Patterns in Amazon’s Year-End Best-Seller List

Amazon-logoAnother year of Amazon dominating book sales in the U.S., another list of the big winners that benefitted: Amazon’s top-twenty best-selling books of 2013.

For those of us involved in the industry, there’s more to the list than big name authors and best-selling titles:

1. Ebooks are big winners: For only one out of the 20 books on the list did print Amazon purchases outsell Kindle books.
2. Penguin Random House dominates: The big publisher had nine of the 20 best-sellers – and seven of the top ten.
3. Self-published trumps Amazon: There were three self-published titles on the list (another testament to the power of ebook distribution), but no titles from Amazon Publishing. CORRECTION: No titles from Amazon Publishing appear on the adult best-seller list. However, the No. 6 best-seller on the children’s list, Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan, is published by Amazon. We regret the error.

Complete top-twenty best-sellers list.

Related: Take a deep dive into Amazon at Digital Book World 2014 with a host of programming on the dominant bookseller.

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The rest of the day’s top news:


The Digital Book Opportunity in China (DBW)
There are massive hurdles to doing business in China. And for intellectual property-based businesses, there is the specter of piracy. But there are 500 million Internet users in China and over one billion cell phone users. Those numbers are hard to ignore.


Subscription Ebook Service Re-Brands, Relaunches (DBW)
Subscription ebook service eReatah has rebranded itself Entitle, has lowered its prices and has relaunched.


What Do Publishers Do? (Pub Perspectives)
The head of the International Publishers Association has proclaimed that publishers have a problem: Nobody knows what they do. “We are perceived as relics from another era, as dinosaurs,” he said. U.S. publishers have been meeting this problem head on for years: Random House Explains What Publishers Do.


The Kindle Difference (TIME)
A new survey claims that Amazon customers who own a Kindle device spend about 50% more with the company than those who don’t.


Tumblr: Best-Seller Engine? (Good E Reader)
The social blogging platform Tumblr played a big part in turning an irreverent take on myths, Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, into a best-seller. Can the success be replicated?


Digital Book Start-up Christmas Fair (Pub Perspectives)
A quickly organized business fair and conference in London drew digital book publishing start-ups, book publishers and magazine publishers for interesting results.


DOJ Tattles on Apple (PW)
The Department of Justice is claiming that Apple is unfairly slandering its court-appointed anti-trust monitor.


The Problem With French (Pub Perspectives)
The ebook era has lowered the barrier for entry for publishers around the world that want to enter new markets. So why can’t French publishers break into the U.S. and UK? Solve that problem and you could unlock millions for foreign publishers.


Pat on the Back (PW)
Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle sent a note of thanks to his employees to mark the end of the year. While there have been some layoffs and consolidation at the company, despite dire predictions, we haven’t witnessed massive staff cuts yet following the merger.


The Week That Was (Good E Reader)
Good E Reader and Digital Book World talk Amazon, best-seller discounting and more.


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