Today I decided to take a break from Kindle 3 Reviews and do something I didn’t do for a long time – crunch some dry Amazon Kindle Store numbers.
I’ve been tracking number of amazon.com books and blogs for Kindle since March 2009. Previously I published these numbers on a monthly basis. With Kindle 3 released and getting great reviews it’s time I did so again.
There were 242,488 Kindle books when I started keeping track back in March 2009. Since then this number almost tripled to become 685,380. By looking at the graph you can see that apart from bump here and there the number of Kindle books still grows in a linear fashion. Largest spike to date (roughly 70K books) was in May 2010.
As you can see the majority of growth happened in non-fiction and history genres. Now lets dig deeper into smaller categories.
If you look at this graph carefully you will see that back in 2009 “Comics & Graphic Novels” and “Cooking, Food & Wine” categories didn’t exist at all. They first appeared in October 2009 and May 2009 respectively.
Number of blogs more than doubled since I started keeping track and just crossed 10,000 mark several days ago. Although you can only subscribe to blogs that published themselves on Amazon Marketplace, you can still read the rest in the browser. Although this is not as convenient.
As you can see, most of the growth can be attributed to “Lifestyle & Culture” category.
So effectively the amount of content available for Kindle more than doubled over last 18 months. Impressive, isn’t it? But if we look past raw numbers, the picture can definitely be better. eBook industry right now is where digital music industry was years ago. Publishers are still wary of the new technology and sometimes don’t want to deal with it. While Amazon as a store works hard to get the most bang for the buck by signing on books from bestseller lists (and I have to admit they do a good job at it too) many great by not so currently popular books stay overboard.
Try searching for Robert Heinlein books on Kindle for example. You’ll find only six. But don’t rush to trade your Kindle in for Nook, Sony eReader or even iPad – you will find exactly the same selection there – I’ve checked. However if you head over to pretty much any torrent tracker you will find full Heinlein bibliography floating around in zipped PDF files. So while publishers cling to their old business models or argue who is going to charge whom and how much, books are being pirated because there is absolutely no way to get these and other works of literature in digital form. Hopefully it will get better just as it did with music industry.
I’ll wrap up with the usual daily Kindle 3 checkup. There are 264 (up 44 from yesterday) Kindle 3 reviews so far on amazon.com with the following breakdown: 179 – 5 positive star, 42 – 4 star, 10 – 3 star, 10 – 2 star, 23 – 1 negative star. Kindle 3 is still backordered until September 17th.