amazon bestseller lists

25% of Amazon Book Sales Come from Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m always looking for interesting posts about books and e-books. I was going to post something about Jeff Rivera, but then I read about a slight kerfuffle he had last spring and decided not to go there. I don’t know Jeff, but I once wrote a piece about his web site and he personally thanked me in a very nice way. He seems like a nice guy and I hear he’s a good author. And I tend not to follow online flame wars too closely.

To ignore Fifty Shades of Grey nowadays is practically impossible. My 75 year old mom…who reads e-books on an iPad…asked me just yesterday what I thought of FSoG. Her Red Hat Lady friends were talking about it. I laughed and told her I liked it, but it’s something that she might not like. She’s more Jodi Piccoult than E.L. James. Whether or not she buys FSoG and reads it is anyone’s guess. But I sure would like to hear what the Red Hat Ladies she hangs with these days are talking about at THEIR high teas if they are reading FSoG.

The article I’m linking to below about FSoG is interesting because it claims that FSoG is responsible for 25% of book sales on Amazon. That’s a HUGE percentage. And when you factor in what other bestselling established mainstream authors are selling, that doesn’t leave much room for genre authors and small start up e-presses selling e-books.

I know very little about Amazon sales ranks. One of my publishers recently gave a good explanation about them in a yahoo group but I hesitate to publish anyone’s comments without permission. All I do know is that these sales rankings are like roller coasters that change every hour…and they leave a lot to be desired because they are so hard to figure out.

Which now leads me to the subject of amazon bestseller lists, more specifically bestselling genre lists. I truly have no idea what constitutes being on an Amazon bestseller list in a specific category/genre like gay/lesbian. I’m learning all this as I go and probably won’t know more for at least the next six months. Because I opted into the Amazon Lending Program and my two indie books are .99 e-books, I’m not taking advantage of the 70% author cut Amazon offers for books priced higher than 2.99 (I think that’s the number, don’t quote me).

As I said, I’m still learning. I have no complaints. After twenty years of being published I wanted to find out what self-publishing was all about and I wanted to do it slowly and quietly. I’ve done that so far I’m not unhappy with the results. I’m thrilled with all I’ve been learning these past six months. I’m also still an advocate of finding an agent and/or a publisher to work with, too. In other words, I don’t believe agents or good publishers are going to disappear. I don’t believe self-publishing is going to disappear either. I just think many things are going to evolve in the next five to ten years.

Because if Fifty Shades of Grey is making 25% of all Amazon book sales as this article claims, this tells me something about e-books in general. It’s still uncharted territory and a lot of us are pioneers. The post I’m linking to below is short and sweet. I found it very interesting…if not slightly disappointing as well. But then again the key word here could be “claims.”

One thing I can say for certain that has nothing to do with Amazon or self-publishing. I’ve been on other bestseller lists in the past with books I haven’t self-published and it’s been nice. It’s been an honor. But I still have a mortgage.

Report claims 25% of all Amazon book sales in June are Fifty Shades of Grey

But 25% of book sales at Amazon? That would perhaps indicate that the ebook market is still not very mature, and that as readers struggle with ‘discoverability’ in the massive flood of ebooks on the market, are still prone to flocking towards a single hit.