Are Kindle Book Sales Numbers Grossly Inflated?

amazon_sm.pngA couple of striking conversations are going on over at The eBook Test, Mike Cane’s blog. Yesterday, we wrote about Cane’s challenge to publishers, daring them to come out with actual numbers on Kindle book sales. After one person anonymously admitted to strikingly low sales–“1000 downloads life to date”–two others, also claiming to be from one of the trade houses, have made similar confessions.

One of them said, “While I’m pretty certain digital readers will continue to rise in popularity, and the demand for digital books will continue to increase, I’m not at all shy about admitting that our e-book (again, Kindle, specifically) sales are crap compared to our print versions.”

The third echoed the other two: “I also work at one of the big six trade houses, specifically in the ebooks dept. ‘200,000 ebooks sold’ is laughable, even if it *is* Dan Brown. Our numbers track much closer to the above Anonymous posters’.”

So what’s going on here? Are Amazon and publisher grossly inflating eBook sales numbers?