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By Moe Zilla

e-bookAmazon has created a special Web page reporting their best-selling Kindle e-books of 2013 (so far). But what’s fascinating is how different that list is from Amazon’s other list of this year’s best-selling printed books. In fact, only two of the top 10 best-selling print books also appear on Amazon’s list of the best-selling Kindle e-books.

• Click here to view both lists

The best-selling Kindle e-book of 2013 is “Safe Haven“ by Nicholas Sparks—a novel of love and intrigue by a best-selling fiction writer. Yet amazingly, it’s not even in the top 100 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books! And the exact same thing is true for the #10 best-selling Kindle e-book of 2013. It’s “Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel“ by Matthew Quick—and despite its massive sales as a Kindle e-book, it’s not even in the top 100 of Amazon’s list of print best-sellers. (Since both e-books were recently made into movies, you might wonder if Kindle owners are more in tune with the fast-moving world of popular culture? Or maybe they’re just younger readers who go to the movies more often…)

Meanwhile, there’s more surprises on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed book this year. It’s “StrengthsFinder 2.0“ by Tom Rath—a non-fiction book that helps readers assess their personal talents and weaknesses. In fact, five non-fiction titles made the top 10 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books of the year. How many non-fiction titles made Amazon’s list of the 10 best-selling Kindle e-books of 2013?

None.

Here’s Amazon’s list of their top 10 best-selling e-books of 2013

 ”Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks
“Inferno: A Novel” by Dan Brown
“Gone Girl: A Novel” by Gillian Flynn
“Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Hit” by Will Robie
“Wait for Me” by Elisabeth Naughton
“Alex Cross, Run” by James Patterson
“Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia
“The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel” by Matthew Quick

And now here’s Amazon’s list of their top 10 best-selling
print books of 2013

• “StrengthsFinder” 2.0 by Tom Rath
• “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
• “Inferno” by Dan Brown
• “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss
• “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” by Eben Alexander
• “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
• “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” by Sarah Young
• “The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia”
• “The 5 Love Languages: The Secrets to Love That Lasts” by Gary D. Chapman
• “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Books 1-4 by George R. R. Martin

So the two books that both lists had in common were both works of fiction—”Inferno: A Novel“ by Dan Brown (the author of “The Da Vinci Code”) and “The Great Gatsby“ by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

But of course, Dan Brown’s books have always been phenomenally popular—and “The Great Gatsby” was released this year as a major motion picture. But then again, “Safe Haven” was also released as major motion picture in February, and became the #1 best-selling Kindle e-book of the year—while not even making it into the top 100 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books!

So what’s going on? There’s another clue when you look at the e-books that didn’t make it onto Amazon’s list of the top 10 best-selling printed books. For examp:

#4. “Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover

One of 2013′s best-selling e-books came from a self-published author living in rural East Texas—a 33-year-old social worker who published her first novel just 18 months ago. Thanks to the power of viral marketing—and Amazon’s Kindle Store—Colleen Hoover was able to find an appreciative audience online, and her books are now also available in print. But the print world is still struggling to catch up, apparently, since none of the print editions of Colleen’s novels have even made it into the top 100 of Amazon’s best-selling print books of 2013.

Of course, two of the 10 print best-sellers aren’t available as Kindle e-books:

 ”Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss
 ”The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia”

Maybe the lesson there is that some books just work better in print—like books with lavish illustrations and a complicated layout. But it’s interesting to note that all of the top 10 best-selling Kindle e-books are also available in print editions. Is it possible that publishers now consider the e-book market to be the most important one?

At any rate, I’m finding it fascinating to compare the two lists. It’s like catching glimpses of two different universes, which exist side-by-side in this moment in time. And they offer hints about the ways we read—and how that’s starting to change…

• This post originally appeared on Me and My Kindle.

 
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