Monday, January 03, 2011

The types of bestselling free Kindle books

Periodically I go on binges where I browse the Kindle bestsellers list and download most of the top 100 free books, more or less indiscriminately, without consideration for quality. I mean, what the hell, it's free and my Kindle 2 still has over 1.2GB of free storage (out of 1.4GB user space). Even the worst piece of formulaic pulp trash might be funny in a so-bad-it's-good kind of way; or at least there may be some anthropological interest (oh, so this is what women fantasize about?). Most of the stuff goes totally unread of course — I don't have time to even glance at a tenth of it — but I suppose I like having the option.

Anyway, it's interesting to note that as of January 2011, the top 100 free Kindle ebooks list consists of the following:

Count Type Example Notes
50 Gutenberg ebooks The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Kindle conversions of public domain etexts from Project Gutenberg; mostly classics.
7 Games Every Word IMO Amazon should segregate these in their own section.
5 Thriller/Mystery The Perfect Woman Mostly in the gruesome-crimes subgenre, not the sleuthing subgenre.
8 Erotica/Romance Rough Cut Romance readers might claim that these are two categories but I defy you to draw the line among these titles.
2 ChickLit Stuck in the Middle (Sister-to-Sister Book 1) Apologies for the derogatory label but what do you want me to do with a cover and title like that?
11 Christian Fiction Fools Rush In (Weddings By Bella, Book 1) Often disguises itself quite stealthily as other genre fiction.
6 Other Fantasy Don't Die, Dragonfly Mostly spirits-and-vampires stuff, not Heroic Medieval Fantasy Product.
8 Alleged Nonfiction The Winners Manual Includes many crappy cookbooks and the Bible.
3 Other Fiction The Stolen Crown Arguably the bravest authors here, as non-series non-genre fiction has the least "author stickiness" of any fiction. Which isn't to say the writing's any good necessarily.

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