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.