December 16, 2011

Amazon Sells Over 1 Million Kindles per Week

In the past, Amazon has tended to remain mum about the specific sales volume of Kindle eReaders and eBooks. The only figure you hear is the occasional snippet from the CEO, Jeff Bezos, that Amazon was making "millions" of Kindles or they had sold millions since the device was released in 2007. However, Amazon issued a press release on Thursday, December 15, that they were selling millions of Kindles per week. From the press release: today announced that Kindle devices remain the hottest products this holiday season – for the third week in a row, customers are purchasing well over 1 million Kindle devices per week, and Kindle Fire remains the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on since its introduction 11 weeks ago.
The rock-bottom prices for the Kindle is certainly contributing to the high sales, and as Liza Daly points out in this excellent, scholarly report on eBooks, Amazon really revolutionized the content distribution infrastructure for their gadgets. But we all need to beware of the Ides of March. Large companies that get too big to fail tend to collapse under their own bureaucracy and lack of innovation. The poor roll-out of the new Kindle Format is just one symptom of a larger problem. The embarrassing deletion of best-selling Sugar & Spice from the Amazon UK store is another symptom.

While I'm generally supportive of Amazon, they can hopefully address some of the issues that publishers, self-publishers, and readers are complaining about. Because, Amazon is a lot like Frank Sinatra, it's their world and we just live in it.


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