we're all sheep being led to slaughter because we buy Kindle books, I want to say that I think this is a good thing.

I'm glad that the Kindle is proving to be a success, because it may start to make people realize how great the concepts of ebooks/ebook readers really are.

Ok, now the Kindle/Swindle vast corporate conspiracy theorists can chime in about how this is either a sham or our privacy is ruined or some other nonsense about how a big corporation can never be good for us.

OH MY GOD, DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? AMAZON MAY BE MAKING A PROFIT! THE HORROR! THE HORROR OF IT ALL! DAMN THEM AND THEIR DRM!

Ok, I'm done being sarcastic.

Last edited by tsgreer; 03-15-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:31 PM   #3
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Heck -- I hadn't even *heard* of the other types of e-ink reader until the Kindle debuted. Then I googled some research and checked all the brands, before deciding that the Kindle was the right one for me. So, at the very least, Amazon brought the e-book device out into the general view. (And even so, many of the other geeks I showed it to, had never heard of one. Those are *geeks* mind you!!)
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:26 PM   #4
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I agree wholeheartedly with you tsgreer.

I'm hoping the Kindle does for ebook readers what the iPod has done for mp3 players. Sure they try and get people to use DRM but if this is the short-term price for a bigger ebook market I'm all for it. Ultimately nothing can withstand the liberation of information. Eventually some clever hackers will crack the Amazon DRM (if they haven't already) and the entirety of the Amazon library will end up on the internet DRM-free. But even if they don't, Amazon has injected new customers into the market that might never have consider ebooks were it not for the Kindle. New customers == higher profits for the ebook industry == greater investment in ebook technology == more choice for all of us.

Bring on the success of the Kindle! And Amazon: make it available in Australia already!
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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It's still a bit early to be popping any corks. It's good that a major publisher sold 2000 books as opposed to the 200 they expected. Of course, compared to their print sales, it's probably still a drop in the bucket.

In comparison, my Kindle sales have been an order of magnitude slower than my web site sales... I haven't made enough since November to get even a single royalty check from Amazon.

At this point, I wouldn't give this anecdote much weight. Let's wait until we get some hard numbers.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:03 AM   #6
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I certainly hope this is a sign of greater acceptance and a "breakthrough" for digital books. I am certainly not married to the Sony Reader, and find any news of greater sales of digital books to be a very good thing.

For writers like Steve Jordan, Richard Herley, and Michael McCollum. it is most likely a best bet to keep their books available in as many formats as possible. That way a person who desires any book is not tied down to a specific hardware device and (as in the case of the aforementioned authors) without damnable DRM. This keeps them available to as many purchasers as possible, and their ebooks available to all of us readers.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
In comparison, my Kindle sales have been an order of magnitude slower than my web site sales... I haven't made enough since November to get even a single royalty check from Amazon.

At this point, I wouldn't give this anecdote much weight. Let's wait until we get some hard numbers.
Ah, but this Kindle owner bought directly from your web site.
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
It's still a bit early to be popping any corks. It's good that a major publisher sold 2000 books as opposed to the 200 they expected. Of course, compared to their print sales, it's probably still a drop in the bucket.

In comparison, my Kindle sales have been an order of magnitude slower than my web site sales... I haven't made enough since November to get even a single royalty check from Amazon.

At this point, I wouldn't give this anecdote much weight. Let's wait until we get some hard numbers.
I agree with you that this is just a small positive news item, but every journey begins with a first step. I'm happy that we keep hearing lots of good little stories like this, because eventually they will to add up to a bigger success in the end.

I really do think that the Kindle is making more people aware of e-books and that is a good thing for all of us, regardless of our chosen reader.

My son works in a shopping mall, and when I go to pick him up, I read my kindle as I wait. I have been stopped at least once every single day by someone that asks "Hey, is that that Amazon thingy?" I am not exaggerating--it really has been at least once a day that I am at the mall. I'm happy to show them too, but at the end, they always ask the price. And when I tell them, most say they'll wait till it comes down in price.

But of course, since I am a Kindle owner and think it's very good at what it does, I get a wee bit more excited.

But you are correct in implying that we have a long way to go before e-book publishing is more than a just a few drops in a bucket. But that time will come and we are seeing the beginning stages.

No disrespect to my cybook-illiad-sony-brothers/sisters-in-arms, but Amazon was the one with the marketing muscle to make the average, non-geek (and even some geeks) aware of ebook readers. That's why I fail to understand some of the kindle-bashing comments in other threads.

Last edited by tsgreer; 03-16-2008 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsgreer View Post
No disrespect to my cybook-illiad-sony-brothers/sisters-in-arms, but Amazon was the one with the marketing muscle to make the average, non-geek (and even some geeks) aware of ebook readers. That's why I fail to understand some of the kindle-bashing comments in other threads.
I agree with this and the earlier statement.. It's unfortunate, but more or less standard practice on the net, to absolutely trash what you don't have, the choice you didn't make, etc. "The PS3 sucks! The Mac sucks! The PC sucks!" It can so rarely be "well, for me this was what worked..."

As far as I can tell... the arguments aren't even coherent. Yes, DRM sucks but is there some huge (Amazon sized) non-DRM book store out there that I'm missing out on by using the Kindle?

No?

Oh, well then....

I can put Mobi books on there. Anything I can convert to Mobi I can put on there, I can send PDF's, HTML and Doc's there... If I can find something without DRM, great... but since most of what I'm interested in isn't available as such, DRM wins (for now.)

The Sony Reader is a great device, and the others I've seen have been pretty decent too... But all in all, it's about the content and Amazon seems to be the one delivering.

So for now I'll keep enjoying my Kindle and be glad the market is expanding and hope for a day that Amazon sells DRM-free books and periodicals that are available for a number of devices.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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Ah, but this Kindle owner bought directly from your web site.
10-coo!

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I really do think that the Kindle is making more people aware of e-books and that is a good thing for all of us, regardless of our chosen reader.
In fact, that's possibly the best single thing about the Kindle.

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Originally Posted by tsgreer View Post
My son works in a shopping mall, and when I go to pick him up, I read my kindle as I wait. I have been stopped at least once every single day by someone that asks "Hey, is that that Amazon thingy?" I am not exaggerating--it really has been at least once a day that I am at the mall. I'm happy to show them too, but at the end, they always ask the price. And when I tell them, most say they'll wait till it comes down in price.
Now that's an anecdote to pass on to Amazon...
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Old 03-16-2008, 06:11 PM   #11
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I'm personally glad the kindle came along it pointed me to other ereader devices and for that I thank amazon. I had given up on ebooks on my old palm 760.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
It's still a bit early to be popping any corks. It's good that a major publisher sold 2000 books as opposed to the 200 they expected. Of course, compared to their print sales, it's probably still a drop in the bucket.

In comparison, my Kindle sales have been an order of magnitude slower than my web site sales... I haven't made enough since November to get even a single royalty check from Amazon.

At this point, I wouldn't give this anecdote much weight. Let's wait until we get some hard numbers.
Perhaps your reader base has been around ebooks longer then Kindle owners. And as such, they also know it's better to buy directly from you and just port over to the Kindle if they own one.

Speaking of which I need to get over and buy your 10-book thingy...*poof*.....*pop*...done....thanx!!
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