Amazon’s Top 100 Books for 2014: What can we learn?

Amazon’s Top 100 Books for 2014: What can we learn? compares Amazon’s top 5 books for 2014 to see which authors use of social media, have websites, etc.to try to determine the key to the success of these books.

Amazon has announced its top 100 books for 2014.

Why a book does well is sometimes a bit of a mystery. Is it well written? Yes, but many well written books don’t sell particularly well. Is it well promoted? Probably, but some books that are barely promoted take off like wild fire.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the top 5 of these books to see if we can learn anything from them. Where available, I’ve provided the social media site links for these authors. Take a look and see if there’s anything remarkable about their accounts.

1. Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

Everything cover Author: Celeste Ng
Amazon Author Page
Number of Reviews: 298 reviews / 4.5 out of 5 star average
Formats Available: e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio download, mp3 CD
Publication date: June 26, 2014
Website: http://www.celesteng.com/

Twitter

  • Number of followers on Twitter: 2,026
  • Number of tweets: 9,161

 
Goodreads

  • Number of friends on Goodreads: 51
  • Number of fans on Goodreads: 96

 
Facebook

  • Number of likes: 399

 


2. All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

All the Light cover Author: Anthony Doerr
Amazon Author Page
Number of Reviews 3,697 reviews / 4.5 out of 5 star average
Formats Available: e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio download, mp3 CD
Publication date: May 6, 2014
Website: http://www.anthonydoerr.com/

Twitter: No

Goodreads

  • Number of friends on Goodreads: 162
  • Number of fans on Goodreads: 477

 
Facebook

  • Number of likes: 1,756

 


3. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom cover Author: Hampton Sides
Amazon Author Page
Number of Reviews 541 reviews / 4.5 out of 5 star average
Formats Available: e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio download, mp3 CD
Publication date: August 5, 2014
Website: http://www.hamptonsides.com/

Twitter: No

Goodreads

  • Number of friends on Goodreads: 0
  • Number of fans on Goodreads: 130

 
Facebook

  • Number of likes: 1,785

 


4. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League

    The Short and Tragic cover Author: Jeff Hobbs

    Amazon Author Page
    Number of Reviews 186 reviews / 4.5 out of 5 star average
    Formats Available: e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio download
    Publication date: September 23, 2014
    Website: No

    Twitter: No

    Goodreads

    • Number of friends on Goodreads: 27
    • Number of fans on Goodreads: 13

     
    Facebook

    • Number of friends: 522

     


    5. Redeployment

      Redeployment Author: Phil Klay

      Amazon Author Page: No
      Number of Reviews 270 reviews / 4.5 out of 5 star average
      Formats Available: e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio download
      Publication date: March 4, 2014
      Website: http://www.philklay.com/

       
      Twitter

      • Number of followers on Twitter: 1,529
      • Number of followers on tweets: 2,505

       
      Goodreads

      • Number of friends on Goodreads: 0
      • Number of fans on Goodreads: 13

       
      Facebook (private account)
       


      Conclusions?

      Amazon Author Page: 4 out of 5 of these authors have pages
      Number of Reviews: each book has at least 186 reviews / 4.5 out of 5 star average
      Formats Available: 5 of these books are available in e-book, hardcover, paperback, audio download formats, 3 of them are available in mp3 CDs as well
      Publication date: These books were released between March 4 and September 23, 2014
      Website: There doesn’t appear to be a website for one of these authors.
      Twitter: Only two of the authors appear to have Twitter accounts.
      Goodreads: They’re all represented on Goodreads, but it appears that only 3 of them are active (have friends.)
      Facebook: They are all on Facebook but to varying degrees – three fan pages, one public personal page and one private personal page.

      I don’t think there are any clear indications here of what the key to an author’s success is although it may indicate the importance of book reviews. There are many approaches to acquiring book reviews and I’ll address some of those in a future post.

      I don’t believe any of these authors have blogs, however, I don’t think any of these books are self-published and having an author platform is very important when self-publishing because it is your job to promote yourself and your book. This isn’t a bad thing as self-publishing offers many advantages, and in a lot of cases, successful self-published authors are offered contracts with publishers because of their existing author platforms as they’ve proven their appeal.

      Could comparisons be made between these books for fiction versus nonfiction? Maybe. You could question whether the success of the books has anything to do with whether or not the author has written other popular books which could mean their fans sought out their new books. There are many things we could explore, but this gives us some information, and there are another 95 books on this top 100 list that could be further explored.

      If you found this interesting, you might learn more by also reviewing books in Amazon’s category specific top 100 books lists.

      Let me know in the comments if you reach any conclusions!

      Photo credit: Serge Bertasius Photography | Free Digital Photos