The Secret Behind Kindle’s Best-Selling E-Books

One big reason readers choose e-books over ink and paper versions: The digital ones are cheaper, reports CNet News.

That wasn’t the case when e-books first appeared a decade ago. But Amazon has made a point of selling its Kindle titles at a discount to physical editions, even if it means losing money.

And then there are the titles that Kindle owners really, really love–the ones they get for nothing. As the Washington Post noted earlier this week, the list of best-selling Kindle titles is dominated by free books:

Amazon’s customers have made it clear that $9.99 is still too high for their taste. Most titles in the company’s list of top 100 Kindle bestsellers are priced below $9.99, and the most popular price point is $0.00.

The good folks at MediaBistro have gone ahead and counted, so you don’t have to. As of a day ago, 64 of Amazon’s top 100 Kindle titles cost nada.

How exactly does that work? I understand why Amazon is able to hand out public domain works like “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and “Pride and Prejudice” for free. But I’m not sure what’s going on with titles like Noel Hynd’s “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker: Recipes for Entertaining” (#9).

Photo by CNet.

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