Fifteen e-books with self-publishing origins are in Amazon’s Kindle top 100 overall for 2012 through November 1. And while these titles come from a wider variety of authors versus 2011’s top 100 overall, the total number actually had a slight decrease from the same period in 2011, which saw 20 e-books with self-publishing origins land in the top 100.
This year’s 17 e-books include the Fifty Shades trilogy and two books by Sylvia Day, and the vast majority of the total is romance titles. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young (#31 overall), Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain (#85), and Down to You by M. Leighton (#98) all reaped the benefits of the surge in romance’s popularity in 2012. Other self-pubbed bestsellers of note are The Sweetest Thing by Barbara Freethy, who also had a top 100 e-book in 2011 with Summer Secrets; and Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee, the only title to make the top 100 in both 2011 and 2012. The average price of this year’s self-published bestsellers was $5.66, which is inflated because of the current $9.99 price tags for the James and Day books.
While 2012’s self-published total dropped slightly from last year, 2011 was also dominated by fewer authors: of 2011’s 20 bestsellers, 11 were either by John Locke (seven) or Michael Prescott (four). 2012 spread the wealth between more authors: outside of James and Day, only CJ Lyons had multiple e-books in the top 100.
This all adds up to a mixed picture for self-publishing for Kindle: while a wider variety of different authors are making it big through self-publishing on Kindle, most of the titles in 2012 are romance. And this year’s slight decline from 2011 in the total number of bestsellers poses the issue of how much more the self-published “blockbuster” market can grow, and how much it can grow outside the romance genre.
2012’s Bestselling Kindle Books (Self-Published Origins)
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
2. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
3. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
4. Bared to You by Sylvia Day
5. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day
6. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
7. Snake Skin by CJ Lyons
8. Wool by Hugh Howey
9. The Sweetest Thing by Barbara Freethy
10. The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted by Andrew Kaufman
11. Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee
12. The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
13. Blood Stained by CJ Lyons
14. Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain
15. Down to You by M. Leighton