If the top ten books were the Kindle store

If the top ten books were the Kindle store

I do an extensive Snapshot of the USA Kindle store every month, but I was looking at the bestsellers and thought it might be interesting just to look at the top ten.

I can tell you right now, they won’t statistically match the greater store.

Now, we have to be careful not to think that they are bestsellers simply because they have these unusual stats. In some cases, it could be that they become bestsellers, which hypes the interest, which leads to retailers (not just Amazon) getting competitive, which can lead to price cutting…so it isn’t necessarily a low price that gets you to the top, but getting you to the top could get you a lower price.

Here are some stats about those top ten at the time of writing (they update it every hour):

Oh, first a quick listing:

Amazon Bestsellers: paid (not free) Kindle store books (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

  1. Guardians of the Night by Alan Russel $4.99 (Kindle First)
  2. Marked by Sarah Fine $4.99 (Kindle First)
  3. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand $2.99
  4. The Last Passenger by Manel Loureiro $4.99 (Kindle First)
  5. Fatal Puzzle by Catherine Shepherd $4.99 (Kindle First)
  6. The Escape by David Baldacci $10.99
  7. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly $3.99
  8. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty $3.99
  9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr $6.99
  10. Gone Girl $2.99
  • The average price is $5.19…and only one of them is over $9.99
  • 80% of them are under $5
  • 40% of them are traditionally published by Amazon: Penguin Random House has 30%, Hachette has 20%, and Simon&Schuster has 10%. Not a single independently published book is in the top ten
  • Text-to-speech 80% have it
  • X-Ray 90% have it
  • Word Wise 50% (interestingly, the Amazon books don’t all have it)
  • Lending 50% have it
  • Mystery & Thriller 60%
  • Literature & Fiction 20%
  • History 10%
  • Romance 10%

Looking at those numbers, it’s interesting. Amazon would be the biggest of the Big 6…there are the “Big 5” trade publishers (there  used to be six…Penguin and Random House merged) and Amazon would make six again.

Even though I wouldn’t agree with all of the classifications (publishers often to choose those based on marketing…if a book will sell better in a category, they’ll put it there, even if it isn’t wholly applicable. The Last Passenger appears as a mystery, but I wouldn’t call it that.

Romance, and science fiction and fantasy, don’t appear at all…again, based on the top level classification, I think.

The last thing I’ll point out is the very low prices on some of the best known! $2.99 for Gone Girl? I haven’t read it myself, but I would think that could make a great gift (you know, if someone would be okay with the content).

This isn’t my usual bestseller analysis, but I’ll say…it’s different at the top. 😉

Update: one of my readers, botk, correctly pointed out that I had not labeled the Kindle First books when I did this last night. That is a special program from Amazon that allows Prime members to get one free pre-publication Amazon traditionally published book a month. There are four of those books (as has been the pattern), and they are all in the top ten. How does that influence the stats? For one thing, they will tend to have the special features…but, as I noted, not Word Wise. I wouldn’t say they particularly bring the average price down at $4.99…there were lower priced books in the top ten. I had considered mentioning the Kindle First connection last night, but thought that certainly didn’t represent the broader store (they aren’t quite “one in a million” with four out of about three million…more like “one in 750,000” 😉 )…however, since that was sort of the point of the post, I should have. 😉 Thanks, botk!

Update: I also didn’t mention that none of them are in Kindle Unlimited. The four Kindle First books certainly may be, but not until they are actually published in January. I see that at least one of them specifically says that will be the case.

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* 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

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.


3 Responses to “If the top ten books were the Kindle store”

  1. botk Says:

    You forgot to note that 4 of the top five are also free for a fair number of Amazon customers (they are pre-orders from the Kindle First program for Prime Members, who can pick one of the four for free). That skews the stats a bit, but it is interesting that the list is dominated by bargain prices.

  2. christinaheinleChristina Says:

    Plus the Kindle First are only $1.99 right now, which is the only reason I bought it. I think the “sale” of the book, plus receiving a direct email from Amazon regarding Kindle First helped influence the rating.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing christinahenleChristina!

      For me, the Kindle First books show as $4.99 for pre-order…free if gotten as part of the Kindle First program by a Prime member. That’s also what they were when I looked at the bestsellers.

      The Kindle First books tend to do very well, at least at first. If nothing else, that’s an indicator of how many Prime members there are!

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