In case you didn’t see me tweet about it: I made a little page that compares the e-book and hardcover best seller lists from the New York Times. There’s a lot of variance, and a lot of different reasons for the variance. In fact, every difference seems to tell its own unique little tale. For instance, an informant told me via email:
Consider Phlebas is knocking it out of the park [on the e-book list] because the book just got listed at 99 cents. It wouldn’t suprise me if every sci-fi reader with Kindle access bought a copy of it. I know I did.
That’s interesting in at least two ways:
- It implies that the Kindle Store moves the market. Or maybe: that the Kindle Store is the market. I haven’t seen stats for the total e-book universe—have you?—but this seems intuitively correct to me.
- It augurs a new kind of book market in which prices can be super-dynamic. How about a special Game of Thrones intro weekend where the first book in the series is $0.99? How about selling a book for half-price while its author is out on tour, talking it up? What’s new is that you can make these price changes instantly and universally. No more declaring a new MSRP and hoping for the best from all the book sellers.
I’m going to keep updating the comparison page. Next up: paperback best seller lists.