With each new holiday season the reach of ereaders expands, as a new crop of Kindles, Nooks and iPads are fired up. The first thing to do is download a few books.
Just a few years after ebooks and ereaders first emerged as futuristic curiosity, they are fully mainstream now. Even among the avid, book-worshiping, old-school readers that frequent The Millions, ebooks are very popular. Looking at the statistics that Amazon provides us, 57% of all the books bought by Millions readers at Amazon after clicking on our links this year were Kindle ebooks. This is up from 48% two years ago and up from 25% five years ago.
The volume in ebook sales seems to be driven in part by promotional pricing that will see prices on books (usually backlist, but not always) drop below $3.00 for days or weeks at a time. Followers of our Twitter feed know that we are adept at finding these deals, usually posting about two a day. Many a great book has been snagged this way, and if you are reading more on a device, we highly recommend you follow us on Twitter and look out for these posts as they are a great way to build a deep digital library. We also occasionally post them on Facebook.
For all those readers unwrapping shiny new devices (or looking for new titles to add to an old one), here are some more links to get you going.
For starters, The Millions published a pair of very highly regarded and very affordable ebook originals back in 2013. If you haven’t read them yet, we hope you’ll pick up these titles:
Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever by Mark O’Connell ($1.99)
The Pioneer Detectives: Did a distant spacecraft prove Einstein and Newton wrong? by Konstantin Kakaes ($2.99)
Here are some of the most popular ebooks purchased by Millions readers in 2016 (which you’ll see are very similar to our Hall of Fame and most recent top-ten which take into account books in all formats). Publishers appear to still be having luck pricing ebooks pricing near the magic $9.99 number that has been a focus for many in the industry (all prices as of this writing). Occasional promotional pricing, a frequent occurrence in the Kindle store, has likely driven some of these sales as well.
Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt ($5.99)
Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller ($1.99)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen ($7.02)
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine ($2.99)
The Sellout by Paul Beatty ($9.99)
Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta ($11.99)
Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson ($7.99)
The Past by Tessa Hadley ($10.99)
What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell ($9.99)
My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout ($11.99)
Other potentially useful ebook links:
And in this fractured ebook landscape, you’ve also got your NookBooks, Google ebooks, Apple ibooks, and the IndieBound ereader app that lets you buy ebooks from your favorite indie bookstore. Finally, don’t forget Project Gutenberg, the original purveyor of free ebooks (mostly out-of-copyright classics), and check your local library! Many will allow you to download lots of ebooks for free.