Giving All Ebooks Their Due on the Best-Seller List

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

Because of how complex ebook sales are across even just the U.S., no book best-seller list is perfect. The Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller list is not exempt from this truth.

(You can read our full methodology here, by the way.)

One astute reader, Bob Diforio, pointed out that in our best-seller list this week, an indie title wasn’t getting its due:

The Fixed Trilogy bundle by Laurelin Paige has been #1 or #2 all week on Kindle?
Why is it not in your top 25 list?

(Link to the comment here.)

He was right in pointing out the success of this title. And it should have likely been on the list this week.

Our system requires an ebook have an ISBN in order to link it across retailers. Many self-published books don’t have an ISBN and will be invisible to our process. We are looking to change things so that we will assign a “placeholder” ISBN to these titles. While they still won’t automatically be linked, we can give credit to these titles based on individual retailer performance which will enable some to make the list. The Fixed Trilogy is an example that would have made the list this week based on its Kindle ranking alone.

We are constantly trying to improve the list. In fact, just last week, we made a tweak to to our formula based on new information. We regret this week’s error but look at it as an opportunity to get better.


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