Best Selling Authors on Amazon

Amazon’s Top 25 Bestselling Authors of All (Amazon) Time list is out, and as you have unfortunately guessed, Shakespeare is NOT on the list. The list covers the top 25, and I hear that Shakespeare was 26…right behind Tom Clancy. And they can only refer to the 10 years in which they’ve been in business, which is why I wrote it like I did re: “all time”.

Remember, though, that this is “best selling”. I expect that most people experience Shakespeare in high school when a book is handed to them, which they promptly return at the end of the school year for the next kid to use. If they’re exposed to Shakespeare at all after that it’s to buy the movie.

Look at who is on the list. JK Rowling and Dan Brown seem like obvious choices, in much the same what that somebody might say that Britney Spears outsells The Beatles. It’s probably true once you crunch the numbers from a certain angle, but that doesn’t mean it feels right.

Many (most?) of the books on the list seem to be in the management/motivational category. I’d think those a) tend to be more expensive than regular paperbacks, and b) tend to be bought on corporate expense accounts.

Glad to see Dr. Seuss so high on the list.

I understand most of the choices. But Dr. Phil??? And the South Beach Diet guy?? Shakespeare got bumped for these people? Oy. Just goes to show how meaningless “best selling” is as a metric. Shakespeare suffers from not being a fad.

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