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Kindle sales outpace iBooks by 60:1 ratio, author says

updated 07:20 pm EDT, Mon August 23, 2010

Performance doesn't hold up to Jobs' claims

Despite Steve Jobs' recent claim that the iBookstore has taken 22 percent of the US e-book market, some authors still report significantly higher sales volume on the Kindle. Author J. A. Konrath has published more than three dozen books on both platforms, with Kindle sales averaging 200 e-books every day. On the iBookstore, however, sales have only reached approximately 100 each month.

It is unclear if Konrath's numbers represent a common experience among the majority of publishers who have embraced digital distribution through both portals. Jobs' comments were made in June, several months after the iPad and iBookstore were both launched.

Although Amazon has maintained its dominant position in the e-book market, analysts expect the iBookstore to continue taking market share. In the meantime, customers can still find a wider selection for the Kindle. Amazon's Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad also serves to bolster e-book sales for the online retailer. [via The Next Web]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Who is this guy?

    Does anyone know of any work by this Konrath fellow?

    Maybe his sales are slow because his work does not appeal as much to the typical iPad owner.

  1. hassanpr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Good point

    good point aristotles. The typical iPad owner also does more than just read books with the device. The iPad does an unlimited amount of things more than the kindle or any other ebook reader. Also the ipad isn't a ebook reader its a tablet that can display ebooks. I only purchased about 5 books with it. Im more of a syfy and magazine guy. I don't like ebooks. If they add some features to the books maybe i will buy more.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Hey, good for Kindle, Amazon deserves it...

    They did a darn good job of jumpstarting the eReader market. They took a big risk and played it low key. The hardware is nothing fancy but it does what it needs to do well enough. The Kindle sell books and it should be achieving that much. If it didn't, it would be considered a failure. It's not competition for the iPad, so it shouldn't be compared.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Right on the money aristotles!

    J. A. Konrath appears to write hack mystery books and, get this, his detective is Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels and the books are named after mixed drinks.

    Wow a pinnacle of modern culture here!

    Jeez, I can hardly wait to download the whole set.

  1. garmonbosia

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Here's what I want to know

    There are tens of millions of iOS devices out there, all of which are capable of running the Kindle app and buying Kindle books, as do I. On the other hand there are around 3 or so million Kindle readers out there. At some point the people with iOS devices are going to buy a few books from the iBook store and when they do they may never go back to the Kindle store. The math is obvious. This author should shut his mouth and try to not turn off the majority of his future customers.

  1. rtamesis

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2000


    iBookstore selection too pitiful

    I keep emailing Apple that I want books of my favorite authors into the iBookstore, but so far they seem to be going only with the most recently published books on the NY TImes. Heck, you can't even get Stieg Larrson's Millenium trilogy on the iBookstore, only on the Kindle, so guess where I bought my ebooks from?

  1. chas_m




    Amazon has a dedicated device that has sold reasonably well (its not the mainstream device Amazon likes to pretend it is, but it's moderately popular), so 100% of purchases on it are going to be books. The overall books market for Kindle is over three years old and maturing.

    The iPad is four months old, has ebooks as only a small part of its offerings, and is growing at an alarming rate (which will accelerate with the holiday season). So maybe 10% (if that) of purchases made through the iPad are books. This will probably rival Kindle's sales volume in a year or so.

    To get an accurate picture of which device is grabbing consumer dollars better, we should be comparing total dollar amounts of money spent at the Kindle store vs. overall money spent via iBooks, the iTunes Store and the App Store. I think THERE is where you'd find the real story.

    It should also be noted that until Apple forced their hand, authors made LESS per sale on Kindle than they did from Apple. Even if iBooks sales never reach Kindle levels, authors have a lot to be grateful to Apple (and to a lesser extent Sony, B&N etc) for.

  1. pmhacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007


    Ipad owner/Amazon and BN buyer

    I think that iBooks is great. I love the interface more than the others. However, the book selection is pitiful and the store layout is impossible to navigate. I hate searching for books and almost every time, not finding them. I also hate having to physically sync my iPhone to get the books on it if I buy them from my iPad. So I end up doing my book buying on BN and occasionally Amazon. The BN Nook for iPad is great. I know the store will have what I need, it will be easy to find and I won't have books spread over 3 different readers. I would buy more with Amazon but I just don't like the kindle interface as much as the Nook interface.

    Apple needs to get their book inventory up, and clean up the store interface and I will gladly start buying more books from ibooks.

    I do use ibooks to read imported epub that I have made with stanza.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Hunt, Gather, Read

    NONE of the current eBook stores are particularly good and ALL are frustrating to use, IMHO. Maybe I'm interested in more obscure things to read.

    Apple's iBooks has a limited selection.

    Amazon may have 6 different versions of the same book, at different price points and nothing in their descriptions to help sort it out. It's maddening.

    Stanza searches lead to a list of other sites to search. Some of the books I've gotten there have bad formatting.

    Nook I have, but not tried.

    I end up at Project Gutenberg quite a bit.

    Half the time I resort to hunting for ePubs on a few other sites I've found. Often I just give up looking out of frustration, which is kind of a bummer because reading on my iPad is great and I like using all the different eReader apps, which all have strengths and weaknesses.

    It's pretty early in the game, so it'll be interesting to see how it all settles.

  1. broohaha22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006


    What's with the hate?

    Seriously, it's not like this guy is insulting your mother. Or even that he's saying the iPad sucks!

    The 60:1 ratio is an interesting data point worth bringing up. But we all know that the iPad is still a freaking great device, and it appears no one is disputing that. What the article seems to point out, though, is that the Kindle does have legs and staying power. And that's just about it.

    As for my vantage point, I see that the Kindle is the more popular device I see during my daily commute. But I've found more co-workers own iPads than Kindles.

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