Comparing the bestsellers: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
There was a time when the bestsellers at Amazon for the Kindle and at Barnes & Noble for the NOOK were pretty similar.
There were some few exclusives which made a difference, but the lists were pretty much the same.
Amazon clearly impacts its own bestseller list. That may be by publishing their books themselves, or putting them on sale, or making them part of the Kindle First program (which are books both published by them and “on sale”…they are actually free for Prime members ((one book a month)) and yet to be published.
No question: if you are with Barnes & Noble and not with Amazon, you are missing out on some very popular books.
Let’s take a look:
|Kindle Rank||Title||Kindle $||NOOK Rank||NOOK $||Diff|
|1||My Sister’s Grave||4.99||N/A|
|4||The Fire Seekers||4.99||N/A|
|8||I Love How You Love Me||4.99||26||4.99||0|
|10||Ruin Part Two||0.99||345||0.99||0|
|11||The Best of Me||4.99||7||4.99||0|
|13||The Cycle of Arawn||0.99||6||0.99||0|
|16||The Heroes of Olympus Books Five||9.99||14||10.99||1|
|18||Down and Out||3.99||75||3.99||0|
|19||Captivated by You||7.99||14||7.99||0|
While there have been some excellent NOOK devices, and they have led in some innovations (notably lending and frontlighting), there is no question that if you backed Barnes & Noble against Amazon (and we’ll just treat it as a two horse race now), your money was in the wrong place (as a reader).
You can’t even get six of the top twenty Amazon sellers, and if you did buy all the ones you could, you would pay $25.60 more. On average, that’s $1.60 a book more, but you could pay as much as $8 more.
Well, I’m glad I looked at that!
Originally, when Amazon started aggressively pursuing exclusives, I did think it was Amazon versus B&N. Now, I tend to think of it as Amazon versus the traditional publishers…and interesting mind focus, I’d say.
I know some of you have both NOOKs and Kindles (and Kobos, and some others).
Update: one of my regular readers and commenters, Edward Boyhan, asked me what it would look like if I did the comparison the other way…with the NOOK Books top 20. I originally intended to do that last night, but the frailties of the flesh overwhelmed the intent of the will (in other words, I was too tired). 😉 I did eyeball it first, and I didn’t see a book on the B&N list that I didn’t think Amazon would have…and that was right (for the top 20). I created the table this morning:
|NOOK Rank||Title||NOOK $||Kindle Rank||Kindle $||Diff|
|2||Cut to the Bone||$1.99||37||1.99||$0.00|
|4||Day After Night||$10.93||4191||9.32||-$1.61|
|5||Captivated by You||$7.99||20||7.99||$0.00|
|6||The Best of Me||$7.99||11||4.99||-$3.00|
|7||Holland Springs Box Set||$0.99||74||0.99||$0.00|
|8||The Highlander’s Bride||$0.99||102||0.99||$0.00|
|9||Desired: Club Sin||$0.99||85||$0.99||$0.00|
|11||Be For Me||$0.99||153||0.99||$0.00|
|12||Someone Else’s Love Story||$1.99||193||0.99||-$1.00|
|13||The Blood of Olympus||$10.99||15||9.99||-$1.00|
|15||The Cinderella Murder||$10.99||609||10.99||$0.00|
|16||The Circle of Ceridwen||$0.99||308||0.99||$0.00|
|17||The Geneva Trap||$7.51||23,400||6.15||-$1.36|
|19||The Pearl that Broke Its Shell||$1.99||146||1.99||$0.00|
Every top twenty NOOK book could be bought at Amazon as well. The price differentials were still overwhelmingly in favor of Kindleers (over NOOKers).
The number one NOOK book is cheaper at B&N than it is at Amazon…but that typically doesn’t last, since people can alert Amazon on the book’s product page about the differential, and they tend to match the prices.
Glancing at it (and I have a pretty good eye at doing that way), it appears to me that when the prices are the same, generally, that book is ranked relatively lower at Amazon. That isn’t always the case, but my intuition is that a book which $0.99 at both Amazon and B&N is pushed lower at Amazon by the presence of the Kindle exclusives.
I would also guess that the number of people who decide whether to buy a e-book at Amazon or B&N based on the price is pretty low. If they have the respective companies’ EBRs (E-Book Readers), they don’t really have that choice. However, they could have both companies’ apps on a tablet, for example, and then they could choose.
What do you think? This holiday season, will people choose to buy NOOKs as their very first EBRs (E-Book Reader), or is it mostly coasting on customers it already? Are Amazon’s exclusives something that has driven you to become more of an Amazon user? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.