for writers and readers….

First official UK ebook chart

ebook chartIf you’ve ever wondered how ebook sales compare with ‘real’ books The Bookseller – a London based magazine for the book trade that’s been going since Dickens was in his prime – can now tell you. The June 2013 figures are out and The Bookseller have made it freely available to anyone who cares to email This is a one off – after this month  the charts will only appear in the magazine.

In all 784,000 ebooks were sold in June, compared to 1.3m print copies. Erotic fiction tops the charts and there are obviously plenty of readers who don’t need the anonymity of an ereader and are willing to be seen with the print version. Literary fiction is also well represented in the top 50 too.

I knew that far more non fiction books were published than fiction and thought the percentage was approximately 60% non fiction  with 40% fiction. But according to The Bookseller the market is even more heavily skewered towards non fiction than I realised. The most recent figures show that only three out of every ten print books bought in the UK is a novel. However, the same is not true for ebooks where fiction dominates. Nearly seven out of ten ebooks are fiction. It may not always be like this but right now ebooks = fiction. In fact it is estimated that ebook fiction will outnumber print fiction by 2014…

The Top Ten

1 Entwined with You Day, Sylvia  201,053 print 167,348 ebook

2 Inferno Brown, Dan 60,638 print 122,874 ebook

3 Gone Girl Flynn, Gillian 31,946 print 49,352  ebook

4 And the Mountains Echoed Hosseini, Khaled 26,137 print 26,164 ebook

5 The Secret Keeper Morton, Kate 22,447 print 47,436 ebook

6 A Game of Thrones Martin, George 20,545 print 36,166 ebook

7 Dead Man’s Time James, Peter 20,014 print 27,485 ebook

8 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Joyce, Rachel 19,643 print 17,089 ebook

9 A Wanted Man Child, Lee 16,463 print 77,688 ebook

10 The White Queen Gregory, Philippa 16,346 print 31,418 ebook

A couple of other points that interested me is that The Bookseller does not include books in its charts that are heavily discounted. In print terms that is a book that is priced at 75% less than its recommended retail price and ebooks that cost less than £2. The Wall Street Journal does something similar excluding free ebooks and those costing 99 cents or less.

Also as there is currently no mechanism to count ebook sales The Bookseller have to rely on the figures released by major publishers that means – I presume – that self published ebook haven’t a chance of appearing on the list. To get into the bottom layers of the chart more than 5000 ebooks have to be sold (at £2 or over) so it won’t affect many independent authors, but it means that we won’t be able to compare sales from the mainstream and the self-published.

Have you ever bought a non fiction ebook?
Does it matter if self-published ebooks can’t appear in the bestseller list?

photo credit: Mike Licht, via photopin cc

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One comment on “First official UK ebook chart

  1. Vikki Thompson
    August 20, 2013

    Interesting stats 🙂


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This entry was posted on August 8, 2013 by in News and tagged , , , , , , , , .


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