Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
Kindle Unlimited is minting best-sellers.
According to Publishers Lunch, the number of ebooks on the Kindle best-seller list that are Kindle Unlimited titles has just about tripled since the launch of the all-you-can-read service from Amazon last week. Amazon is counting Kindle Unlimited reads as well as Kindle store sales in its best-seller rankings.
Last week at this time, there were 15 ebooks that would have been part of Kindle Unlimited that were top 100 best-sellers on Kindle; this week, that number has ballooned to 45.
As the chart shows, Amazon Publishing titles (which are in Kindle Unlimited), titles by other publishers included in the service, and Kindle Direct Publishing Select titles (those by self-published authors who only sell on Amazon and not other platforms like Nook and iBooks, which are included on KU), seem to have all benefited greatly from being a part of Kindle Unlimited. Books by self-published authors who aren’t exclusive to Amazon and those from publishers not participating in Kindle Unlimited have suffered — at least when it comes to hitting top-100 Kindle best-sellers.
While Kindle Unlimited it still new, the reason for its big influence could be the clever way in which Amazon is marketing the service to readers.
For ebooks available in Kindle Unlimited, the title landing page has a call to read the ebook for “free” with the service:
KU is offering a free 30-day trial, much like the other new ebook subscription services. Unlike the other services, however, Amazon also sells ebooks outright. For users presented with the prospect purchasing an ebook versus reading it for free, the choice is made easier. Perhaps the lift in “sales” for KU titles has to do with readers encountering the title page and being enticed to read the book for free. It’s fair to assume that once on the title page, some readers who may not have bought the book are enticed to read it for free with KU.
As many of you know, the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller list is based in part on what happens on the Amazon Kindle best-seller list. To that end, we’ve started working with Amazon to figure out how we can continue to faithfully represent the top 25 ebooks sold at retail while still including KU books, which of course also sell at retail, in addition to being read through KU. When Kindle First presented a similar problem, we dealt with it accordingly. We’ll keep you posted.
Amazon did not return request for comment on this post.