Publisher’s Weekly (PW) recently announced the best selling books of 2010. One of the list is a combination of eBooks and hardcover sales. This generally contains the biggest and highest profile titles of the year.
In the top 10, the following non-fiction; George Bush; Keith Richards; SHIT MY DAD SAYS and Bill O’Reilly’s crazy rants. A very bizarre group of titles. The eBook conversion rate compared to physical was 10.4%; 4.1%; 24.1% and 3.8%. SHIT had a high rate. Given the book was hatched from a Twitter account, it does make sense. Bush at 10.4% is in line with this type of big non-fiction seller. The other two had unbelievably poor conversion ratios. My feeling is people wanted to own Richards plus it may have grabbed a higher cut of the casual reader who probably doesn’t own a Kindle. Bill O? I think it’s his Right-Wing Wal-Mart shopping fans also are not early movers to digital.
The Fiction list has 6 titles. The authors are Steig Larssen; John Grisham; Nicholas Sparks; James Patterson; Jonathan Franzen; and Stephen King. Larsson and Grisham both has over 29% eBook ratio! Franzen had 23%. So these author’s reflect the ‘accepted knowledge’ that 30% of best-selling fiction is digital. But it drops off considerably after these three, with Evans at 10.5%; Patterson at 6.2% (he had 5 of the top 30 combined); and most surprising of all Stephen King at 5.9%. I have always thought King’s audience would go for eBooks? Could it be the publisher’s play on digital that kept his eBook sales so low?
All titles in the combined top 10 were from the “Corporate 6.”
Looking to the eBook only list… there are 30 titles on it., 17 sold over 100,000 units. 26 of the top 30 are Fiction.
ALL 30 TITLES ARE FROM THE “BIG 6.”
So as much as people want to predict the demise of the big dinosaur, corporate publishers, they are still roaring.