Amazon claims to sell more ebooks than hardcover books

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UPDATE 7/22/10: Publishers have responded to and confirmed Amazon’s claims that ebooks sales have been outpacing hardcover book sales. Publisher’s Confirm Amazon’s Ebook Sales Figures

In a recent press release, Amazon.com claims to have sold 180 ebooks for every 100 hardcover editions sold in the last month. As a self-described “ebook evangalist” I’m thrilled that ebooks are becoming a larger part of overall books sales. But I’m also skeptical of Amazon’s claims.

In the press release, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos puts these numbers into perspective:

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

I have always maintained that print books are here to stay for a very long time, ebooks are also here to stay and not just another fad.

However, I am skeptical whenever Amazon presents such number regarding their ebook sales. Amazon is notorious for staying tight-lipped about their Kindle sales numbers. Ebook blog Teleread asked some serious questions regarding Amazon’s claims.

Apart from nobody really knowing what

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