Amazon customers can benefit from an extended range of tools if they want to find and buy the relevant item more easily and accurately.
The lists of all kinds are one of the most effective ways to draw attention to items (books in our case) that are worth exploring.
Best books of the year picked by Amazon editors (twice a year), best books of the month, current book bestsellers, the lists that mirror the New York Times bestsellers rankings, Goodreads Choice Awards – books voted by readers, hot new releases, top-rated books…
Is there a place for another list? Yes, it is – on condition the ranking is done the right way.
Amazon Charts are done the right way. They are not just another chart. They are the new thing, thanks to the data only a provider of the digital content can have. And Amazon can aggregate data from a variety of sources.
Amazon Charts are not based on the sales only, and they are not based on one book format only. They are not grouped by book formats. They combine everything into single charts, becoming a new-generation tool to discover trending publications.
Below, you’ll find most important facts about the new weekly charts from Amazon, so keep reading.
Amazon Charts – top 10 facts and tips
1. What are Amazon Charts?
Amazon Charts are weekly bestseller lists that show the latest trending books across all reading formats: print, Kindle, audiobooks, and digital subscriptions.
The Charts are split into two sections:
- Top 20 Most Sold Books – top books in fiction and nonfiction ranked according to the number of copies sold and pre-ordered,
- Top 20 Most Read Books – top books in fiction and nonfiction ranked according to the average number of daily Kindle readers and daily Audible listeners each week.
2. What are the benefits of Amazon Charts?
Amazon Charts are an extremely easy and entertaining way to find the next great book to read.
They lists are designed in such a way that you can make a decision which book to get without the need to move to book detail page. Everything you’ll need is included in the Charts: reviews, social proof, and entertaining facts.
Book panels, besides the title, cover, and author, include also buy links as well as links to free samples, which you can read on your desktop computer but also a tablet or cell phone.
Most importantly, each book included in Top 20 is accompanied by helpful and entertaining bits of information – and most of them are unique to Amazon Charts.
What info can you find in Amazon Charts? Customer reviews are obvious, but there are more creative tools:
- Chartography – tells in which state the book is most popular,
- All Ears – highlights the publication with more customers listening to the Audible audbooks than reading the Kindle ebook,
- Most Anticipated – if the book appears in the Charts thanks to pre-orders,
- Unputdownable – Kindle books or Audible audiobooks that were read quicker than others.
There are also the elements no chart can live without – green and red arrows showing week-to-week performance. Each arrow comes with the digit showing how many places the specific book goes down or up.
3. Which book formats are included in Amazon Charts?
Usually, the book bestseller list ranks the titles from one source and in one format. In February 2011, The New York Times introduced the lists that track combined print and ebook sales.
Amazon Charts set the new standard. They change the approach to format. The way the book’s content is being delivered becomes irrelevant and doesn’t matter anymore. All possible reading formats are taken into consideration.
Each Top 20 list can include print books, audiobooks, or Kindle ebooks. What matters is the number of times a single item was sold or read/listened to.
Amazon Charts include data across all reading formats
- print books – sold on Amazon.com or in physical Amazon Books bookstores,
- ebooks – Kindle editions sold on Amazon.com,
- audiobooks – audiobooks sold on Audible.com,
- digital subscriptions – Kindle ebooks or Audible audiobooks available via Amazon’s subscriptions: Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Prime Reading, Audible Channels, or Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Combining different reading formats into one chart is possible because Amazon has all the data that’s needed.
What matters is not only the number of instances the particular publication was being sold.
Much more important is that digital formats make it possible to track how the particular publication was being consumed. The reading stats can be used as an input to Amazon Charts.
4. What’s the difference between most read and most sold books?
Digital content powered by Amazon gives readers a plenty of convenient features. It also gives Amazon access to how the content is being used, for instance, how many pages of the particular Kindle book one user read yesterday.
Amazon aggregates the reading data to construct the Top 20 Most Read chart. This list, for obvious reasons, includes only the digital reading formats.
The No. 1 book in the Most Read chart would be the Kindle ebook that has been opened by the biggest number of users within a single week.
It’s more complicated with the Top 20 Most Sold chart. This chart does not only include the books (print, Kindle, audio) that have been purchased. It also includes the publications that have been acquired within digital subscriptions, such as Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime Reading.
The big question is: when is a digital publication read via the subscription considered as sold? When is the Kindle Unlimited book included in the Most Sold ranking?
Below, you’ll find Amazon’s detailed explanation, but the simple answer is: when the user has read the length of a free sample.
About Amazon Charts lists
Amazon’s Most Sold Charts rank books according to the number of copies sold and
pre-ordered through Amazon.com, Audible.com, Amazon Books stores, and books read through digital subscription programs (once a customer has read a certain percentage – roughly the length of a free reading sample). Bulk buys are counted as a single purchase.
Amazon’s Most Read Charts rank titles by the average number of daily Kindle readers and Audible listeners each week. Categories not ranked on Most Read charts include dictionaries, encyclopedias, religious texts, daily devotionals, and calendars.
5. How often are the Charts updated?
The Charts are being updated once a week, every Sunday, just like the weekly bestseller lists compiled by the New York Times.
The week-over-week cycle allows to include the performance of the single title in the charts: how many places it goes up or down, how many weeks it stays in the Top 20, or how many weeks it occupies the No. 1 position.
6. Can I explore Amazon Charts from a mobile phone?
Yes, sure. Just like almost any other feature or item from Amazon.com web store, the home page of Amazon Charts can be easily accessed from any mobile device, not only a tablet but also a phone.
I’ve noticed, that the Charts were designed with a mobile-first approach. The part of the layout with the charts is fully responsive with elements suitable to touch control.
The most important thing about the Charts is that you can go through the process of selecting the right book to buy entirely on the phone. You’ll comfortably compare how the books are performing in the charts, and check the selected item against the reviews and social proof.
You can even read the free sample on your mobile phone, not mentioning adding the book to cart. All this can happen in a couple of minutes you have while waiting for a bus or in a queue to a doctor.
7. Do Amazon Charts include titles in particular genres?
No. Unlike the lists of book bestsellers (which can be narrowed down to genres and subgenres) Amazon Charts are divided only into two sections (“Most Read” and “Most Sold”) and two subsections (“Fiction” and “Nonfiction”).
The reason is simple. Amazon Charts are meant to be as simple and easy to use as possible. They are meant to highlight the best reads for the people who are looking for the best reads.
Obviously, if Amazon Charts will evolve (and I hope they will), the new subsections may be added, but I wouldn’t expect to see twenty or thirty genres.
Maybe, one day, we will see a subcategory featuring the best books in the most popular genres, for instance, romance or mystery, but going further down the way would be against the original idea.
8. What’s the difference between the Charts and other Amazon book bestsellers lists?
The Weekly Charts are not the first bestseller list available on Amazon. So far, users were exploring two directories:
- Current Top 100 book bestsellers – the list tracks which books enjoy today the biggest sales,
- Top 100 book bestsellers of the year – this list includes the books with the highest number of copies sold since the beginning of the year
Both charts are also available for Kindle editions. Both are being updated a couple of times a day. Both can be checked via an RSS feed. Both can be explored down to the smallest category.
Opposite to them, Amazon Charts are being updated on a weekly basis, include titles in different formats, and list only the best 20 titles.
9. Are the Charts available in other Amazon stores?
No, not yet. For the time being Amazon Charts are available only for customers of Amazon.com, both living in the US and shopping from abroad.
Please note that availability of the books for international customers may vary and depends on geographical restrictions and shipping conditions.
When Amazon launches a new service, it’s the main site at Amazon.com to have it first. Amazon stores located in other countries, such as the UK, Germany, or Japan, may launch the similar service sometime later.
As Amazon Charts are based on the performance of four types of content (real books, Kindle ebooks, audiobooks, and digital subscriptions), the service will be launched in another country if the services that count in (such as Kindle Unlimited or Prime Reading) are already there.
10. Can I get notified when the new Charts are released?
Amazon has an extensive list of email subscriptions – daily, weekly, and monthly.
For the time being, Amazon Charts are not included. Therefore, you won’t be able to receive an email with the new list. I think adding the Charts to the list of email subscriptions is a matter of time. As soon as it happens (and we spot it), we’ll update the information here.
For the time being, you can bookmark the service in your browser and check it out once a week, at the most suitable time. Simply, go to Amazon Charts home page and use a shortcut Ctrl+D (⌘+D on a Mac) to save the web page as a bookmark.
Bonus: Amazon Charts – the inaugural list
Amazon Charts were announced on May 18, 2017.
The first list, for the week following May 14, 2017, included, among others, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins in fiction, and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson in nonfiction.
We’ve made for you a screenshot of the inaugural Top 20 Most Sold list in fiction.
Amazon Charts – helpful links
Below you’ll find links that will let you better locate the Charts among other services and features offered by Amazon.
- Things to know about Amazon Prime Reading – what people read and listen via this part of the Prime membership affects the Charts; in this post, you’ll find all the benefits of this feature addressed to people to want to read,
- Kindle Unlimited in questions and answers – titles included in Amazon’s ebook subscription are the common view in the Charts. Is it the right time to join Kindle Unlimited if so many books are selling so well?
- Current Amazon bestsellers in Books category – the ranking is based on the number of books ordered and is being updated a few times a day; good as a reference,
- Amazon book bestsellers of the year (so far) – opposite to current bestsellers, the list is based on the total number of copies sold since the beginning ot the year,
- Amazon Kindle bestsellers of the year (so far) – a similar list but for the Kindle ebooks.
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