24 August 2011

Can I trust this list anymore?

There was a time when I followed the Amazon UK bestsellers list in Crime, Thrillers and Mystery and used it as a barometer of what I should buy/read.

But sadly now I think I can't really trust this list anymore as it has become so influenced by Amazon's price cuts war, that it no longer reflects what people are really reading, but what they are buying cheaply for their Kindle.

Are they really reading these "bargains" or are they, like me, snapping them up while they are cheap, to read later.
That's right, I am as guilty as any, but I suspect you have to go quite a long way down the list to find a book that is really knocking everybody's socks off. I now have dozens of the e-books on my Kindle waiting to be read on a rainy day, and predictably that is a long time in coming.

Don't get me wrong: there are some good books on the list - find it here - but I just think factors other than quality at times influence positioning.

But I've nothing to support this theory and I'd be quite happy for you to prove me wrong.
Take a look at the top 20 and tell me what you think.


Marce said...

I agree the list has changed. I now use the recommended to me list that amazon creates from what I buy and read. I can also delete books I don't want them to use.

Sometimes I am excited when I find a deal on a book I came to download, what a bonus.

Like you I have far to many 'deals' waiting for the rainy day.

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Sadly, I think I agree with you. It's a shame, because it did used to be a good barometer...

jiescribano said...

Certainly, the list seems to be influenced by price. Thirteen out of twenty are priced below GBP 1.00.

Kerrie said...

I have noticed some of the books on Maxine's "recently read" list, so maybe my fears are groundless

Maxine said...

Although I agree with your basic point, as it happens I have read the first three titles on your screenshot and think they are all jolly good! (I read Witness and Into The Darkest Corner because of good Euro Crime reviews, though - their cheapness on Kindle was a bonus, but I would not have bought/read them without a good independent review as I don't trust cheap Kindle books either). I can't remember why I read that CJBox, I think it might have been that I had read Blue Heaven via the publisher sending me a copy, liking that so reading more of him. I didn't read the kindle edition, though, but a print one.

What I do with Kindle cheap books is look to see if they are independently published or self-published. If the latter, forget it. If the former, I'll look into the book a bit more and possibly buy it, but I would not depend solely on the kindle rank or the kindle reviews which are often author's friends etc doing each other a favour. (It is fairly obvious which Amazon reviews to trust via their reviewer ranking system as well as their content).

Maxine said...

BTW is it Amazon's fault? You mention "Amazon's price cuts war" but the publisher sets the price of the download or book, not Amazon. I think it is more that everyone expects (wrongly in my view) to read online/e-only content for free or very cheap, so there is a general price war independently of the platform (Kindle or Nook or Sony reader or Smashwords or whatever).

Amazon takes their cut, yes, but they don't set the price (unless it is a book they publish directly).


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