It was the year of erotic romance and young adult when it comes to ebook sales.
The top six best-selling ebooks of 2012 are all part of the Fifty Shades and Hunger Games trilogies. One interesting thing about these two trilogies as top sellers is that one is all about sex and discretely for adults and the other awkwardly avoids mentions of sex and was directed toward a younger audience.
At the same time, they are connected in that the ability to buy them through their reading devices and read them privately helped propel their success. Would Fifty Shades been nearly as popular if readers had to enter bookstores to buy the books and display that they were reading them every time they did? Would Hunger Games have been as popular if readers had to visit the children’s section of a bookstore to buy them?
We’ll never know. But, undoubtedly, the rise of e-reading helped drive each of these titles to incredible sales.
One other interesting thing to note about the top 25 best-selling ebooks of the year is that 17 out of the 25 titles are published by either Random House or Penguin, about two-thirds of the titles. If the two companies combine next year and have similar success, they will control most of the best-sellers.
We’ll be analyzing things we’ve learned from monitoring ebook best-sellers and busting myths about ebook sales during a special 20-minute keynote presentation at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo in Jan. in New York.
|1||Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||Yes|
|2||Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||Yes|
|3||Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||Yes|
|4||The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 1)||Suzanne Collins||Scholastic||$ 5.00||No|
|5||Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 2)||Suzanne Collins||Scholastic||$ 5.99||No|
|6||Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 3)||Suzanne Collins||Scholastic||$ 5.99||No|
|7||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Random House||$ 12.99||Yes|
|8||The Hunger Games Trilogy||Suzanne Collins||Scholastic||$ 18.99||No|
|9||Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel||Sylvia Day||Penguin||$ 9.99||Yes|
|10||Defending Jacob: A Novel||William Landay||Random House||$ 13.99||Yes|
|11||A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five||George R.R. Martin||Random House||$ 14.99||Yes|
|12||Fifty Shades Trilogy Bundle: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed||E. L. James||Random House||$ 29.99||Yes|
|13||Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel||Sylvia Day||Penguin||$ 9.99||Yes|
|14||A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)||George R. R. Martin||Random House||$ 8.99||Yes|
|15||Unbroken||Laura Hillenbrand||Random House||$ 12.99||Yes|
|16||The Help||Kathryn Stockett||Penguin||$ 12.99||Yes|
|17||The Lucky One||Nicholas Sparks||Hachette||$ 5.99||No|
|18||The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millennium Trilogy Series #3)||Stieg Larsson||Random House||$ 9.99||Yes|
|19||Divergent||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 6.56||No|
|20||The Racketeer||John Grisham||Random House||$ 12.99||Yes|
|21||The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy: #2) : Book Two of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy||Nora Roberts||Penguin||$ 9.99||Yes|
|22||11/22/1963||Stephen King||Simon & Schuster||$ 3.99||No|
|23||Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back||Todd Burpo; Sonja Burpo; Lynn Vincent; Colton Burpo||HarperCollins||$ 8.50||No|
|24||Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever||Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard||Macmillan||$ 12.99||No|
|25||The Perfect Hope: Book Three of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy (The Inn Trilogy)||Nora Roberts||Penguin||$ 9.99||Yes|
* Price is lowest found at each of the retailers we measure throughout the year. See our full methodology here.