The Wall Street Journal Begins Tracking E-Book Bestsellers

As of this week, the Wall Street Journal is now including the top ten fiction and non-fiction e-books on their weekly bestseller lists. By including e-books, the WSJ joins the New York Times and USA Today, which were already covering bestselling e-books. However, unlike these other two publications, the WSJ uses Nielsen BookScan for their information about what is hot in the e-format.

The WSJ’s addition to expanded list of selling stats premiered last Saturday, with the e-bestsellers for the week that ended on October 23. In a statement about this addition, Nielsen BookScan stated that they will be mining data from “all major e-book retailers” and the lists are set to include any books topping that list that sell for ninety-nine cents or higher. That is to say, Nielsen will now be collecting data about e-book sales from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Google. 

It’s true that many of the authors who top the WSJ’s e-book top tens for fiction and non-fiction are familiar names. Authors Iris Johansen and Nicholas Sparks head the fiction list while Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln and A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage come in first for non-fiction e-reads. But now several self-published authors, such as Darcie Chan and Chris Culver are also on the list (in fiction’s slots five and six, respectively). 

Personally, I think that it’s about time. The e-revolution has occurred and it amazes me that it has taken this long for WSJ to decide to (and implement) tracking e-book sales. And this isn’t just important for readers looking to stay current with their book selections. It’s useful for businesses (and journalists) as well. As The Observer pointed out, WSJ’s more comprehensive list has already proved to be a good source of data for those writing about the self-publishing success. I think that Nielsen BookScan’s Vice President & General Manager said it best, “These new charts uniquely reflect what people are really buying and reading and will most definitely advance the industry’s understanding of e-book best sellers.”

Agree with my take or do you think that e-book numbers are not yet relevant to the industry? Let me know your opinion in the comments below. And be sure to check out the Everything E-Book Page for the latest news, Web Exclusive Reviews, and more!