Kindle Books Outsell Hardcovers

Kindle producer Amazon (s amzn) is all excited because the recent price drop of the Kindle (from $259 to $189) has resulted in a Kindle growth rate three times as high as before the drop. Kindle books (e-books) are now outselling the hardcover editions on Amazon by a healthy margin, too. The company still won’t spill any hard sales numbers, but the general trend for the Kindle ecosystem is definitely on the up-swing. What Amazon won’t divulge is how many of those Kindle books are being distributed to other reader devices, instead of the Kindle reader.

“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  “In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. 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.”

Over the past three months, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon sold it sold 143 Kindle books. The number of Kindle books per 100 hardcover editions rose to 180 over the past month along. The trend is definitely pointing to the e-book editions going more mainstream than in the past.

The most interesting statistic may be one that Amazon is not sharing at all — how many of those Kindle books are not sold for the Kindle reader at all? Amazon now has released versions of the Kindle app, originally available just for the iPhone, for most smartphone platforms and the iPad. These apps exposed consumers to the Kindle bookstore even when no Kindle reader is around. Amazon no doubt tracks buying habits in relation to devices used, and reading habits as it syncs bookmarks and reading positions on all devices used by the consumer. It would be nice to see how Kindle book customers are reading all of these books.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?