Monday, 7 April 2014

Amazon: the strongest player in the game

A short history of ebooks

As far as electronic books are concerned, the market leader is certainly Amazon. The reason for this can be the fact, that it was Amazon Kindle, that became the most popular and favourite e-reader and served as a great advertisement for the Amazon online archive of e-books.
Sony Librie from 2006
The ebooks existed long before the Kindle was introduced, but they never became really very popular. The readers could download them in HTML or PDF format and use their computers or mobile phones to read them. That was rather impractical and that was the reason why ebooks started to be really popular shortly after e-ink readers were introduced. Even though the very first ebook readers were introduced by Sony in september 2006 called Librie, it never became as popular as Amazon's product.
Since 2007 many things have changed, but Amazon has not been beaten by any other company yet. Two years later, they started to sell Kindle internationally, which caused almost a revolution in book reading. Barnes and Noble released their Nook, which forced Amazon to lower the price of their product.
With the popularity of the device, Amazon Kindle Store, serving as a main source of ebooks, published many books, digitalising vast majority of publications. Magazines and newspaper are not an exception.
In 2011 Amazon started to claim that ebooks are already outselling real books.
Four years after the launch of electronic novels, the firm announced it has sold 105 e-books for every 100 printed books over the past six weeks.
While e-book sales have previously outsold hardback books, never before have they exceeded sales of all books, in both hardback and paperback forms.

The hits of today

The cover of a special Kindle
edition of Hunger Games trilogy
Nowadays, many new novels, especially directed to the younger generation, gained a huge success as ebooks. A great example is Suzane Collins' Hunger Games that was considered to be as a huge hit in Kindle Store, before it reached the cinemas. 
The Hunger Games trilogy has sold extremely well in ebook format: Collins was the sixth author and first YA author to be named to Amazon's Kindle Million club, which means a million copies of her books had been sold to Kindle users. And in March, it was announced that she is the bestselling Kindle ebook author ever.

Amazon even claimed that this book sold more copies than Harry Potter, but this does not concern print sales, where J.K. Rowling undoubtedly wins. Her saga was made available online via the special webpage Pottermore created together with her. It is now not possible to buy Kindle ebook of Harry Potter directly on This will be mentioned on my blog in a special article in a few days.
Another sucessful novel on Kindle Store was Fifty Shades of Grey, written by E.L. James which originally started as a fan fiction. This novel have been so popular on Kindle Store, that it already sold more than 1 million ebooks online.

What is the future?

It is difficult to predict what the future of Amazon Kindle Store will be, but even though their sales were not completely optimistic lately, the ebooks are almost certainly going to continue to spread and their popularity will not fall. Amazon with a huge archive of digitalised books and the best selling ereaders does not have to worry. The prices for Kindle books are mostly lower than prices for the paperbacks or hard copies, but that is completely understandable as there is almost no production cost of an ebook. 
Let's see what the future holds. Feel free to express your opinion in the comment section. :) In a few days, we will look more closely on some of the other parts of Amazon online store, such as Kindle Worlds, Kindle Singles and Kindle Direct Publishing. Stay tuned for more information!

Until then you can find more information about Amazon and Kindle Store on Twitter or Facebook:

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