walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Amazon bestsellers, paid kindle vs. books (approx top 60)

Why did I look at the top 60? I don't know. I got interrupted on the kindle side and by the time I came back, things had shifted around. On the paper side, I was just matching the earlier work on the kindle side.

I think the most interesting discovery is that out of the top 60 bestsellers in books at Amazon (when I did this), only _10_ do not have a kindle edition. Let's contemplate those 10.

(1) A preorder "children's" picture book called _Go the F**k to Sleep_
(2) A boxed set of Martin's Game of Thrones (components available for the kindle, so this is sort of a borderline case.
(3) A tie-in journal for the Greene diet book
(4) Paltrow's cookbook
(5) The APA style guide
(6) Grayling's _Good Book_ This is the clearest should-be-available-but-isn't case.
(7) Another cookbook
(8) A preorder of a book based on a website and previously self published and sold on that website
(9) A Curious George picture/sticker book, bargain priced
(10) A book about how to be stylish, that involves a lot of pictures

Basically, with the possible exception of Grayling's replacement bible for humanists, every book in the top 60 bestsellers on Amazon is _also_ available on the kindle. If it's not available yet (a preorder), there is a preorder button for the kindle version as well. Grayling's book is a recent enough release that there's a good chance the ebook has been windowed and will be available later (I just saw the author on Stephen Colbert's show, which means it's in the middle of a big push at the moment).

It's really hard to argue that "legacy publishers" are not taking ebooks seriously with this kind of coverage.

The next most obvious thing is how much overlap there is between the lists. #1 in books is #19 for kindle. #2 in books is #3 on kindle. #3 on books is #5 on kindle. That Charlaine Harris/Stackhouse preorder for kindle? It's #5 in books. #6 in books is #69 on kindle. #7 in books is #71 on kindle.

There are a _lot_ of diet books high in bestsellers books that _are_ available on the kindle, but didn't show up in the top 60ish that I looked at. And John Locke is all over the place in the top 60ish on kindle, available in paperback format, but not showing up in the top 60ish in the general books bestseller list. It's hard to know precisely how to interpret this, but it looks a lot to me like the population buying books for the kindle is different than the population buying books on Amazon more generally. I'll devote a later post to some speculation about why that might be, and how that might evolve over time.

ETA: Yes, it might mean that the two populations are the same, but that they buy differently in different contexts. I don't think that's the case, but I'll explain why in more detail in that later post.
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