USA Kindle Store Analysis January 7 2013
Every once in a while, I want to check in on the bestseller list in the Kindle store to see what’s happening.
I last did this on November 18, 2012…and a lot has changed in just a couple of months!
Back then, I analyzed the top twenty. This time I did the top fifty:
|12||Simon & Schuster||3.99||No|
|16||Thomas & Mercer||$1.99||No|
|23||Simon & Schuster||3.99||No|
|24||Simon & Schuster||7.99||No|
In November, nine of the top twenty were Agency Model books…45%. Right now? Three of the top twenty…that’s only a third of the last number, and only 15%!
Looking at the top fifty, the Agency Model books are only 22%.
That is partially, of course, a result of the DoJ (Department of Justice) getting settlements from publishers. While we don’t see the impact yet, Penguin has agreed to settle…and if there merger with Random House is approved, Random House would also be under the same conditions. That hasn’t all happened yet, but it’s pretty likely. If that had been the case now, only two out of the fifty would have been Agency Model…only four percent. They are both from Macmillan, and that publisher (along with Apple) is still fighting the DoJ.
Non-Agency Model books are ranked higher than the Agency Model ones: the average for the Agency Model books is 32.3, for non-Agency Model, it’s 23.6. Lower numbers are better, since the #1 ranked seller is doing better than the #50 ranked seller.
The average price is also very different. Agency Model books average $11.17, and non-Agency Model books average $4.47.
Looking at the distribution of publishers, that is also astonishingly different from the pre-Kindle days. AmazonCrossing, Thomas & Mercer, and Montlake are all traditionally published books from Amazon. Six of the top fifty are Amazon tradpubs…that’s twelve percent! That is more than any of the Big Six tradpubs except for Hachette, which has seven.
I counted ones as indies if they didn’t have a publisher or the publisher’s name was the same as the author’s name. The ones where I wasn’t sure had a different name, but were likely to be indies.
If we count the ten I called indies as published by Amazon, we are up to sixteen out of fifty. If the six indie question marks are also indies, that gets us to twenty-two out of fifty…very interesting for the bargaining dynamics, even though I am only looking at the top fifty.
So I could compare to November, I also looked at features for the twenty. It’s worth noting that these may not be the same as the top twenty out of fifty above, since it updates every hour and I did this analysis later in the day.
- TTS: 85% (in November: 85%)
- X-Ray: 95% (in November: 90%)
- Lending: 55% (in November 45%)
- KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library): 35% (in November: 25%)
- WSV (Whispersync for Voice): 50% (in November: 45%)
Interesting! Every feature either stayed the same or increased. I think some of these features do matter to people. I also want to point out that The Hunger Games trilogy is on this list (published by Scholastic), and they are yeses in every one of these categories. They’ve been selling for a very long time, and it’s possible that having these features have helped sustain the Kindle sales (although there are other factors, like the movie).
Average ranks (the total average is 10.5…any number lower than that suggests that the feature is helping rankings)
- TTS: 10.6
- X-Ray: 10.7
- Lending: 10.1
- KOLL: 13.3
- WSV: 10.9
Within the top twenty, the features didn’t seem to make much difference to rank…except that books in the KOLL did noticeably worse.
The times are changing…Amazon may not need the publishers as much as they used to need them as time goes by. Will publishers figure out a way not to need Amazon? Perhaps…the good new is, they both need us readers.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.