Archive for the ‘Bestseller analysis’ Category

Top Kindle bestsellers have all been on sale recently

February 28, 2017

Top Kindle bestsellers have all been on sale recently

Price matters.

Well, perhaps more accurately, discounts matter.

That hasn’t always been the conception of selling books. I remember a story years ago that when Robert Half brought up the idea of selling books at a discount (Half later founded the discount chain Crown Books), a professor said that it would never work…because book buyers see them as a prestige item and don’t care about discounts.

It can be true that lowering a price can hurt sales. I was a brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, but I also managed a game store.

We had chess sets from about $10 to about $500. Ten dollar chess sets sold better for $9.99…but a $500 chess set would have sold worse at $499.99.

If you are spending $500 for a chess set, you want the best, you want a work of art…you don’t want to buy a “bargain” item.

Clearly, at Amazon, that idea of books being a prestige item isn’t true for the most popular Kindle books.

It’s worth noting that this is exactly the concern that the tradpubs (traditional publishers) had when Amazon introduced the Kindle and priced many popular books (not all books) at $9.99 or less. They were worried that there would be “price value perception devaluation”…if an e-book is $9.99, is it justified to put a list price (the publisher’s recommended price) of $25 on the same book in hardback? Sure, they have some different benefits, but that’s going to look strange to casual book buyers, who buy most of the books.

When I took a look at the

USA Kindle store bestsellers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

this morning, I expected to see a lot of indies (independently published) books at the top, along with traditionally published books by Amazon and other publishers which are not part of the Big 5.

As I looked at it, something stood out to me: it looked to me like all of the books were “bargains” in the past couple of days.

The top four books are

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

books. Those are published by Amazon, and are Prime members can get one for free each month.

I don’t think those free “sales” count as sales in the bestseller list…and I wouldn’t expect people doing the free downloads to wait until the last day of the month! I do think that the books being featured and getting the number of reviews they get probably do influence the sales. They also normally sell for $4.99, so they are fairly inexpensive.

The next one, though, The Shack, normally sells for $9.99. I used a great Google Chrome extension from eReaderIQ

A great Google Chrome extension for eReaderIQ

to confirm what I remembered: it had just been on sale for $2.99 as part of a sale to which I alerted my readers of “Red Carpet Reads”, books tied into movies.

The next one was George Orwell’s 1984. As I wrote recently

1984 is sold out in hardback & paperback at Amazon…but Kindleers can read it for free

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

members can read it at no additional cost. I think those borrows probably do count for sales, since the publisher is compensated for them, but I don’t know that for sure. It was last on a significant sale back in December, but I think the free borrows have helped it. Of course, it has also been selling very well in physical book form, which isn’t affected by that…but we can reasonably include it in e-books that you can get below the list price.

Book #7, Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale, is also a KU title.

#8? Another Kindle First title.

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood dropped from $12.99 to $2.99 on February 1st and has stayed there…so it is on sale.  That’s #9.

#10 is Cole by Tijan, who is a New York Times bestselling author of romances (according to the product page). It just came out two days ago at $2.99. That’s in line with many other Tijan books, so we can’t say this one is on sale or an introductory low price. It appears to be a Kindle indie. I won’t classify this one as on sale, but compared to many tradpubbed books, it is a bargain.

I had to go down more than 25 books to find a book which wasn’t under $5, in KU, or that had been on sale recently. That one was Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty…which is a current high-profile HBO series with Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, and Zoë Kravitz.

The trend seems obvious, based on this data.

What do you think? Has customers’ perception of books changed? Is buying them as bargains now acceptable…even preferred? Does that mean the publishers were right…if e-books had been introduced at the same price as p-books, and if Amazon hadn’t started their independent publishing platforms, would the bestsellers at the Kindle store parallel the bestsellers at Amazon in p-books? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Bestseller analysis: Amazon doesn’t need tradpubs…much

September 29, 2016

Bestseller analysis: Amazon doesn’t need tradpubs…much

The

bestselling Kindle books in the USA Kindle store at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

have really evolved!

Let’s take a quick look at the top 20:

  1. Published by Amazon
  2. Published by Amazon
  3. Published by Amazon
  4. Published by Amazon
  5. Published by Penguin Random House
  6. Published by Amazon
  7. Published by Amazon
  8. Published by Penguin Random House
  9. Published by Amazon
  10. Published by Amazon (KU)
  11. Indie (KU) (BCherry)
  12. Published by Amazon (KU)
  13. Indie (KU)
  14. Indie (KU) (Alibi)
  15. Published by Penguin Random House
  16. Indie  (Pulpwood)
  17. Indie (Waterhouse)
  18. Published by Simon & Schuster (first book on the list with text-to-speech blocked)
  19. Published by Amazon
  20. Published by Henry Holt

Just think about that! Amazon’s own books dominate the top twenty. PRH, the biggest trade publisher, manages to get three books on the list. Outside of that, the only other Big 5 book is from Simon & Schuster (and that’s the only one to block text-to-speech).

The ones that say “Indie” in my list? Those are probably all published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Clearly, Amazon is achieving independence from the tradpubs (traditional publishers)…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Publishers: how high can your sales get without these features?

May 3, 2016

Publishers: how high can your sales get without these features?

A lot is made out of the special features that e-books can give you: text-to-speech, which can read text out loud, making books more accessible for those with print challenges and more convenient for others; X-Ray, which gives you more information about the elements of a book (characters, places, and more); Word Wise, which helps you learn vocabulary; and others.

However, while some e-book advantages are pretty universal, like dictionary look-up and increasable text sizes, the one listed above are not.

In some cases, the publisher makes a choice about whether or not a feature is available; in others, whether it happens (or not) is on Amazon’s side. Some features take an effort to implement, which may be part of it.

As a rule of thumb, indies (independent publishers) are less likely to block or opt out of features than tradpubs (traditional publishers). For one thing, Amazon can (and does) influence indies by requiring certain features to be active in order to get twice the royalty rate (70% versus 35%): tradpub contracts don’t work that way.

Amazon has increasingly become more independent (so the speak) from tradpubs, so I was curious: what is the best selling Kindle book where a feature is not active? My intuition was that a book with TTS being blocked wouldn’t be in the top ten. Now, that doesn’t mean that customers make that specific “A means B” decision…that they won’t buy books where TTS is blocked (although that is my own decision). Amazon’s

Kindle First books (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

tend to be at the top of the bestseller list, especially in the first part of the month. Those books will generally have the features Amazon promotes, since they are published by Amazon’s tradpub imprints. They may not say that they are available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

but that’s just because they haven’t actually been published yet (that’s part of the attraction of Kindle First). I’m still going to count them as being available through KU…because they will be once they are published (based on past performance).

So, let’s take a look:

Bestselling book over $9.99 (not really a feature, but outside of Amazon’s required price range for the high royalty): #7, James Patterson’s 15th Affair ($14.99)

Bestselling book with TTS blocked: #29, The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson

Bestselling book without X-Ray: #7, James Patterson’s 15th Affair

Bestselling book without Word Wise: #2, The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Bestselling book without Lending: #1, We’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman

Bestselling book not in Kindle Unlimited: #7, 15th Affair by James Patterson

I’m surprised a bit by lending (that’s different from KU…it’s the one time only loan to someone not on your account) was not available on an Amazon tradpub. I checked some Kindle First books from previous month (in case it’s just not available until the book is actually published), and they also didn’t have it.

Word Wise not being available on an Amazon tradpub was also a bit of a surprise, since that’s inconsistent.

I was pleased with no booking blocking TTS being higher than 29. As regular readers know, I don’t approve of the decision by some publishers to insert code into an e-book file which blocks text-to-speech access. Oh, that might not be the exact mechanism, but they have to make a conscious decision to block TTS on text (books where the dialog appears in graphics, like a graphic novel or an illustrated children’s book, may not be technically accessible to the TTS being used). I think it disproportionately disadvantages the disabled. It used to be that some of the bestselling books routinely blocked TTS: Random House had a policy at one point of blocking it in all e-books…they dropped that a long time back, which I appreciated. I would say that the TTS battle has largely been won.

There you go! I’m curious: do you ever make a decision on whether or not to buy a book based on the presence/non-presence of a specific feature?

Bonus deal: the sale on some Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) continues, and there is also a Mothers’ Day sale on Fire tablets:

I would expect the Mothers’ Day sales, obviously, to end this week…and for the devices, it could be by Friday or so.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*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.

 

Which are the most popular Amazon devices?

March 17, 2016

Which are the most popular Amazon devices?

When Amazon announced the first Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) in 2007, there was a lot of skepticism. One big argument was that Amazon was a retailer (and primarily a content retailer), not a manufacturer. “They don’t know how to do hardware” and “Who would buy a device made by Amazon?”

Well, the answer to the latter was…a lot of people. 🙂

Much of the doubt came from techies…many of the purchases did not.

The Kindle appealed, in my opinion, in part because it was from Amazon.

The people who bought it were readers, and still thought of Amazon as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”. Other EBRs at the time (and there were more than ten models in the USA market…they just weren’t selling much) required you to plug the device into a computer to transfer the books…pretty clunky for a non-techie. Another big appeal of the Kindle, then, was the wireless connection to the store. Buying books was easy…many people found it too easy. 😉

Even at roughly $400, the Kindle was a hit. Over time, the price came down and more capabilities (including text-to-speech with the Kindle 2, and international access) were added.

The skepticism was back in 2011, when Amazon decided to enter the tablet  market. This was moving out of their area of dominance (bookselling), and directly competing with well established hardware manufacturers.

The Kindle Fire (later just the Fire tablet) was a hit.

In April 2014, Amazon introduced the Fire TV, again, going head to head against established players.

The Fire TV was a hit.

In June 2014, Amazon introduced the Fire Phone, once again, daring to challenge the favorites.

It flopped…badly. 😉

I should say, I bought a Fire Phone when it first came out for full price (about $200), and it has been my daily use SmartPhone ever since. It has served me reasonably well, although it isn’t my favorite SmartPhone I’ve owned.

In November of that same year, Amazon announced the Echo, and slowly rolled it out. This was really establishing a new market, arguably even more so than the original Kindle did (although it wasn’t completely unprecedented).

That’s been big, and the family of Echo products is about to expand with new releases coming March 31st (I’ve ordered both the Tap and the Dot…and predicted the Dot would be a big hit, almost a necessity for many people, while the Tap will be a gadget, an optional luxury).

So, which Amazon hardware products are selling (or pre-selling) the best right now?

I took a look at the

Amazon.com Best Sellers in Electronics (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The first thing that struck was that eight of the top ten electronics best sellers at Amazon are Amazon products. That certainly didn’t used to be true (Google’s Chromestick was #1 for a while), and the other two are…instant film? Are those really part of electronics?

Okay, let’s start looking at the ranking:

  1. $50 (roughly) Fire tablet…I have one of these, but it’s really for guests. Inexpensive, not top of the line, but serviceable…that’s Amazon’s sweet spot for electronics
  2. Amazon Fire TV Stick: I use one of these every day. It’s what runs our bedroom TV. It’s about $40, and has some cool features, including (with an optional voice remote, or through the app on your Smartphone) the Alexa Voice Service
  3. Amazon Echo:  an important part of our household. 🙂 It’s not inexpensive at about $180. When our adult kid was visiting, we had it unplugged for several days (I think like a lot Millenials, our kid didn’t like that it was listening for the “wake word” all the time). We did miss using it, although we could control our home automation using apps on our phones
  4. Echo Dot: it’s pretty amazing that this is number four in electronics in all of Amazon, given that you can only order it through an Echo right now (well, there are some convoluted workarounds). This one will go in our bedroom (the Echo is in the family room). It’s going to give people that “Star Trek computer” effect, and this is better than the original Echo for audiophiles. Why? It can either cable out or do Bluetooth to high end speakers (like a BOSE). The Echo has a good speaker: I’m impressed with it. It doesn’t have a luxury, top of the line speaker…and the Tap can connect to one, while the  original Echo can not
  5. Fujifilm instant film
  6. Kindle Paperwhite: I use one of these a few times a week. It’s a great device at $120. If somebody told me they just wanted to get a Kindle, this is the model I’d recommend
  7. Kindle Fire Kids Edition for about $80
  8. Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote: that is really what we have, but the voice remote broke. I’ve found those voice remotes to be pretty unreliable: I’ve had a few fail
  9. Fujifilm instant film
  10. Amazon Fire TV: we use this a lot. It’s what runs our TV in the family room

Looking at some of the other Amazon device ranks in the top 100:

24. The $80, least expensive Kindle

33. Kindle Voyage, the most expensive, top of the line Kindle. I use one of these every day

37. Fire HD 8″ tablet

57.  Fire HD 10″ tablet

It’s clear looking at this that Amazon is a diverse hardware company. Right up towards the top is a tablet, an EBR, Echo family, and a Fire TV product.

I also think it’s pretty clear that less expensive sells more units for Amazon.

I think over the next year or so, the Dot will move up even further, and will probably be #1 for at least a short period.

I’m not thinking Amazon will introduce its own SmartPhone again in the near future, but we will see Alexa on other branded phones.

What else could Amazon introduce?

My guess is something small and super portable with Alexa. That could be a SmartWatch…but it might also be positioned a fitness tracker (of course, it could do both). It would have the Alexa Voice Service, and work with headphones as well as a relatively tinny speaker, perhaps. 🙂 I’d like to see it do text-to-speech, as the Echo now does. If it was a watch, getting alerts on sales (purely optional, of course…although turning it off might be buried in the menus) might be great, especially at the holidays.

What do you think? What should Amazon do in the future with hardware? What will they do (two different questions)? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

None of the top 10 bestselling USA Kindle store books are from the Big 5

January 6, 2016

None of the top 20 bestselling USA Kindle store books are from the Big 5

In my The Year in E-Books 2015, and other places, I’ve noted that Amazon is putting a lot of effort into having less dependence on the Big 5 tradpubs (traditional publishers): Hachette; Macmillan; Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; and Penguin Random House.

Well, at least in the USA Kindle store, they appear to be achieving it.

I just checked the

Top 100 Paid (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and none of the top 10 were from the Big 5!

Here’s the detail on the top ten:

Rank Title Price Publisher K1st? KU? TTS? X-Ray? Word Wise? Lending? WSV Stars Reviews
1 The Moonlit Garden $5.99 Amazon Yes Not Yet Yes Yes Yes No No 4.2 26
2 Fields of Wrath $5.99 Amazon Yes Not Yet Yes Yes Yes No No 4.7 18
3 Harmony Black $5.99 Amazon Yes Not Yet Yes No Yes No No 4.7 47
4 Yours Completely $0.99 Indie No Yes Yes No Yes No No 4.6 136
5 The Short Drop $5.99 Amazon No Yes Yes Yes No No No 4.7 2,605
6 Becoming Marta $5.99 Amazon Yes Not Yet Yes Yes No No No 3.6 18
7 A Shade of Vampire $0.99 Indie Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No 4.3 5,225
8 Simply Tuesday $8.19 Revell No No Yes No No Yes No 4.9 258
9 Captain Riley $5.99 Amazon Yes Not Yet Yes Yes Yes No No 4.4 10
10 The Girl with No Past $2.99 Indie No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No 3.9 434

#12 is from Penguin Random House…but it’s also worth noting that it is priced at $1.99.

In fact, I didn’t hit a book that was over $9.99 until #21 (The Girl on the Train).

So many of these books were in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

or will be (the Kindle 1st books, published by Amazon, can’t be in KU until they are published on February 1st), that I thought they had to be counting borrows in calculating this.

Why?

My guess is that being in KU might reduce sales…would you be just as likely to buy a buy a book that you can borrow as one that you can’t?

However, it could conceivably go the other way: people read or sample a book as part of KU, and then buy it for themselves or someone else.

I’m not seeing anything that indicates that KU is part of calculating sales…although I’m not seeing anything that clearly excludes it.

Text-to-speech is available on all of the books (yay!), but oddly, I didn’t see that any of them were Whispersync for Voice enabled, and that’s usually quite high. Maybe they’ve just changed the display of that information, and I’m not seeing it.

Pretty simply, based on the top sellers, Amazon really doesn’t need the Big 5…at least for Kindle formats. That’s a very small sample, though.

I serendipitously bumped into two things while writing this post.

One was this

Kindle Sales Rank calculator at Kindlepreneur

Supposedly, you put in the sales rank number, and it tells you about how many books (really licenses) a day are being sold.

I don’t know how accurate it is, but it was intriguing.

I’m surprised I didn’t know that site. I’ll have to read through it, but it looks interesting. The first blog post looks like it was in February of last year.

It appears to be centered around how authors can make more money through Kindle editions…and looks professionally designed, with actual numbers for some stats. I’ll give you a fuller report when I’ve had time to assess it.

The second thing was

Kindle Unlimited All-Stars (at AmazonSmile*)

According to Amazon, this is based on “…adding up the number of books sold, borrows from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and the number of books read in Kindle Unlimited.”

It’s even searchable here:

Kindle Unlimited All-Stars by Featured (at AmazonSmile*)

ILMK has the

ILMK Readers’ Recommendations: book discovery zone

but more resources are good. 🙂

I used my personal Kindle Unlimited wish list to pick a book this morning…I’m reading The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis (inspiration for the David Bowie movie).

I think KU is going to be of increasing importance, and the Big 5 are doing to need to figure out what to do about that: either join it or really ramp up D2C (Direct to Customer) efforts…

There could be a seasonal impact here: people might have bought tradpubs more during the holiday season and when they were spending gift certificates. The beginning of the month probably also benefits Kindle 1st books.

Regardless, my feeling is this is making the selections more customer-friendly…

What do you think? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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.

ILMK 2015 e-book bestsellers

December 15, 2015

ILMK 2015 e-book bestsellers

Are readers of this blog, ILMK (I Love My Kindle), like Amazon customers generally?

After all, I do poll you from time to time…there are probably people who extrapolate from that to Amazon customers, and even from that to the population at large.

I don’t think so.

My sense has been that my readers are more likely to be serious readers…that is, I think they are more likely to have reading as a big part of their lives than the average American.

I also think they are more engaged with the e-book world. I think they are more likely to be aware of the issues, and to know who the authors are…and who the publishers are.

Certainly, there may be a loop here: it may be that people who are my readers also become more engaged with the e-book world because they are reading more about it…and actively intellectually interact with it, through polls and comments.

However, I do think that they initially get involved with the blog because of a heightened interest.

So, I decided to go ahead and do something I’ve been reluctant to do before: give you a list of the Kindle e-book bestsellers through ILMK this year.

I haven’t wanted to it because…well, I don’t like to make this blog about sales.

Oh, I’m happy to help out lesser known authors. It gives me a kick to feel like I made a difference in the success of somebody’s book, even though I think my influence is actually pretty small.

The other thing is that I don’t want people to think I’m looking at what they buy…or click on…or read. I don’t see anything tied into individuals at all. I just get aggregate stats…that so many people did “x”, not who they are.

That said, let’s take a look at Kindle e-book sales from Amazon.com through ILMK for 2015 (through December 14th…there will be more sales between now and the end of the year, especially after people get new devices, but this should give us an idea).

I can’t really give you the specific numbers (you may have noticed that Amazon doesn’t do that) 😉 so what I’m going to do is make the one that has sold the most as 100%, then rank the others based against that. In other words, if the top seller sold 1,000 copies (really licenses), and the second one sold 750, the second one would show as 75%. If the third one sold 250, it would be 25%, and so on.

1.Tricky Twenty-Two: A Stephanie Plum Novel (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by Janet Evanovich. This one went on a big pre-order pre-sale of $2.99…we bought it for that, I’m guessing others of my readers did too, when I alerted them. I love being able to save people money or something that they would have bought anyway! I’ve read this one. #46 on Amazon’s Best Sellers of 2015 in Kindle Books (at AmazonSmile*) at time of writing.  100%

2.One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by Kris Calvin. This is by my sibling, and I have mentioned it several times. 🙂 While it has been recognized by Amazon (by being one of the few books picked for its first physical store, for example), and has been well received by Amazon customers (63 customer reviews, 4.7 stars out of 5), it has undoubtedly sold relatively better through this blog than at Amazon generally. It’s currently ranked 579,404 aid in the USA Kindle store out of 4,109,509…top 15%, which is quite impressive for a first time novelist from a non-Big 5 publisher! Not on Amazon’s 100 bestsellers list. 78%

3. (tie) Churchill: A Life (at AmazonSmile*) by Martin Gilbert. This one had also been on sale…but I do think it shows something that a non-fiction book from 1967 was a top-seller with my readers this year. I have not read this. Not on Amazon’s bestsellers list. 44%

3. (tie) Go Set a Watchman (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by Harper Lee. One of the most talked about books of the year. I read this one. #6 on Amazon’s list.  44%

3. (tie) The Martian (at AmazonSmile*) by Andy Weir. My readers picked this as a read for me in my first poll like that, and I did enjoy it. It had what should end up as a top ten domestic grossing movie adaptation (2015 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3) which is likely to get significant Oscar nominations. It was originally independently published. #4 on Amazon’s list. 44%

3. (tie) The Nightingale (at AmazonSmile*) by Kristin Hannah. I have not read this one. #5 on Amazon’s list. 44%

3. (tie) The Shell Seekers (at AmazonSmile*) by Rosamunde Pilcher. I have not read this. Not on Amazon’s list. 44%

3. (tie) Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (at AmazonSmile*) by T. Colin Campbell. I haven’t read it. Not on Amazon’s top 100. 44%

As you can see, not a lot of overlap with Amazon’s list (although there is some). My intuitive sense here is that sales on traditionally published books significantly drove the rankings.

When we go down to the next tier (33%), I would say there are more books that are less well-known:

  • 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story
  • Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection (Calvin and Hobbes series Book 9)
  • Indigo Slam: An Elvis Cole Novel
  • Maude
  • Spinster’s Gambit
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • The Days Are Just Packed (Calvin and Hobbes series Book 8)
  • The Einstein Prophecy
  • The Girl on the Train
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
  • The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game

There you go! I’d say it does show that ILMK readers are different from the general Amazon population of Amazon’s customers. 🙂

I’m very interested in any feedback you might have on this post, since it is something new, and I sort of feel like I’ve crossed a line. Do you like seeing what my readers as a group bought through the blog? Did it surprise you that I can see that data? Does it bother you? What do you think about the actual titles, and how they compare to Amazon’s list? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Bonus deal: today’s

Kindle Daily Deal(s) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is more than thirty (!) of the bestselling 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain, including Cop Hater (the first book in the series) for $1.99 each. This major backlist series is now published by Amazon (in e-book form). These would make a good gift…and they make a good argument for  Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (which can also be given as a gift), since they are available through that service at no additional cost.

Join thousands 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.

 

9 of the top 20 USA Kindle store book bestsellers are in Kindle Unlimited

October 10, 2015

9 of the top 20 USA Kindle store book bestsellers are in Kindle Unlimited

I have been a happy member of

 Kindle Unlimited ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon’s $9.99 subser (subscription service…”all you can read” option) since it started.

I don’t know that I actually save money, typically…but I am reading more expensive books. 🙂 I’ve read three of Marko Kloos’ Frontlines series recently through KU…and those are $4.99 each, so in that case, it did save me money.

Quick comment on those books: I did think the second one:

Lines of Departure (Frontlines Book 2) (at AmazonSmile*)

was a really good book, much better than the first (which was still good). The three books together make a solid read, and I suppose you should start with the first one…but hang in there. The second one has a lot more character value, where the first one is much more just situational…in my opinion. 😉

The value of KU just keeps increasing. There are well over a million books in it now, and quantity does count.

So does popularity, though.

Of the top ten USA Kindle bookstore bestsellers at time of writing, nine of them are in KU!

Now, the bestselling Kindle store books don’t match up with the New York Times bestseller…Amazon’s own traditional publishing imprints are high up on the list. Part of that is the

Kindle First books (at AmazonSmile*)

program, where Amazon Prime members can get one pre-publication books to own (not borrow) a month (that seems to be working).

I do still think we could see one of the Big 5 USA trade publishers have a significant presence in KU: not the frontlist, probably, but some of the backlist, before the end of this year.

I suppose the story here may be how Amazon needs the tradpubs (traditional publishers) less than they used to need them…at least in terms of Kindle books. Amazon doesn’t seem to be making that much progress with their own tradpubbed books in paper (at least, looking at the New York Times hardback fiction bestsellers), but in e-books? Bullseye!

KU is not for everyone, and it doesn’t serve all of the needs of many people who have it. Still, if you can gift a single month at the holidays, I think that would be super popular. I’d give it as a gift, for sure…maybe several of them!

It feels to me like Amazon is going to look at an exceptional holiday season for consumer sales!

Update: one of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy suggested that books may be at the top of the list if they have recently come off the freebie list. I thought that used to be true more than it is now, so I wanted to a bit more analysis and add it to this post.

I used

eReaderIQ.com

to look at the pricing histories of the current top 10 (those may have changed since I first published the post yesterday…the list updates every hour). I only did ten instead of twenty like yesterday…partially because the list might update before I finished it (that gets confusing), partially because it seemed representative, and well, it was easier. 😉

I consider eReaderIQ to be the most valuable resource for Kindleers on the web…I’m not associated with them, by the way, although we have had some correspondence and I’ve made some suggestions to them.

Here are my findings…I’m only detailing books not by the Big 5 publishers…those won’t have been free:

  1. Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán. Not KU, but it will be once it is officially released on November 1st. This is one of the Kindle First picks for this month. That means it is free for Prime members (they can pick usually one per month). They do own it…but does that count as a paid sale? You would think not. Amazon has a separate list for freebies. People can pre-order it…but I didn’t think pre-orders counted until the day of release (when we are billed for it). Calling this a paid bestseller seems a bit…questionable to me | 4.6 stars out of 5 | 144 customer reviews $5.99 (no price changes in the past 30 days)
  2. The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry. KU | 4.7 stars | 676 reviews (it was $0.99 in the beginning of September, has been $2.99 since)
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir $8.99
  4. The Survivor by Vince Flynn $14.99
  5. Bad Boy Daddy by Chance Carter. KU | 4.5 stars | 414 reviews $0.99 (no price tracking data…released October 3)
  6. The Mentor by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli (translated by Aaron Maines) Kindle First for November 1st (see #1) | 3.9 stars | 70 reviews $5.99…published by Amazon
  7. The Prettiest One by James Hankins KU  | 4.1 stars | 791 reviews $5.99 (price has been steadily 5.99 since August 18th…$4.99 before)
  8. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner KU | 3.7 stars | 2,870 reviews $4.99 (price steady since August)
  9. Owned by the Bad Boy by Vanessa Waltz KU | 45 stars | 89 reviews $0.99 (price steady since September 30)
  10. Last Immortal Dragon: Dragon Shifter by T.S. Joyce KU | 4.9 stars | 106 reviews (no price history)

Fascinating! Outside of the Kindle First books (I don’t why they are on this list at all at this point), these do appear to me to be legitimate sales…

What do you think? Can Amazon do anything to replicate the digital success of its tradpubbed e-books in p-books? Is KU increasingly attractive to you? Why aren’t Big 5 books more prominent in the Kindle book bestseller lists? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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! :) 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.

Top 10 Kindle USA bestsellers jump almost $3

March 27, 2015

Top 10 Kindle USA bestsellers jump almost $3

Well.

The last time I did an analysis of the USA Kindle store top ten bestsellers (on January 9th of this year), they averaged $4.10.

Today, that’s jumped almost $3 to $7.09.

That’s an increase of about 72%…in under three months.

There may be a seasonal impact there…prices are often low in January, I think, because there is a lot of competition for gift card/returns money.

However, I think there may be another contributing factor here.

Here’s my analysis:

Title Price Publisher KU? TTS? X-Ray? Word Wise? Lending? WSV Stars Reviews
The Girl on the Train $6.99 Penguin No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 4.1 9,685
The Stranger $10.99 Penguin No Yes No No No Yes 4.4 41
The Six Wives of Henry VIII $1.59 Grove No Yes Yes Yes No No 4.7 377
Maude $1.99 Indie Yes Yes Yes Yes No No 4.4 5,507
Younger $4.99 Amazon No Yes Yes No No Yes 4.0 484
All the Light We Cannot See $12.99 S&S No No Yes Yes No Yes 4.6 9,873
Dead Wake $12.99 Random No Yes Yes No No No 4.6 223
NYPD Red 3 $9.99 Hachette No Yes Yes No No No 4.7 107
The Longest Ride $5.39 Hachette No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 4.6 4,658
Ready Player One $2.99 Random No Yes Yes Yes No Yes 4.6 5,085
Average/% Yes $7.09 90% 90% 90% 60% 100% 60% 4.47 3,604

Last time, fewer than half of the books were from the Big 5 largest USA trade publishers (trade books are the kind you buy in bookstores, as opposed to textbooks and such).

This time, it’s seven of them (Grove isn’t one of the Big 5, although it is a traditional publisher which has been around for a long time).

My guess?

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

may have something to do with that.

None of the Big 5 are participating in Amazon’s subser (subscription service), where you pay $9.99 a month and you can read as many books as you want…well, perhaps that should be “as you can”. 😉 You are limited to having ten books out at a time, but hey, if you can read three and a half books a day (that’s my personal best for novels), you can read your roughly 108 books that month at no additional cost.

Many of the non-Big 5 books are in KU.

That may mean that non-Big 5 books are not being purchased as much, since so many of them (including books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Life of Pi) can be borrowed.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the actual number of sales of e–books at Amazon is going down…if the bestselling books aren’t selling as many as they used to do.

That rise in price is due partly to tradpubs (traditional publishers) tending to price their books higher than indies (independent publishers). More tradpub representation typically means higher prices (although that’s a great price for Ready Player One…we just found out that Steven Spielberg is going to direct the movie adaptation for Warner Brothers).

We may also start to see a rise in tradpub prices…if buying a book (as opposed to having access to it) is seen as a luxury, people may be willing to pay more for it.

We may head back to the pre-paperback days, when books were largely owned by the better off, and seen as a sign of status.

That would be owned by, in the future situation: not read by.

Certainly, KU has been around for a while now, and the economics of publishing may (at to some degree) start to shift because of it.

The only KU book in the bunch, Maude, was also a bestseller back in January.

It’s now been designated with a new badge at Amazon: it’s one of the

Kindle Unlilmited All-Star Books and Authors (at AmazonSmile*)

That’s an interesting new feature!

Amazon describes it this way:

“Kindle Unlimited All-Stars are the most popular titles and authors in KDP Select. Each month we determine the most popular by adding up the number of books sold, borrows from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and the number of books read in Kindle Unlimited.”

That’s a fascinating set of parameters. Presumably, the bestseller list only counts sales, not borrows. I can understand that…but it intrigues me that they also count books which were read (a KU author doesn’t get paid until you’ve read 10% of the book).

What if someone borrows a book in January, but doesn’t read it until February? I’ve waited that long.

Does it count twice…once for the borrow, once for the read?

Does reading it count more?

If this is a KU thing, why are sales included at all?

Looking at their lists (they do it be different genres), I’m not seeing the well-known books which are part of KU.

I’ve tried to tell you about those from time to time…former New York Times bestsellers in KU, for example.

For me, that’s definitely part of the selling point. I’m always thrilled to see a book or an author I have in paper in KU…I’m excited that other people can read those books as part of KU.

My guess is that people who have become KU members are, for the most part, staying KU members.

At this point, it seems to get better every month…so if it was worth it the first month, why isn’t it worth the second month, and so on?

I also don’t think KU members tend to stop buying books…they probably do both (again, the majority of people is my guess), but they might buy fewer books.

I expect to hear some very laudatory things said about KU in a future Amazon financials report…perhaps without giving numbers, though. 😉

What do you think? Is KU making it so that fewer indies are top sellers at Amazon? Is that a bad thing? Do you think the publishers might be compensated more by KU (we’ve heard reports both ways)? Will we develop two tiers: people who buy tradpubs, and people who use subsers? Will any of the Big 5 join KU this year (in my look ahead to 2015, I thought that was a possibility)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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.

New York Times bestseller analysis February 2015

February 15, 2015

New York Times bestseller analysis February 2015

I do a big analysis of the USA Kindle store every month in my Snapshots.

From time to time, I also do a bestseller analysis, but that tends to focus on the Kindle store bestsellers.

Today, I thought I’d look at the New York Times bestsellers…which is quite a different list from the Kindle store bestsellers.

I’m going to keep it down to just hardback equivalent fiction.

First, let me note this. Of the top twenty from the NYT, only three of them appear in the top twenty in the USA Kindle store:

  • The Girl on the Train (#1 at NYT, #5 in the Kindle store)
  • Big Little Lies (#13 at NYT, #12 in the Kindle store)
  • All the Light We Cannot See (#2 at NYT, #13 in the Kindle store)

Why the difference?

Part of it is the power of Amazon’s Kindle First program, where eligible Prime members get to get one (or two) soon to be published books for free each month…books published by Amazon, by the way. Those books dominate the Kindle list.

Another thing? There are three “Fifty Shades” book in the top twenty at the Kindle store. One reason people say they like their Kindles is that someone else can’t tell what you are reading unless you choose to show it to them. It may be that people are more comfortable reading a book like Fifty Shades of Grey on an EBR (E-Book Reader) or a tablet than in paper.

Here’s the analysis of the New York Times bestseller hardback fiction equivalents, from the most popular on down (they list twenty):

Title Price HB Price HB List Publisher KU TTS X-Ray Word Wise Lending Stars Reviews
The Girl on the Train 8.99 16.17 26.95 Penguin No Yes Yes Yes No 4.2 1807
All the Light We Cannot See 11.99 16.20 27.00 Scribner No No Yes Yes No 4.6 7209
The Nightingale 14.99 16.79 27.99 Macmillan No Yes No No No 4.8 229
Trigger Warning 14.99 17.17 26.99 HarperCollins No Yes No No No 4.5 19
Private Vegas 9.99 21.17 28.00 Hachette No Yes Yes No No 3.7 158
Gray Mountain 9.99 14.18 28.95 Random House No Yes Yes Yes No 3.7 10411
Crash & Burn 11.99 20.93 27.95 Penguin No Yes No No No 4.4 96
Saint Odd 9.79 16.80 28.00 Random House No Yes Yes No No 4.6 571
Funny Girl 11.99 16.77 27.95 Penguin No Yes No No No 3.7 56
The Boston Girl 11.99 15.60 26.00 Simon&Schuster No No Yes Yes No 4.0 412
The Escape 9.99 17.45 28.00 Hachette No Yes No Yes No 4.6 3,046
First Frost 12.99 14.29 25.99 Macmillan No Yes Yes No No 4.5 190
Big Little Lies 3.99 16.16 26.95 Putnam No Yes Yes Yes No 4.6 5706
Hope to Die 5.99 14.50 29.00 Hachette No Yes No No No 4.6 1874
Descent 9.43 19.68 25.95 Algonquin No Yes Yes No No 4.2 197
Cold Cold Heart 11.99 18.02 27.95 Penguin No Yes Yes No No 4.3 128
Leaving Time 10.99 14.00 28.00 Random House No Yes Yes Yes No 4.3 3978
Everything I Never Told You 10.99 15.22 26.95 Penguin No Yes Yes Yes No 4.1 1045
Insatiable Appetites 8.99 20.47 27.95 Penguin No Yes Yes No No 3.5 177
The Goldfinch 11.89 18.00 30.00 Hachette No Yes Yes Yes No 3.7 19876

The Kindle versions average $10.69, and range from $3.99 to $14.99.

The average hardback price at Amazon is $16.98 (more than half again as much…and more than $6 more), and the average list price (the price the publishers puts on the book) is $27.63.

The average savings of the e-book over Amazon’s discounted hardback price is $6.28…and the biggest one is $12.17!

I think you really have to consider the relative values to spend that much more for the p-book, assuming you already have a device on which to read it (or are comfortable using a free Kindle reading app).

No book which was in the NYT hardback fiction top twenty is not available through the Kindle store…but none of them are available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

though. That’s not a ridiculous thing to check…there has been a New York Times bestseller which was also available through KU, Amazon’s “all you can read” subser (subscription service).

In two cases, the publisher (Simon & Schuster…Scribner is an imprint) has inserted code to block text-to-speech access**. That means that 90% of the books do not block it.

19 of the books are from the Big Five US trade publishers (Putnam is an imprint of Penguin Random House)…Algonquin is an imprint of Workman. That certainly wouldn’t be the case on the  Kindle store bestsellers! Amazon as a traditional publisher is responsible for many of those, and at least one appears to be independently published.

Fourteen of the NYT titles have X-Ray (Amazon’s onboard background information feature). Not quite sure why one book has that and another one doesn’t.

Nine of the books have Word Wise. That’s a relatively new feature, which explains “difficult words” in situ. I think all tradpubbed (traditionally published) books will likely have it, at least those with text (as opposed to words in images, like a graphic novel or an illustrated children’s book).

None of the books are “lending enabled”…you can’t loan them to someone not on your account, without lending a physical device. That can work well: we keep a “guest Kindle” for that purpose, when people are visiting. You can share books with people on your account, and with some people not on your account (by using the “Family Library”).

Overall, this seems pretty good to me, but the Kindle bestsellers have it all over the NYT bestsellers in terms of enabled features. The NYT books probably account for a bigger chunk of revenue (and possibly, but not necessarily, higher unit sales), but this again gets around to the question: does Amazon need the tradpubs?

For now, the answer is probably yes. Just as Amazon spends millions of dollars getting well known movies and TV shows for Prime video (while still developing their own), the presence of the best-known books not only gives them credibility and keeps their regular customers happy, it attracts the occasional book buyer…with the opportunity to turn them into Prime members (which is what I think Amazon wants…that, and it wants to be the “infrastructure of retail”, connecting customers to everything they buy…regardless of from whom).

As Amazon needs the tradpubs less and less, though, it gives them more and more bargaining power…which could help us readers in the long run.

I don’t think that particularly makes Amazon too powerful…people could still buy those tradpubbed books from other sources, so it wouldn’t be like it was a “monopoly” on books.

What do you think? Why are the NYT bestellers such a different list from the Kindle store bestsellers? Why aren’t the Fifty Shades books (at least one of them) on the NYT list? Is it maybe just because the Kindle store list updates more quickly, and that at least one of the books will be on there next week? If so, how important is that…Amazon’s ability to not only have a book while it is hot, but not need to invest in stock before you know the value (a big problem when I was a brick-and-mortar bookstore manager)…and then to promote it without potentially waiting a week like the NYT? Has the presence of “Word Wise” affected your buying decision on a book? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands 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! :) 

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

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.

 

Top ten Kindle USA bestsellers average under $5

January 9, 2015

Top ten Kindle USA bestsellers average under $5

I like to look at the USA Kindle store bestsellers from time to time, and do some analysis.

Note that these are not the New York Times bestsellers: that’s a very different list, tending to be mostly books from the Big 5 publishers. That’s partially because that list is heavily influenced by p-book (paperbook) sales, and the Big 5 still strongly dominate that format.

The first thing that struck my eye tonight is that they are inexpensive!

The average price is $4.10…and only one of them is over $5.

Best Sellers in Kindle eBooks (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Title Price Publisher KU? TTS? X-Ray? Word Wise? Lending? Stars Reviews
Miramont’s Ghost (K1) 4.99 Amazon NY Yes Yes Yes NY 3.8 168
Flirting with Felicity (K1) 4.99 Amazon NY Yes Yes No NY 3.7 124
Everything Burns (K1) 4.99 Amazon NY Yes Yes Yes NY 3.9 71
Unbroken 4.99 Random No No Yes Yes No 4.8 18156
Heart Collector (K1) 4.99 Amazon NY Yes Yes No No 3.9 36
Maude 0.99 Indie Yes Yes Yes No No 4.5 905
Big Little Lies 3.99 Penguin Yes Yes Yes Yes No 4.6 4856
Stepbrother Billionaire 2.99 Indie Yes Yes No No Yes 3.9 170
American Sniper 6.13 Morrow No Yes Yes Yes No 4.5 5741
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 1.99 Random No No Yes Yes No 4.5 3615

The next thing is that the top three are all Kindle First books.

Eligible Prime members can get two (instead of the regular one) of those books for free this time…and this month, non-Prime members can buy one at a reduced price.

The fifth book is also a Kindle First book.

Their price of $4.99 puts them above the average of the ones in this group.

Another major impact is that they haven’t been officially released yet…that doesn’t happen until February 1st.

That means they can’t be part of Kindle Unlimited (KU), and it looks to me like you can’t loan them yet, either.

The KU thing will almost definitely change with publication.

That’s why I’ve added a designation of “NY” to indicate “Not Yet”. 🙂

If we count those as yeses, 70% of these top ten have not blocked TTS: I’d like that to be ten out of ten, but this is still pretty good.

Interesting that the Word Wise features, which shows definitions of “difficult words” in situ, isn’t enabled on half of the Kindle 1sts (K1s in the above listing). I’m guessing it will be after they are published.

Generally, more reviews meant a higher average. It makes sense to me that older titles on this list have more reviews, and that they are generally well-reviewed. For an older book to be at the very top of the lists, I think they will tend to have had good reviews. If they didn’t, they couldn’t be competing with the super power of “novelty”. 😉

American Sniper and Unbroken are probably being helped by their movie versions. At this point, that benefits the tradpubs (traditional publishers): that’s who gets the licensing for a movie edition, usually.

Anyway, it’s great that you could buy the top ten best-selling Kindle store books at Amazon with fifty dollars…and still have money left over. 😉

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! :) 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.

 


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