How Many Amazon Kindle eBooks Are There?

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How Many Kindle eBooks are there?How Many eBooks Are There on Amazon Kindle?

There are millions of Kindle ebooks!

With the popularity of e-books, the question of how many Kindle ebooks are there on Amazon has been asked many times, but as Amazon keep such information very close to their chest, it has been a difficult question to answer definitively.

However, Claude Nougat found a clever way to find the answer to this question, which you can read about in his recent blog post. There are in fact close to 3.4 million Kindle e-books.

Using the same method, I found that the total had increased by 20,000 since his post a few days ago.

How Many Kindle eBooks Are There 2

I was not surprised at the number, nor with his reckoning that a new Kindle e-book is published every five minutes.

With the growth in tablets, larger smartphones and of course dedicated e-readers, the demand for e-books is increasing, as is the motivation for people to write new books in the hope of gaining sales in a new and vibrant market.

What I was more interested in though, after thinking that 3.4 million was a lot of e-books, was how many books in total there were on Amazon? I found the answer by using the same technique and was quite astonished at the number I found.

How Many Kindle eBooks Are There 348.5 million books!

That surely must be somewhere close to every single book in existence, including many out of print books, but give or take a few ancient papyrus scrolls and stone carved tablets.

It also says that no matter what anyone thinks, believes or tries to deny, Amazon has built a book sales and distribution empire that can, will and does control the publishing market.

Some see this as a monopoly, which by many is the definition of a bad thing. Maybe so, but it’s a fact of life now, so, end of the argument.

However, it is interesting to remember where and how Amazon started, way back in the nineties. Amazon was built on the back of selling book returns from the then six major publishers.

These were books that had been returned because they were unsold in bookstores, and as such had no commercial value, and were destined to be pulped.

It was Jeff Bezos who realised they had some value, and instead of all those hundreds of thousands of books being recycled to make cardboard packaging, he sold them online.

 

What the big six publishers had always thought of as trash, Bezos slowly turned into a goldmine.

So in fact, nothing much has changed since those early days of Amazon. While the now reduced to five major publishers still look down on self-published titles as ‘trash’, similar to those 90’s ‘returns’, Amazon continues to make money from both and makes the running in the publishing market.

Yes, perhaps Amazon is a monopoly, but this position of power was handed to Jeff Bezos and Amazon on a silver platter by a traditional publishing industry that was, and in some ways, still is holding onto the belief that their 19th-century business model will work in the 21st century.

With 48.5 million books available on Amazon, it tells me that they may well be wrong. It hardly matters though, as it is clear, that from the biggest traditional publisher, right down to the very latest first-time self-published Kindle e-book author, they all need Amazon to sell their books.

The only remarkable statistic in all this is that there are only 3.4 million Kindle e-books. Less than a mere 10% of all the titles Amazon has on its shelves. Clearly, the market is still very young.

 

Related reading: There are now over 6 million Kindle ebooks, and the number is rising by the day.

 

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

8 thoughts on “How Many Amazon Kindle eBooks Are There?

  • I read recently that 400,000 new ebooks are added every month and the latest number in kindle is 12 million. I despair for my own books against that much competition

    Will B Riley

    Reply
  • Your numbers sound right, Will. But a big proportion of new Kindle ebooks are not up to standard, so they fail to gain any traction. Quality still rises, like cream, so there is still an opportunity for good authors who know how to promote their books.

    Reply
  • The problem with so many eBooks being on Amazon is that many of them are terrible…unprofessional…poorly written, and unreadable…and yet they occupy a place on the menu…so that eBook buyers have to pick their way through every title…unaware that maybe your really good read is hiding…waiting to be discovered.

    The amount of books on Amazon sets the odds at finding your book about the same as finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

    Reply
  • It is discouraging. That’s why, like it or not (and I’m in the “not” camp), marketing is crucial. Very few writers excel at sales. They’re two different skill sets and personality types. I don’t have a huge budget for advertising so my options are limited.

    Reply
  • How do I get to that page? I’d love to check from time to time – thanks

    Reply
  • No disrespect to the writer of this article but 50 million titles, PLUS at least 5 million e-titles seems quite a low figure for all english titles. However, even with those numbers, it would take one thousand, five hundred miles of bookshelf space to display, on-end, all those books.
    Pity the poor reader who has to try and find your book.
    The Amazon site does a good job for book buyers who have a DIRECT LINK to the book they are after and effectively orders and delivers it.
    But it is most definitely NOT a marketing site.
    Just putting your book or ebook on Amazon doesn’t guarantee a single sale.
    For that, a new book author is going to have to invest significant time, effort and money into promoting his book, which will easily exceed the time and effort needed to research, write and edit his book in the first place.
    In 2018, it has now become a mammoth challenge to go from being an unknown author to a best-seller which, these days, is considered to be anyone whose one month sales exceed 5000. And they are a tiny fraction of new titles.

    Reply
  • 48.5 million books! That surely must be somewhere close to every single book in existence […]’

    I laughed so hard. Quick query on Wikipedia (based on UNESCO data, in case someone tried to argue Wikipedia is not a reliable source) told me that in just 127 countries surveyed there were about 2,2 million book titles published every year. Let’s assume, pessimistically, that only half of those were new titles. It still gives over a million titles per year. So Amazon would hold, at best, all titles published from about 1970. Yeah, that’s definitely close to every single book in existence.

    Reply
    • It’s a pity Amazon has taken away the possibility of checking how many Kindle ebooks there are by using Amazon Associates data. But I would guess that a million new Kindle ebooks each year wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility now.

      Reply

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