Amazon has begun releasing weekly UK book charts showing fiction and non-fiction bestsellers based on sales and reads. Although based solely on sales off the Amazon.co.uk website—or reads and listens via its Kindle and Audible platforms—the data represents the first time print and digital sales have been recorded together throwing a spotlight on the success of digital-only publications, which are not currently tracked by the official charts company Nielsen BookScan.
Fiction top-sellers for the week ending 21st July are Rachel Abbott's And So It Begins, published by Headline imprint Wildfire, currently price promoted at 99p, and Darkness on the Fens by Joy Ellis, published by digital specialist Joffe Books and available via subscription scheme Kindle Unlimited. David Walliams' The World's Worst Teachers, the current Nielsen BookScan number one, is fourth on Amazon's most sold list and does not feature in the most read top 20, which is dominated by backlist books.
In the non-fiction most sold list The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre (Penguin) and The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry (Penguin Life) outperform Nielsen's current non-fiction hardback number one the cookbook Pinch of Nom by Kate Allinson & Kay Featherstone (Bluebird), while Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury) is ahead of Time to Eat by Nadiya Hussain (Michael Joseph), which is second on Nielsen, highlighting the impact of digital sales of narrative books on the overall market.
There are a smattering of Amazon published books on the lists, including The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse (Lake Union Publishing) at five in the fiction chart, and What You Did by Claire McGowan (Thomas & Mercer) and The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry (Thomas & Mercer) at nine and 10 respectively. The Audible-published audiobook The Sherlock Holmes Definitive Collection, read by Stephen Fry, is in the top 10 most read fiction. The charts combine all available editions of a title, though it is unclear what happens when a print book has a different publisher from the e or audio version of a title—at present the publisher is listed alongside the book title and author details.
The new charts, available at amazon.co.uk/charts, mirror those that debuted in the US in May 2017. Simon Johnson, country manager, Amazon UK Books, said: "We’re very excited to be launching Amazon Charts in the UK, giving our customers brand new insights into the most read and most bought books across all formats in our store. We hope that the weekly lists will inspire readers to try something new, whether in physical, e-book or audio."
Amazon has also added talking points to each listed title, telling the "stories behind the books". For example, an "All Ears" icon showcases the most popular books among Audible listeners each week. Amazon noted that more people listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows than read it on Kindle this week, as was also the case with Walliams' The World's Worst Teachers. Seven out of 10 of the most read fiction books this week are Harry Potter books; nine of the top 10 most read fiction books this week are by female authors, who also dominate the top 20 list.
The sales chart also include pre-orders, and titles that feature in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading subscription schemes.
Amazon has launched a similar chart on its German website today, too.