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Google Announces the Best Books of Google Play for 2016


With the year drawing to a close, Google announced its annual "Best of 2016" lists on Thursday.

The ad network has assembled Google Play’s Best of lists by searching out the most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, and ebooks globally in 2016.

Here are the top five ebooks for 2016, and as you can see it contains several surprises.

  1. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  3. The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
  4. The Art of War by Tzu Sun
  5. Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

Only one of the books was published this year, and it barely counts as a book. The rest are all at least several years old, and one is at least a couple millennia old.

How that particular copy of The Art of War made the best of list, I do not know. But if a $1.11 ebook with only 83 reviews can make the list, Google really must not be selling a lot of ebooks.

You can find the best of 2016 lists for Google Play music, movies, apps and games on the Google blog.


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Jeff Mcneill December 1, 2016 um 9:42 pm

Thanks for your ongoing coverage of all things ebooks. It was nice to see "The Art of War" as a bestseller, and I have a few more clues as to why that is. For one thing, there is a concatenation of versions that happens, as there are quite a few editions of "The Art of War". The fact that the first edition one sees has 83 reviews does not provide any inkling of the fact there are dozens of editions, many of which are as popular or more, and which add up to an overall popularity in the top five.

I know this firsthand, as I have published an edition of The Art of War:

This is a heavily edited (some would say abridged) version, that strips away all the third-party commentary, and further reduces the text to that which actually makes sense in a clear and precise way. This ends up in being 36 pages of easy to read (yet still deeply insightful) modern prose.

I’ve had this Ebook for several years, and experimented with different pricing. It turns out that royalty per month is the proper goal of pricing, and when trying out a different price every month, there is an optimal pricing that yields maximum royalty. In the case of this ebook, that price is $1.99 USD (and equivalent in other currencies).

This version, and a second version (no relation) of The Art of War rank as #1 and #2 in the category > History > Asia > China as well. See:

Note that I can report that I sell on average 1 book per day, and have for years. Multiply this by the dozens of editions available in Google Play Books, and that makes a perennial bestseller.

poiboy December 2, 2016 um 1:14 am

funny how a stage play script makes a book list.

Frank December 2, 2016 um 9:17 am

The Potterverse has a lot of fans. I only read the book because of Rowling’s past work. It was a weak book, but at least it was short.

poiboy December 2, 2016 um 5:14 pm


and yes, potterheads are ravenous for new material.

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