Monday, June 09, 2008

Can't we Count?

We read an interesting article yesterday in the Sunday Times which amounted to a nice advert for Amazon and the Kindle. Today we read a blog Oxford's Evan Schnittman that claims that Kindle and Sony sales could be higher than we think? ‘Looks Like a Million To Me: How I Realized that Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s E-Reader Were Exceeding Sales Estimates’

Ok all news is good news and we are now starting to witness what happens when the market starts to talk itself up and the momentum becomes to be self prophesying. This can only be good for the ebook readers and the market take up but these type of statistics are at best questionable. If these figures are fact and as claimed there is a direct correlation between the eink screens shipped and sales achieved by Kindle and Sony then they are current selling 60,000 to 80,000 units a month and this will increase to 120,000 month later in 2008. Also he notes that there is 60/40 split between Amazon and Sony, which some may say is very generous to Sony.

What ever the reality we are guessing on the units sold and to whom they have been sold – the stuff of urban myths. The truth in the UK is neither device is here today and when they land, in the early Autumn, this urban hype will only grow.

Publishing is not about selling ebook devices, but about selling books. The author gets paid by the numbers of books sold not the number of devices sold and the compilations given away as part of their launch. If publishers can’t say today what files have been sold in what format and through what channel, including promotional titles, then what message does that give to both the consumer and the author?

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