How Can You Call A “Free” Book A “Best Seller?”

The publishing sites were abuzz last week over Amazon’s claim that they sold more Kindle ebooks than print books on Christmas Day. The press release doesn’t name the Kindle ebooks that were “sold” (but, oddly enough, it does name some best selling print books). When I heard about the press release, I went to to see what was “selling” so well.

I clicked on the Kindle best sellers and discovered that, as of 10:20 that evening, 8 of the top 10 best “selling” Kindle ebooks were…FREE. The vast majority of the top 50 best “selling” Kindle ebooks were also FREE. I’m really not sure how you can honestly call a FREE item a “best seller”. Looks like I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

You can read more coverage of this story at the following sites:

64 of the 100 Top Kindle Store Bestsellers Are Free
GalleyCat / Media Bistro

What Constitutes an eBook Bestseller?
also GalleyCat / Media Bistro

Kindle’s Best Sellers are Free
PC Authority

Favorite e-book price: free
Los Angeles Times / Jacket Copy Blog

The secret behind the Kindle’s best-selling e-books: They’re not for sale