Jeff Bezos has some extra spring in his step heading into 2011. Building on the momentum from years past, the Kindle line has once again been an Amazon bestseller, selling an undisclosed “millions” of units, and generally being a shining star. It’s almost stopped being news that ebook readers are big holiday gifts, but Amazon still managed to bury some interesting tidbits in their annual post-holiday press release.
One, Amazon sold over one million Kindles per week in December. So we know they topped over 4 million in just this month alone, which is pretty jaw dropping. Also, just like in years past, Christmas Day was a record-breaker for Kindle book downloads, though, again, Amazon is coy with the specifics. Where they were less coy, though, was in the digs they take at traditional publishing. They bragged that the #1 and #4 bestselling Kindle books for the year were through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, and they highlighted a few other successful independent authors, though there’s no mention of any traditional publishing successes in 2011 (big surprise). Also, apparently being in medicine and moving to writing is lucrative; two of the Kindle Direct Publishing authors with bestsellers are a former ER nurse and pediatric ER doctor!
Second, Amazon highlighted the ways they’ve gone above and beyond for customers in 2011. In addition to getting a special order of books to a customer after normal delivery hours (it must have been a seriously expensive order!), they talked up their last-minute shipping options. So if you live in Missouri and received a copy of “The Cook’s Herb Garden”, the person who gave it to you is a huge procrastinator!
Finally, Steve Jobs’ biography was apparently a huge seller even in paper form. Amazon has a fun fact about how the number of copies purchased would be as big as Mount Everest when stacked, but they don’t break out whether it’s ebooks or hardcovers. Still, they must have had a fair amount of hardcovers sold to even make that comparison! Whether it’s because the ebook and the hardcover are close in price ($14.99 vs $17.99) or because hardcovers are still a major draw in their own right is unclear, but it does show there’s still high demand for big sellers in paper form. As much as we get caught up in ebooks and the future of digital media, there’s still a huge market for hardcovers, and this is a good reminder.
Amazon’s full press release is definitely worth reading. It’s a fascinating snapshot into what sells throughout the year!
2011 is the Best Holiday Ever for Kindle
Amazon customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers
#1 and #4 best-selling Kindle books released in 2011 published independently by authors using Kindle Direct Publishing
Businesses selling on Amazon have record-breaking holiday sales
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 29, 2011– (NASDAQ: AMZN) – Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family as customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers. Authors also continue to benefit from the success of Kindle — the #1 and #4 best-selling Kindle books released in 2011 were both published independently by their authors using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
“We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.comfounder and CEO. “And in a huge milestone for independent publishing, we’d also like to congratulate Darcie Chan, the author of ‘The Mill River Recluse,’ and Chris Culver, the author of ‘The Abbey,’ for writing two of the best-selling Kindle books of the year.”
More Kindle holiday facts:
- Throughout December, customers purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week.
- The new Kindle family held the top three spots on the Amazon.com best seller charts – #1: Kindle Fire, #2: Kindle Touch, #3: Kindle.
- Kindle Fire is the #1 best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available onAmazon.com since its introduction 13 weeks ago.
- Kindle is also the best-selling product on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es and Amazon.it this holiday season.
- Gifting of Kindle books was up 175 percent between this Black Friday and Christmas Day compared to the same period in 2010.
- Christmas Day was the biggest day ever for Kindle book downloads.
- Kindle Fire is the best-selling product on Amazon.com’s mobile website and across all of Amazon.com’s mobile applications.
Additional Kindle Direct Publishing successes include:
- December’s #1 best-selling Kindle Direct Publishing book “Wife by Wednesday” was also the #5 overall best-selling Kindle book in December and has appeared on both the USA Today and Wall Street Journal best seller lists. AuthorCatherine Bybee was formerly an emergency room registered nurse, and has now left her job to focus on writing full-time.
- In 2011, KDP and CreateSpace author CJ Lyons reached #2 on the Amazon best seller list, #2 on the New York Times best seller list, and #4 on the USA Today best seller list. As a former pediatric ER doctor, CJ has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels, and she quit her job in medicine after 17 years to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time novelist. Her latest work includes “Face to Face” and “Hot Water.”
Businesses Selling on Amazon
2011 was also a record-breaking holiday season for businesses that sell on Amazon. Third-party sellers experienced record holiday growth: the number of sellers who exceeded $5,000 in sales during the holiday season increased 44 percent year-over-year. For the year, businesses on Amazon sold hundreds of millions of units worth billions of dollars worldwide.
Scharf Industries, an office supplies and electronics provider, increased its sales on Amazon by over 500 percent this holiday season compared with last holiday season.
“We greatly value the cooperation that we have developed with Amazon,” said Andrew D. Scharf, CMO of Scharf Industries. “They have provided us with the tools necessary to grow our business in a rapid and efficient manner.”
Ken Reiss, the owner of Reiss Innovations, LLC, started with one Amazon Webstore, selling five to 10 mouse pads for the year. Six years later he has a successful eCommerce business, selling through multiple Amazon Webstores. Just this year alone, Reiss saw a 21 percent increase in sales compared with the holiday season last year. He has also increased the number of product listings by 50 percent over 2010 and recently extended his business to Canada.
According to Reiss, one of the most beneficial aspects of his relationship with Amazon is that “It allows me to scale in efficiency. I can devote my time to building vendor relations and growing my inventory, rather than worrying about logistical aspects, such as shipping products.” Reiss currently stores 90 percent of his inventory in Amazon’s warehouses, up from 75 percent last year.
Other seller successes include:
- Amazon’s third-party sellers sold enough cameras for every fan at the next 10 Super Bowls to snap their own shots of the winning touchdown.
- Amazon’s third-party sellers sold enough toys in 2011 to give a toy to every resident of Chicago. In fact, they sold as many Lalaloopsy Dolls as there are lights on the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City.
- Debra Keyes, CEO of The Internet Department Store, which sells costumes for both adults and children, began utilizingFulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – the Amazon service that stores, packs and ships orders for third-party sellers – as soon as it launched. By January 2011, she had 1,300 products listed in FBA. That number has now grown to 7,800 products by November 2011. During that same time period, the company’s sales increased by 34 percent.
Holiday Fun Facts
- The last One-Day Prime order that was delivered in time for Christmas was placed on Dec. 22 at 11:59 p.m. PST and shipped to Ballwin, Mo. The item was “The Cook’s Herb Garden,” a book by Jeff Cox and Marie-Pierre Moine.
- The last Local Express Delivery order that was delivered in time for Christmas went to Seattle, Wash. It was a Sony Rechargeable Battery Pack that was ordered at 2:35 p.m. PST on Christmas Eve and delivered at 6:15 p.m. PST that same evening.
- Earlier this year, an Amazon customer called with an urgent request for large volume of a single book, which they needed at the airport the next day before they boarded a flight. The books were special gifts and no other retailer had them available in such short notice. Even though the cutoff time had passed for all traditional delivery methods, Amazonwas able to arrange a delivery to the customer’s hotel just prior to their departure for the airport.
Customer Purchases (Amazon.com only; holiday timeframe-specific):
- Amazon customers purchased enough copies of Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” book to create a stack taller than Mt. Everest.
- The cumulative weight of the Bowflex 552 Adjustable Dumbbells purchased by Amazon customers would outweigh more than 70 adult elephants.
- If you unfolded and stacked each pair of jeans purchased by Amazon customers this holiday, the height would be 2,500 times taller than the Statue of Liberty.
- Amazon customers purchased enough sweaters to outfit each of Santa’s reindeer during Christmas Eve deliveries for the next 14,000 years.
- Amazon customers purchased enough copies of Just Dance 3 to give 15 copies to each person who participated in setting the world record for simultaneous dancing.
- Amazon customers purchased enough HeatMax HotHands Handwarmers to give a pair to each resident of Iceland.
- Amazon customers purchased enough Rory’s Story Cubes to give a cube to each person watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop live at Times Square.
Holiday Best Sellers (Amazon.com only; based on units ordered):
- Electronics: Kindle Fire; Kindle Touch; and Kindle
- Toys: Rory’s Story Cubes; Qwirkle Board Game; and Perplexus Maze Game
- Video Games: Just Dance 3; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3; and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Sports & Outdoors: Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation DVD Set; Emergency Fire Starter; and Flexible Flyer Snowball Maker
- Home & Kitchen: Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler; Fred M-Cups Measuring Matroyshkas; and Pure Komachi 2 Series Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife
- Books: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson; “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” by Jeff Kinney; and “11/22/63” by Stephen King
- Kindle Books: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins; “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins; and “The Litigators” byJohn Grisham
- CD: “Christmas” by Michael Bublé; “21” by Adele; and “Duets II” by Tony Bennett
- Amazon MP3: “100 Classic Christmas Songs” by Various Artists; “Mylo Xyloto” by Coldplay; and “A Very She & Him Christmas” by She & Him
- DVD: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2”; “Bridesmaids”; and “The Help”
- Amazon Instant Video: “Super 8”; “The Help”; and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”
- Watches: Timex 1440 Sports Digital Resin Strap Watch; LEGO Kids’ Star Wars Darth Vader Mini-Figure Alarm Clock; and XOXO Rhinestone Accent Gold-Tone Bracelet Watch
- Jewelry: 10k White Gold Round Diamond Stud Earrings; Sterling Silver Amethyst Butterfly Pendant; and White Peacock and Pink Freshwater Cultured Pearl Button 3 Pair Stud Earrings Set
- Clothing: Levi’s 501 Jean; Levi’s 505 Straight Fit Jean; and Levi’s 550 Relaxed Fit Jean
- Shoes: UGG Australia Classic Tall Boots; Crocs Classic Clog; and BEARPAW Emma Short Boot
- Beauty: Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift Eau de Parfum Spray; Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System; and NARS Orgasm Blush
- Health & Personal Care: Philips Norelco SensoTouch Electric Shaver; Philips Norelco Shaving System; and Philips Sonicare Essence Power Toothbrush
- Tools & Home Improvement: Streamlight Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight; Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener; and Black & Decker All-In-One SureGrip Laser Level
- Automotive: Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger; Wagan 12-Volt Heated Seat Cushion; and Mystic Industries Reindeer Vehicle Costume
- Baby: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes; Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether; and Cloud B Twilight Turtle Constellation Night Light
- AmazonWireless: Motorola DROID RAZR 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless); Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G Android Phone (Sprint); and Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Android Phone (AT&T)
- Amazon Appstore for Android: Angry Birds (Ad-Free); TETRIS; and Pandora Internet Radio
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services providesAmazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de,www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
Source: Amazon.com, Inc.