Blog Post

Harry Potter e-books aren’t on Kindle or Nook bestseller lists

It’s been a week since the Pottermore shop launched — making the Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks available legally for the first time. Seven days in, how is Harry selling? The bestseller lists don’t provide any clues.

Since Pottermore is mum on actual sales numbers not anymore! Here’s how many Harry Potter e-books were sold in the first three days — and the New York Times and USA Today aren’t yet tracking the Harry Potter e-books, though future lists should account for them — we have to resort to other tactics. Normally, that would mean checking the bestseller lists at retailers like the Amazon Kindle Store and Barnes & Noble Nook store. But here’s a wrinkle: As you may recall, the Harry Potter e-books aren’t being sold directly through those stores. Rather, they’re only sold directly through Pottermore’s site. Consumers can then link their Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or Google accounts to Pottermore to read the books on their e-readers.

That means the Harry Potter e-books won’t appear on retailers’ bestseller lists — a fact confirmed by Barnes & Noble and Amazon reps.

A great promotion tactic is lost

It makes sense because the retailers aren’t selling the books directly. But e-book bestseller lists in the Kindle and Nook store are a great marketing and promotion tool. They keep e-books at the front of consumers’ minds. Amazon and Barnes & Noble display bestseller lists prominently on their websites. When an e-book hits a retailer’s bestseller list, that tends to perpetuate its continued success: People check the bestseller list, see a book and buy it, keeping on the bestseller list.

In the absence of that big marketing tool, it’s up to Pottermore to continue reminding consumers of the e-books’ presence. People love Harry, so that is probably not a hard task. But it would be easier if the e-book bestseller lists were around to help.

5 Responses to “Harry Potter e-books aren’t on Kindle or Nook bestseller lists”

  1. Piotr Kowalczyk

    Actually, there is one way to check how popular are Harry Potter books in Kindle Store. Amazon provides to their associate partners a simple storefront.

    If the category is set to Kindle Store, the home page displays automatically the most popular books.

    There are three Harry Potter books in Top 10.

    I guess the script counts clicks on “Buy” button – which in case of 1-click purchases is almost 100%.

    I’va shared more in this post for Ebook Friendly:

  2. Courtney Kirchoff

    Ha! Like J.K. Rowling needs to publicize this any further than she already has. The series has been out in the printed world for over a decade, the final being published in 2007. They’re the best selling fiction books of all time, created a mania, and a few YA series have ridden on its coattails and capitalized on a fandom of obsessive readers looking for their next Potter high. It’s laughable to think Rowling needs to be on a best seller list to increase e-book sales, especially since, the last time I checked, her books were being featured on Amazon’s homepage, with the message “Harry Potter now on Kindle.” If you don’t know Potter is now an ebook, you probably don’t have an e-reader, and may be living under a rock.

  3. William

    I’m confused, why was this article written? When a question is written in a headline, you typically want to see that question answered within the article.

  4. Ashley

    “People love Harry, so that is probably not a hard task. But it would be easier if the e-book bestseller lists were around to help.”

    This is a ridiculous statement. It’s about time someone like JK Rowling turned the tables on the publishing industry. She’s not letting her creations be monopolized by sites like Amazon and B&N. I applaud her for taking a stand. Yes, she is about the only author who is capable of doing so. She doesn’t need the publicity or the money, but still, she’s selling her books the way she wants to. You have to commend her for that.

    • Actually, the bestseller list is a very good promo tool that she is missing out on. I suspect that she will probably change up her thinking soon unless she wants to launch an expensive advertising campaign herself. Sure people who already have a desire to have the ebooks will find them, but what about the large group of people who don’t know they want them yet? Not everyone reads blogs or even reads news items online on a daily basis. This results in a large group of people who don’t know about the site and probably never will.

      The advantage to the online bookstores is that they would promote these titles through their own marketing and affiliate channels at no cost to her. Who do you think has the bigger reach, her or Amazon?

      Your comment shows that you:
      1. don’t understand how the internet works and how traffic is generated (she is not advertising this anywhere I have seen, only through PR)
      2. are not in the business of selling content online.