Here’s an elucidating, or perplexing, depending on your point of view, little article. The piece is a bit long, full of facts/comparisons and is just a wee bit confusing, to be honest, so I’ll just decipher it for you and cut to the quick.
It seems like eBook and print book buyers are living (and reading) in parallel universes.
How so? They’re pretty much buying completely different titles. That’s how.
Granted, the writer only tracks Amazon statistics but, given the company’s overwhelming category dominance (sigh), we feel that it’s pretty representational nonetheless.
You’d think that the two 2011 bestseller lists (print and e) would have plenty of cross-pollination, right? Well, you’d be wrong (as I was), if the writer of the article is to be believed. I’ll let him elaborate:
“Of the 100 best-selling eBooks of the year — 60 of them didn’t even appear among the top 100 best-selling printed books. And the same is true in reverse. Just 40 of the top 100 best-selling printed books even made it onto Amazon’s list of the top 100 best-selling eBooks.”
In fact, out of the top 25 digital bestsellers, only 7 were also found in the analog (just appropriated the word from the music realm to the publishing world) 25 bestseller list. They are:
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Lee Dugard
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
The Litigators by John Grisham
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Doh! So, what’s happenin’ here? Why the disconnect?
Even if you account for the reality that some print books, for a multitude of reasons, just aren’t available electronically, and vicey versey (as my friend PJ says), and that eBooks, in general, are priced lower, it still doesn’t amount to very much of a clear cut answer.
I’ll admit that I’m not sufficiently “in the know” to figure this one out all by my lonesome. I’d prefer to let more analytical minds get to the bottom of this, for all of us. I’m more of a conceptual/big picture guy who likes asking questions (and doesn’t always have the answers), anyway.
So, anyone out there want to take a crack at this riddle?
(Image: Frank Gorshin as The Riddler in the original Batman TV series.)