Amazon is reporting that on Christmas it sold more Kindle books than physicals books. At the moment, because it insists on charging no more than $9.99 for books, even for best-sellers, and despite publisher protests, Amazon loses money on each Kindle book it sells.
Now, we may find this impressive or not in and of itself — and, speaking in my capacity as an author, I’m perfectly happy to sell e-books to those who prefer to read in that format; and I see the value in selling a high volume of individually cheaper books — but I’m skeptical about this statistic and its importance. To understand why, look at the list of Kindle bestsellers.
At the time of this posting, 7 out of 10 of the bestselling books for the Kindle cost $0.00. That’s right, lots of authors are giving Kindle books away, and consumers predictably prefer free books to books that cost them money. I mean, really, is it any surprise that people are willing to download lots and lots of free books?