There are over 6 million Kindle ebooks on Amazon
So how many ebooks do the other major retailers have?
Well, it’s all very difficult to know for sure.
The only way to know how many Kindle ebooks there are is to
have an Amazon Associates account, while Kobo, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook and Google Play don’t openly advertise the total number they have in their ebook catalogues.
Update: Amazon has now closed access to the data for the total number of ebooks. Read below for a new method.
Only Smashwords is open enough to state the number of ebooks they have published.
But, when one considers that the bulk of self-published titles that are available on retailers other than Amazon Kindle are aggregated via Smashwords, these two graphics tell, well, an awfully telling story.
Smashwords has established itself as the primary aggregator of ebooks in the publishing industry. Essentially all ebooks are self-published, to a host of book retailers including Apple, B&N and Kobo.
But judging from their numbers above, which are way, way less than 10% of Kindle’s catalogue, it is just not making much headway at all.
On top of that, when one reads that Barnes & Noble have so little faith in ebooks and its Nook that it has sold its UK Nook operation to a supermarket chain, the signs are not very positive at all. It has all the hallmarks of a very submissive surrender.
Apple fairs little better in the ebook publishing market. After years of battling, it has lost its battle against the DOJ. But in all honesty, Apple lost interest in ebooks not long after the case started.
It was all so positive when the iPad arrived, but since then Apple has, in author language, really lost the plot with regard to book sales.
As for Kobo, well really, who knows.
All of this though has huge ramifications for authors. Who should you use to self-publish and sell your ebooks?
It’s a no-brainer that Amazon Kindle should top the list. But with 6 million ebooks in the pool, that’s a big swamp of ebooks. So after you get your book published, it’s not going to be easy to get potential readers to find your ebooks.
But then again, Amazon has millions of customers hitting the buy button every day.
On the other hand, there is clearly less competition on other retailers such as Apple, B&N and Kobo, but how many customers do they have? Who knows?
In the end, the numbers don’t lie. 6 million vs under 400k. It looks like choosing between a shark-infested ocean and a barren desert.
The post above is an update to an earlier article: How Many Amazon Kindle eBooks Are There?
Update: Since originally writing this post, Amazon has removed the facility on Amazon Associates to see how many Kindle ebooks are currently available. So now, it’s anyone’s guess. But the best guess is that a new Kindle book title is published on Amazon every three to five minutes. Many published authors are using KDP Select to make their books available in Kindle Unlimited.
2nd Update: There is a possibility to check the approximate current total number of Kindle ebooks by using Wikipedia. It states on the Kindle Store page entry that:
“At the launch of the Kindle in November 2007, the store had more than 88,000 digital titles available. This number increased to more than 275,000 by late 2008 and exceeded 765,000 by August 2011. In July 2014, there were over 2.7 million titles available at the U.S. store and as of March 2018 there are over six million titles available in the U.S.”
On the Wikipedia page, check citation #4 for any new update. #4 Kindle Store : Kindle eBooks. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
Related reading: Kindle Unlimited Has A Problem – It Can’t Count Words