Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amazon Bestsellers

I was a bit disappointed when I read an ad piece on Advert. Of the top 10 best-selling books on Amazon in 2011, only two were “independently” published.

Here is the list of those 10 books:
“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson
“Bossypants” by Tina Fey
“A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard
“The Mill River Recluse” by Darcie Chan
“In the Garden of the Beasts” by Erik Larson
“A Dance with Dragons” by George R.R. Martin
“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain
“The Litigators” by John Grisham
“The Abbey” by Chris Culver
“Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle)” by Christopher Paolini

Of those, only “The Mill River Recluse” and “The Abbey” were indirectly published via Kindle Direct Publishing and did not have a print edition.

Do you have a favorite eBook that you thought should have been a best-seller?


  1. I actually think that's really impressive, to have two self-published books land on that list--particularly because this list was Kindle and print combined, which means the e-books held their own against books that were sold in two modalities as opposed to one!

  2. I agree with Sarah. And most the other books are huge mega-pushed, mega-promoted bestsellers-from-birth. It's especially impressive to have independent books ranked with those.

    By the way, I read the Dugard book. Well, most of it. It was terrible. Poorly written and not even very interesting, considering its topic.

  3. I agree with Sarah and Cathy.

    When you break down this list;

    2 are books in popular series (Martin & Paolini) lots of readers already hooked (me for one).

    2 are 'hot topics' (Jobs & Duggard) the curious will buy them to know more about these people.

    1 is Grisham (enough said). For a time I bought his books just because they were his books. Then they got to be the same old, same old.

    1 is Tina Fey. Many will buy just to see if she can make you laugh as hard in print as she does in person.

    That leaves 4 on the list. Meaning fifty percent of the 'odd man out' books are self-published. Not too shabby.

  4. I think it's a great list. The Fey and Jobs memoirs, Erik Larson, George R.R. Martin...people like reading good books again!

  5. Two sounds like pretty good going, and maybe it'll be more than two next year. :)

  6. That's a really odd selection of books.

  7. Dang ... didn't see Headwind in that list.

  8. Hmm, I sometimes think the list is too simple. A $0.99 book is different from a $23 book. They shouldn't be compared just by the pure volume they sold.

    And as Cathy, indie and mega-promoted books should be measured differently too. Maybe they can use an index to calculate best seller, including price, marketing dollar, time in market, debutante author etc.

    My Darcy Vibrates…

  9. Interesting list. I want to read the Steve Jobs biography.


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