The list of the top 10 best-selling books of 2010 from Barnes & Noble and the list of overall top 10 best-selling books from Amazon.com (including Kindle) demonstrate some significant differences in reading preferences between readers of physical books and readers of all books, including e-books. Most significantly, the memoir of former President George W. Bush, “Decision Points,” was ranked number one on the Barnes & Noble list, but did not place on the Amazon.com list. The fictional thriller “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” by late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, topped the Amazon.com list and ranked number four on the Barnes & Noble list.
Following are the two top 10 lists with additional analysis:
Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestsellers of 2010
1. “Decision Points” by George W. Bush, Hardcover.
2. “The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #5)” by Jeff Kinney, Hardcover.
3. “Autobiography of Mark Twain,” by Mark Twain, Hardcover.
4. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (The Millennium Trilogy Series #3)” by Stieg Larsson, Hardcover.
5. “Mockingjay (Hunger Games Series #3)” by Suzanne Collins, Hardcover.
6. “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh, Hardcover.
7. “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” by Stephanie Meyer, Hardcover.
8. “Elf on the Shelf,” by Carol V. Aebersold, Hardcover.
9. “The Help” by Cathryn Stockett, Hardcover.
10. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The Millennium Trilogy Series #1)” by Stieg Larsson, Paperback.
Amazon.com Top 10 Bestsellers of 2010
1. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (The Millennium Trilogy Series #3)” by Stieg Larsson.
2. “Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything” by Geneen Roth.
3. “Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)” by Suzanne Collins.
4. “Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)” by Charlaine Harris.
5. “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis.
6. “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime” by John Heilemann.
7. “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)” by Stephenie Meyer.
8. “Freedom: A Novel (Oprah’s Book Club)” by Jonathan Franzen.
9. “Sh#t My Dad Says” by Justin Halpern.
10. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.
Young Adult, Series Prove Popular
Both lists are heavily populated by young adult novels (with several books in this genre making both lists). The young adult books “Mockingjay” and “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” made both lists, while “Dead in the Family,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Elf on the Shelf” was included on the Amazon.com list.
In addition, books that are part of a larger series sold well on both charts. Beyond including both “Mockingjay” and “Bree Tanner,” two “Millennium Trilogy” books made both lists, and installments in the “Sookie Stackhouse” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series placed on the Barnes & Noble list.
Autobiographies Big on B&N List
The number one and number three books on the Barnes & Noble list were autobiographies, while no autobiographies were on the Amazon.com list, suggesting this literary genre may currently not be popular with e-book readers. It is also interesting to note that a book primarily derived from an online Twitter feed, “Sh#t My Dad Says,” was included on the list which encompassed e-book sales.
Thriller, Horror, Romance Authors Well Paid
The highest-paid authors of works sold in the US primarily write in the thriller, horror and romance genres, according to a recent ranking from Forbes. Thriller author James Patterson was the highest-paid author between June 2009 and June 2010, earning $70 million. Two other authors primarily associated with thrillers also made the top 10 pay list: British author Ken Follett came in at number five and John Grisham, a former attorney specializing in legal thrillers, was ranked eighth.
While more authors in the top 10 pay list are primarily associated with the thriller genre than any other genre, three other genres were represented by two authors each. Horror was represented by Stephen King (number three) and Dean Koontz (number six); romance was represented by Danielle Steel (number four) and Janet Evanovich (number seven), and young adult was represented by Stephanie Meyer (number two) and J.K. Rowling (number 10).