For a company that is keeping its cards very close as far as its Kindle sales information are concerned, Amazon certainly knows how to utilize blogs and the new media to spread wonderful news about its product, Amazon Kindle. I talked about the whole issue of The Lost Symbol and the flaws in the logic used by some of the bloggers, but a lot of digital media outlets have grabbed the story and ran with it without looking at the data. Amazon has also been using the story to generate even more buzz for its platform, and who can blame it. As successful as the platform may have been, it has been upstaged by Apple’s latest event. This piece of news allows Amazon to bring Kindle back into the discussions as we get close to the year-end holiday season.
Here is what an Amazon spokesman had to say about this issue:
The big surprise was that, despite sustained, strong physical books sales, we saw the Kindle edition outsell hardcover editions on the book’s release day.
I fail to see the significance of this development. Sure, it’d be exciting if this was the case for every single book on Amazon, but that is certainly not the case as I pointed it out in my last post about this issue. What is bothersome is the fact that many media sources have grabbed the story and run with it without analyzing how Amazon has achieved this. More importantly, this piece of news is being used to cover up some of the larger issues that Amazon has to deal with to take the Kindle platform to the next level.
One usually shouldn’t pay too much attention to Rupert Murdoch and his controversial statements. But he has joined many other publishers who are complaining about how Amazon has treated them. Amazon may achieve a lot of success with e-books, but unless it manages to strike the right deal with publishers, this is only a hollow victory. It’s certainly interesting that the e-version of The Lost Symbol has outsold its paperback edition, but will it continue in the upcoming weeks? And how come the e-book version has been in the top sellers list for only a few days whereas the paperback version has been around for 140+ days? And how come no one talks about the major push that Amazon put behind the e-book version of this book?
It’d be ignorant to write off the success that Amazon Kindle has been. But Amazon is still not sharing the proper sales data with the media, and yet it uses it’s own best sellers list to make a claim about the progress that its e-book platform has made. I am a big fan of Amazon Kindle, but the company needs to be more transparent in the future if it expects the media and the blogging community to truly appreciate its achievements. Is The Lost Symbol story sensationalist? I leave that for you to decide. But without proper data to analyze it’s hard to read too much into it.