Amazon: E-Books Now Top Hardcover Sales

We’ve blogged recently about increased consumer usage of mobile devices such as Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android phones, and how Yellow Pages companies need to continue to create innovative mobile offerings in order to capture additional leads for their local business customers.

And now this week, Amazon, the popular online retailer, is making headlines for passing its own digital milestone—one that further emphasizes the need for our industry to embrace rapid consumer adoption of mobile offerings.

According to Amazon, during the last quarter, electronic books for its Kindle e-reader outnumbered sales for its hardcover books for the first time ever. In fact, Amazon said it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books during the past three months—and that that rate increased over the last four weeks to 180 electronic books for every 100 hardcover copies.

While the company did not disclose how paperback sales compare with e-book sales—paperback sales are likely still higher than e-book sales—it did note that it took just 33 months since the Kindle’s introduction for its sales to surpass hardcover sales, despite the fact the company has sold hardcover books for 15 years.

I doubt that Amazon will be pulling hardcover books off the site anytime soon, but clearly digital has momentum.  Likewise, we still find our print directories to be a trusted and referenced tool for ready to buy consumers – and they will continue to be.  But I’m proud of our industry’s efforts so far this year in developing new offerings in the digital and mobile space, including adding new local social search sites and social networking channels, partnering with major search engines and local directories, launching SEO/SEM program and mobile apps, and so on. I think today’s news is additional indication that we’re moving in the right direction in quickly adapting our business strategies to take advantage of opportunities in the mobile space.

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