Lies, Damn Lies, and Press Releases

I follow a great many highly intelligent people on twitter. Which is why I am surprised that no one seems to be questioning the Amazon press release about how they are selling more Kindle books than they are printed books.

Technically speaking no one is lying outright but the press release is giving a false impression. Amazon always uses the Amazon.com sales numbers to quantify results and it very clearly says that Amazon.com is selling more Kindle editions than other formats. Which is probably to give the impression that dead tree variety of book is falling wayside.

Whilst this is probably true, I am not the trusting sort, there is no mention how many of those sales are from foreign consumers.

For those of you that don’t know the Kindle store, with the exception of the UK version, is actually an international store. As a Canadian I would be buying my books from Amazon.com and not Amazon.ca and I having seen a few Kindles floating about the wilds of Halifax I assume this is the case with other Canadians as well.

So essentially Amazon.com has absorbed a much larger market of all non-british English readers which is a population of about 1 billion as opposed to Amazon.com’s dead tree market which maxes out at approximately 330 million.

If the Kindle format was reaching true dominance it should be much higher than a slightly higher than one to one ratio.

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