Book publishers, like record labels and Hollywood studios before them, are whining and throwing tantrums since they're not making as much money as they used to, which in the case of publishers may actually be true, unlike the other two. All the while, Amazon is wiping the floor with them.
To the book publishers, Amazon is the devil incarnate; it's the one thing that's ruining books forever. As far as Amazon is concerned, it couldn't care less if the existing book industry survives or not.
It's more than glad to gobble up any books coming from the publishers. Not only did it set up its own publishing houses, the company also makes it easy for anyone to publish any book, in digital format, on the site. As far as it's concerned, it's got its basis covered.
All the while, publishers should be praising Amazon as the single best thing that happened to books for a very long time. And you only need to look at the chart
above to see it.
While physical books sell in greater numbers than ever before, thus making publishers more money, digital books are now not only selling better than physical books, the growth rate is off the chart, quite literally.
Amazon's data shows that readers are buying almost five times as many books as they were before they had a Kindle. In 2011, the rate was at 4.62x and the trend was upwards. Overall, more books are sold and read than at any time in history. What is there to complain about?
Granted, Fifty Shades of Grey is trading places with the likes of The Hunger Games or Twilight in the sales chart on Amazon, but that doesn't really matter. Reading is reading. People that may not have bought a book in the past decade may start out with any of these titles and then keep on buying.