What’s a Best-Selling E-book Like?

According to the NY Times Best Sellers list for December 2-9, 2012, it looks like this. I didn’t copy the names, because, well, who gives a damn?

  1. Humorous detective novel – Number 19 in the series, I believe. Yawn
  2. Murder Mystery
  3. Murder Mystery
  4. Spy Mystery
  5. Movie Tie-in – a ten-year-old book suddenly sells big, because there’s a movie, which proves it was a great book.
  6. Detective meets terrorists at Christmas. Ho Ho Ho, bitches
  7. Murder Mystery
  8. Erotica. Oh my, I’m so exci…. Zzzz
  9. Romance – If you’re bored, the description on Amazon is Chapter One.
  10. Stupid Erotica, Book 1
  11. Stupid Erotica, Book More than 1
  12. More Erotica
  13. Stupid Erotica, Book Who Cares
  14. Romance
  15. Romance / Erotica – but she wants a baby, so that means she’s not a whore. Yay for her.
  16. Cowboy Romance
  17. Romance
  18. Political Thriller – from a TV nutbag with a professional writer
  19. Fantasy Romance – there’s demons and shit, so that makes it literature
  20. Oh, here’s a twist, more Romance.
  21. Coming of Age Saga – an actual award-winner type book. How’d this get in here?
  22. Romance – 5-star, or so they say. I guess that’s something.
  23. Historical Christmas Romance – Aw, ho ho ho, ho.
  24. Romance, but there’s like, danger, and they don’t even say “I love you” on the first date (actual review), so it’s, you know, deep and shit.
  25. Murder Mystery – a la NY cop.

So, if you’re keeping score, and I am, they break out as follows – 60% of the top 25 best selling e-books are erotica/romance. A substantial portion of the remainder is detective stories. In other words, e-books have become pulp fiction.

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 10.17.10 PM

All I wanted was a well-written book that was not 1) a Mystery or 2) a Romance. Good luck, huh? Please, America, stop reading this crap. Buy LITERATURE. Move UPSCALE. Try SOMETHING NEW.



  1. Joe Pineda says:

    I’m coming to grips with this reality now that I’ve been querying a review for my collection of crime fiction.

    1. Yeah, first I got depressed as a writer. Then I decided, “to heck with it, I’ll just read instead.” Now I’m depressed as a reader.

      1. Joe Pineda says:

        Well, the last thing you can give up is hope. As writers and readers, we have to set an example of optimism for other people, encouraging to break the mold. If we don’t, then who will. We’re only becoming part of a problem we hate anyway.

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