Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kindle Nation: What We're Reading

Thumbing through the The New York Times Book Review this morning, I was surprised by how different the e-book best seller lists are from the print best seller lists.

In particular, the fiction list is dominated by titles such as this week's best seller, Fifty Shades of Grey, described on the list in this way:
An inexperienced college student falls in love with a tortured man who has particular sexual tastes.
Of course there are certain titles which are very inexpensive, or perhaps only available, in e-book format.  An example of the latter would be the #17  best seller, Western Ties:
When Leah Hollister flies to Los Angeles to take part in the bondage scene, she unexpectedly connects with her high school crush, Sawyer Compton.
But that doesn't explain books such as the #4 e-book best seller, Fair Game, which costs $12.99 on the Kindle, compared to $11.33 in paperback -- yet appears nowhere on the paperback best seller lists.  It is described in this way:
Two werewolves, an Alpha and an Omega, help the F.B.I. track a serial killer who is murdering preternatural beings.
Similarly, what to make of Taking a Shot (#20), which is $9.99 on Kindle and $8.52 in paperback, but again, only appears on the e-book list:
Will Jenna Riley, who's reluctantly running family's sports bar, decide to live for herself -- and does that include getting involved with a handsome pro hockey player?  
Some of the reasons may have to do with marketing.  But more significantly, I suspect that there are certain categories of books that people want to read but do not want to be seen with.  On a Kindle, nobody knows what you are reading.

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