EL James tops five-year Amazon Kindle chart

EL James tops five-year Amazon Kindle chart

Amazon has released a list of its best-selling Kindle books over the last five years in the UK, with Fifty Shades writer EL James topping the e-book chart.

Amazon has released the data to mark five years today (5th August) since it opened the Kindle Store in the UK.

EL James’ original Fifty Shades of Grey (Arrow) title was the best-selling e-book on the Amazon.co.uk platform (released April 2012) with her follow-up in the trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker, ranking second and the third instalment Fifty Shades Freed coming in fourth.

Amazon noted that e-books which have also been made into films strongly dictated the most read list over the last five years and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (W&N) made it into third position, with The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (Hesperus Press) hopping in at fifth and Life Of Pi by Yann Martel (Canongate) at sixth spot.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Quercus), released in 2008, is in seventh place on the most-read chart while Watch Over Me by Daniela Sacerdoti (Black and White publishing) comes in at eighth place. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (William Collins) and Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd (Quercus) complete the ninth and 10th spots.

A quick search revealed that prices for the e-books currently range from £0.49 for Watch Over Me and Twelve Years a Slave to Hundred Year Old Man, currently selling for £5.99.

Amazon also revealed the names of its top six bestselling Kindle Direct Publishing authors, with that chart topped by  Rachel Abbott, who Amazon said sold “over one million e-books globally.”

Abbott is a British businesswoman who published her first book, a thriller called Only the Innocent, through KDP after taking early retirement. The title reached number one on the Kindle Best Seller chart in February 2012, and has been an ever-present fixture on the bestseller list on Amazon.co.uk ever since.

Abbott said: “Since the day I published my first book to Kindle, my feet haven’t touched the ground. I’m now writing my fifth novel, have sold well over a million copies of the first four, and have a new full-time career as an author. Nobody, least of all me, could have seen that coming—but I’m loving every minute of it.”

Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Kindle EU, said: “Throughout Amazon’s history we’ve worked relentlessly to provide more books by more authors to readers around the world, and Kindle has played a significant role in that. During the last five years we have not only seen established authors succeed on Kindle, but also enjoyed watching the rise of independent authors, who are reaching a global audience and earning royalties of up to 70% along the way.”

Amazon has also revealed a geographical breakdown of digital reading habits in the UK.

According to the company, Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire reads the most Kindle e-books, while Yorkshire is the romance capital of the north, with the genre read widely Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Bradford.

Cambridge, by contrast, is the leading city for reading Society, Politics & Philosophy books in digital. Doncaster is the top town for Kindle reading in the whole of the north of England, while Dunfermline has topped the reading chart in Scotland—ahead of both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The company’s data also shows that Scottish Kindle readers love crime, thrillers and mystery books, particularly read in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, while Wrexham reads most Kindle books in Wales.

Amazon said it would be celebrating five years of Kindle with promotions on popular e-books throughout the summer reading season, as well as promotions on Kindle devices.

Photo: Michael Lionstar