Safe Haven ebook cover

Amazon’s created a special web page reporting their best-selling Kindle ebooks of 2013 (so far). But what’s fascinating is how different that list is from Amazon’s other list of this year’s best-selling printed books. In fact, only two of the top 10 best-selling print books also appear on Amazon’s list of the best-selling Kindle ebooks.

Check out both lists at
tinyurl.com/Top2013eBooks

The best-selling Kindle eBook of 2013 is Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks — a novel of love and intrigue by a best-selling fiction writer. Yet amazingly, it’s not even in the top 100 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books! And the exact same thing is true for the #10 best-selling Kindle ebook of 2013. It’s Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick — and despite its massive sales as a Kindle ebook, it’s not even in the top 100 of Amazon’s list of print best-sellers. (Since both ebooks were recently made into movies, you might wonder if Kindle owners are more in tune with the fast-moving world of popular culture? Or maybe they’re just younger readers who go to the movies more often…)

Meanwhile, there’s more surprises on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed book this year. It’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath — a non-fiction book that helps readers assess their personal talents and weaknesses. In fact, five non-fiction titles made the top 10 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books of the year. How many non-fiction titles made Amazon’s list of the 10 best-selling Kindle ebooks of 2013?

None.

Here’s Amazon’s list of their top 10 best-selling ebooks of 2013

   Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
   Inferno: A Novel by Dan Brown
   Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
   Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
   The Hit by Will Robie
   Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton
   Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
   Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
   The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick

And now here’s Amazon’s list of their top 10 best-selling
print books of 2013

   StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
   Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
   Inferno by Dan Brown
   Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
   Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander
   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
   Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
   The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
   The 5 Love Languages: The Secrets to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman
   A Song of Ice and Fire, Books 1-4 by George R. R. Martin

So the two books that both lists had in common were both works of fiction — Inferno: A Novel by Dan Brown (the author of The Da Vinci Code) and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. But of course, Dan Brown’s books have always been phenomenally popular — and The Great Gatsby was released this year as a major movie picture. But then again, Safe Haven was also released as major motion picture in February, and became the #1 best-selling Kindle ebook of the year — while not even making it into the top 100 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books!

So what’s going on? There’s another clue when you look at the ebooks which didn’t make it onto Amazon’s list of the top 10 best-selling printed books. For example…

   #4. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

One of 2013′s best-selling ebooks came from a self-published author living in rural East Texas — a 33-year-old social worker who published her first novel just 18 months ago. Thanks to the power of viral marketing — and Amazon’s Kindle Store — Colleen Hoover was able to find an appreciative audience online, and her books are now also available in print. But the print world is still struggling to catch up, apparently, since none of the print editions of Colleen’s novels have even made it into the top 100 of Amazon’s best-selling print books of 2013.

Of course, two of the 10 print best-sellers aren’t available as Kindle ebooks.

   Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
   The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia

Maybe the lesson there is that some books just work better in print — like books with lavish illustrations and a complicated layout. But it’s interesting to note that all of the top 10 best-selling Kindle ebooks are also available in print editions. Is it possible that publishers now consider the ebook market to be the most important one?

Anyways, I’m finding it fascinating to compare the two lists. It’s like catching glimpses of two different universes, which exist side-by-side in this moment in time. And they offer hints about the way that we read — and how it’s starting to change…

Check out both lists at
tinyurl.com/Top2013eBooks

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