Amazon has been including free Kindle books in its Kindle bestseller list for quite some time. We never understood the point behind including free e-books on a list that was supposed to be about “sold” e-books. Besides, it is not fair to put paid and free e-books on the same list as free products can distort such lists. According to Publisher Weekly, Amazon is planning to split its Kindle bestseller list into two to make it easier for e-book shoppers to find best-selling e-books as well as the best free books in its store.
As you can expect, not everyone is happy about this change. Hitting the bestsellers list on Amazon only means more sales for publishers. Many independent publishers have been using free books to push their other books on Amazon. It is easy to compete with the top dogs when one is offering free products. When the planned changes go into effect, small publishers will have to find another way to game Amazon’s charts.
Amazon’s idea is nothing new. Apple has been doing it with iTunes since I can remember. It’s true that free and paid books need to be separated for Amazon to have more refined e-book lists. At the same time, there needs to be a combined list (call it “most downloaded books”) to let consumers know which books are getting a lot of love from Amazon community. That would help small publishers as well. A little creativity wouldn’t hurt here.
Your turn: are you in favor of this new change?