Are Kindle EBooks the New Standard?

Mike Cane has posted a link to the press release posted by Amazon earlier today announcing that Amazon.com is now officially selling more Kindle ebooks than hardcover books. You heard right! With month over month sales growth in the second quarter, the Kindle device seems to have reached a tipping point for growth. (Note that Amazon is distinguishing hardcover sales from all print book sales, but this is a significant step nevertheless.)

There is just one stat that needs to be called out of that press release:

“On July 6, Hachette announced that James Patterson had sold 1.14 million e-books to date. Of those, 867,881 were Kindle books.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me. James Patterson is like the McDonald’s or Coca-Cola of mass fiction. If he sold most of his books in Kindle format, that settles it.

It would be interesting to know how many of these digital sales result in full readings. I suppose consumers have always overbought, anticipating that they’ll get through an extensive backlog of reading. But I bet there’s a shift with digital consumption. Less likely to buy now, read later? More likely to buy now, read later?

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