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.
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.
48.5 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.
Update: There are now over 5 million Kindle ebooks, and the number is rising by the day.