Amazon’s Multi-Million Dollar Publishing Experiment Fizzles as Indie Titles Claim Amazon’s Best-Seller List
This year’slooks very different from last year’s, which was dominated by 50 Shades of Gray. This time around mystery and suspense ruled, with Dan Brown’s Inferno taking first place. This is the third time he’s claimed that position, with the first being The daVinci Code in 2004. Here’s the top 10 from the adult list:
- Inferno by Dan Brown
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
- The Hit by David Baldacci
- Sycamore Row by John Grisham
- Entwined with You by Sylvia Day
- Never Go Back by Lee Child
- The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
And here’s the top 10 from the YA/child list:
- Allegiant by Veronica Roth
- The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
- Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans by Rush Limbaugh
- Never Too Far by Abbi Glines
- Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan
- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
- Forever Too Far by Abbi Glines
- Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines
- The Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan
You can find the complete lists over on Amazon’s website.
I’ve been looking at the list this morning and I noticed something interesting. Of the 40 titles listed, only one was published by Amazon (so far as I can tell). That would be Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan, which reached number 6 on the YA list.
I find that detail rather interesting because by my count no fewer than 9 titles were published by indie authors. (I could be wrong; some of the smaller imprints mentioned might or might not be owned by the author in question.)
Nearly a quarter of the titles on the lists were published by independent authors. (What’s even more interesting is that 2 authors, Morgan Rice and Abbi Glines, took 6 spots on the YA list all by themselves.) That’s more than some of the major publishers can claim, but more importantly it’s more than Amazon can claim.
As you might recall, a couple months ago Larry Kirshbaum left his position as the head of one of Amazon’s imprints, Amazon Publishing. I didn’t think much of the speculation which at the time suggested that Amazon’s publishing efforts had fizzled, but now that Amazon has shared their best-seller lists I might have to change my mind.
The above lists has arguably shown that Amazon is not any better at picking and promoting books than any other publisher, even with Amazon’s home court advantage of owning the retail operation.
If Amazon’s goal is to disrupt publishing then you would think they would have to do a better job than existing publishers. That did not happen in 2013.
Would anyone care to predict whether it will happen in 2014?