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Monday, December 5, 2011

Independent Booksellers Reluctant to Carry Amazon Titles in Stores

More intrigue (and actual gossip) RE Amazon's publishing imprints :)

Seems the bricks-and-mortar indy bookstores are bucking selling the Amazon publishing printed versions.

Publishers Weekly says Amazon’s “fast-growing [publishing] group had an outsized impact on the industry.”

But, research seems to indicate that Amazon Publishing has not had an outsized impact on the industry ... in fact their numbers as reported by Nielsen BookScan are quite lackluster.

These details by Laura Hazard Owen in mocoNews.net:

The Truth About Amazon Publishing, Part II


In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) says it will double the number of original titles it publishes next year, to 400, and add more imprints, including a couple in New York. Much more interesting is what the company doesn’t say in that interview—and those omissions reflect the difficulties I explored in “The Truth About Amazon Publishing” last month.


Seth Godin Is Forgotten; Print Sales Are Poor: Publishers Weekly lists Amazon Publishing’s five top sellers in 2011, “in both e-book and print” (i.e., I think, in those formats combined): The Hangman’s Daughter; A Scattered Life; Elizabeth Street; Easily Amused; and Alison Wonderland.

SEE ALSO: The Truth About Amazon Publishing

Now, wait a sec. I checked the print sales numbers for each Amazon Publishing title last month, using Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 75 percent of hardcover and paperback sales (including print sales on Amazon). Here, according to BookScan, are Amazon’s top 5 print bestsellers in 2011 (I verified these titles’ BookScan numbers this morning):

1. The Hangman’s Daughter (imprint: AmazonEncore): 28,467 copies sold in print

2. Poke the Box (imprint: Seth Godin’s The Domino Project): 24,883 copies

3. Do the Work (imprint: The Domino Project): 8,933 copies

4. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail (Imprint: Amazon Encore): 6,000 copies

5. Anything You Want (imprint: The Domino Project): 5,920 copies

Three of these are Domino Project titles and that only The Hangman’s Daughter is listed as a top seller in the PW article. Here are the print sales for the titles PW lists as Amazon Publishing’s bestsellers:

1. The Hangman’s Daughter: 28,467 copies sold in print

2. Elizabeth Street: 1,073 copies

3. Easily Amused: 681 copies*

4. A Scattered Life: 629 copies*

5. Alison Wonderland: 205 copies

*These books are sold in Sam’s Club, which does not report sales to BookScan; their sales are likely higher than the BookScan numbers.

Some thoughts here:


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