3 out of top 10 bestselling Kindle books of 2011 are self-published

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Darcie Chan / Photo: author's page at Amazon.com

As Amazon published a list of best-selling books of 2011, everyone is pointing to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. It’s the top bestseller of combined print and Kindle lists.

When you take a closer look at the list of Kindle bestsellers only, you’ll discover that there are as much as three self-published titles on top:

The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
The Abbey by Chris Culver
Caribbean Moon by Rick Murcer

The list is unnumbered, but Amazon points out to The Mill River Recluse as the best-selling Kindle ebook of 2011. Following that, we could say that self-published books by Darcie Chan and Chris Culver occupy two first places!

To give a hint of how much sales a 2011 Kindle bestseller enjoys, let me quote the article from The Wall Street Journal:

This summer, Darcie Chan’s debut novel became an unexpected hit. It has sold more than 400,000 copies and landed on the bestseller lists alongside brand-name authors like Michael Connelly, James Patterson and Kathryn Stockett.

400,000 includes sales not only from Kindle Store, but also other ebookstores, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords among them, where the book is also available.

John Locke sold more than 1.7 million ebooks, Barbara Freethy and Amanda Hocking well more than 1 million. They all wrote and are selling several books. With Darcie Chan, Chris Culver and Rick Murcer we can talk not only about successful self-publishers but also about successful self-published ebooks.

One more thing. The Amazon’s list of Kindle bestsellers of 2011 doesn’t exactly reflect the ranking displayed in the archive of Kindle bestsellers (which I’m using for monthly reports on top self-published books at Kindle Store). In 2011 up-to-date list Darcie Chan’s book is at #10, no other self-published books are in top 10. I think the key to decode the official list is the algorithm taking into consideration customer favorites.

At the combined list the self-published Kindle-only ebooks are also doing very well: The Mill River Recluse is #4 and The Abbey is #9. This can give an idea of how big are sales of Kindle books compared to print editions.

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Stay tuned, get updated by RSS or email, a report on self-publishing in 2011 is coming in January. If you liked this post, please share it with your friends.

The Mill River Recluse

Darcie Chan

Disfigured by the blow of an abusive husband, and suffering her entire life with severe social anxiety disorder, the widow Mary McAllister spends almost sixty years secluded in a white marble mansion overlooking the town of Mill River, Vermont. Her links to the outside world are few: the mail, the media, an elderly priest with a guilty habit of pilfering spoons, and a bedroom window with a view of the town below.

Most longtime residents of Mill River consider the marble house and its occupant peculiar, though insignificant, fixtures. An arsonist, a covetous nurse, and the endearing village idiot are among the few who have ever seen Mary. Newcomers to Mill River–a police officer and his daughter and a new fourth grade teacher–are also curious about the reclusive old woman. But only Father Michael O’Brien knows Mary and the secret she keeps–one that, once revealed, will change all of their lives forever.

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The Abbey

Chris Culver

Ash Rashid is a former homicide detective who can’t stand the thought of handling another death investigation. In another year, he’ll be out of the department completely. That’s the plan, at least, until his niece’s body is found in the guest home of one of his city’s most wealthy citizens. The coroner calls it an overdose, but the case doesn’t add up. Against orders, Ash launches an investigation to find his niece’s murderer, but the longer he searches, the more entangled he becomes in a case that hits increasingly close to home. If he doesn’t solve it fast, his niece won’t be the only family member he has to bury.

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Caribbean Moon (A Manny Williams Thriller)

Rick Murcer

This is written in the tradition of Connelly, Patterson of old, and JA Konrath.

Small-town detective/workaholic, Manny Williams, is thrilled with the prospect of finally taking the long-awaited vacation he had promised his wife, Louise.

The couple’s exotic getaway begins in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, by attending the June wedding of a fellow Lansing police officer, followed with an incredible week-long Southern Caribbean cruise on the glamorous Ocean Duchess. Tropical paradise appears to be a perfect recipe for desperately needed R and R…until the first dead body.

A bizarre, seemingly random murder in their posh San Juan Hotel, and the heinous cruise ship deaths of two of Lansing’s law enforcement family, brings Manny, and his unique skills, out of cruise mode and head-long into the FBI-led investigation. Manny soon discovers that in this killer’s twisted perception nothing is off limits, prompting a race against time that could cost him everything.

If you like edge-of-your-seat thrillers laced with humor, you’ll love this!

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