Anatomy of the Steve Jobs Amazon Best-Seller

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By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

Yesterday, Amazon announced that Simon & Schuster’s biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is its best-selling book of the year, combining print and digital.

The book, titled Steve Jobs, beat out Bossypants by Tina Fey (No. 2, Reagan Arthur Books) and A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard (No. 3, Simon & Schuster). Coming in fourth on Amazon’s top-ten best-selling books of the year list was self-published title The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan. The book has reportedly “sold more than 400,000 copies,” according to The Wall Street Journal, which featured Chan’s self-publishing story in a lengthy item last week.

Being No. 1 for the year is all the more impressive for the Jobs book, considering it only came out on October 24, long after most of the other books on Amazon’s top-ten list:

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (October 24)

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey (April 5)

3. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard (July 12)

4. The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan (May 18)

5. In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson (May 10)

6. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (July 12)

7. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (February 22)

8. The Litigators by John Grisham (October 25)

9. The Abbey by Chris Culver (February 2)

10. Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle) by Christopher Paolini (November 8 )



Here are some other interesting insights into Amazon’s best-selling book of the year:

— Debuted on the Kindle best-sellers list at No. 82 on August 26 for just one day due to pre-orders.

— Disappeared from the list until October 6, the day after Steve Jobs died. The book’s return was at No. 1.

— Over the next few weeks, the book stayed on the list, moving as low as No. 46 and as high as No. 2.

— On October, 24, the day the book came out, it again hit No. 1 on the Kindle best-sellers list and stayed there for ten straight days.

— The book debuted on the Amazon print rankings on October 24 at No. 1 and stayed there for two weeks straight.

— From November 2 until the end of the month, the book was featured as a “New & Noteworthy” book on the Amazon Kindle landing page.

— The price for the Kindle edition dropped from $16.99 to $14.99 on November 7.

— The Amazon print price has hovered between $17.50 and $17.88 for the book’s entire run.

— Since the book’s release, the Kindle edition has been ranked as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 18. It is currently ranked No. 14.

— Since the book’s release, the print edition has been ranked as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 3, which it only hit for one day, November 9. It is currently ranked No. 1.

— Across both print and digital, the book has been rated by Amazon users as low as 3.6 stars and as high as 4.6. Its current rating is 4.2 stars. The average rating for an Amazon Kindle best-seller today is 4.13 stars; for an Amazon print best-seller, it’s 4.28 stars.

(Source: eBook Market View, powered by Iobyte Solutions)

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