The new bestsellers: New York Times to rank ebooks

The new bestsellers: New York Times to rank ebooks

Put this one down to announcement that completely caught us off guard: The New York Time will start to rank fiction and non fiction ebook bestsellers beginning early next year.

In quick retrospect, however, we really shouldn’t be that surprised should we? Sales of both ebooks and eReaders are doing very well, and if 2010 wasn’t the “year of the tablet”, 2011 is certainly lining up to be, and all of those tablets contain eReaders.

According a New York Times article just released (where else would they announce it right?):

The lists will be compiled from weekly data from publishers, chain bookstores, independent booksellers and online retailers, among other sources… Janet Elder, the editor of news surveys and election analysis for The Times, said the newspaper had spent two years creating a system that tracks and verifies e-book sales. “We’ve had our eye on e-book sales since e-books began,” Ms. Elder said. “It was clear that e-books were taking a greater and greater share of total sales, and we wanted to be able to tell our readers which titles were selling and how they fit together with print sales.”

A company called RoyaltyShare that tracks sales data for publishers, will “work with The Times, provide data and offer an additional source of independent corroboration.”

Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the Book Review said:

To give the fullest and most accurate possible snapshot of what books are being read at a given moment you have to include as many different formats as possible, and e-books have really grown, there’s no question about it.

So there you have it: the most influential book list in the world has just formalized the importance of ebooks. The only question now is – how long before the ebook list is the only list the Times publishes?

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