Nothing terribly new here, but Amazon released its “Best of 2009” list, compilations of bestsellers and most-wished-for items from the past year. Once again, it’s another situation of Amazon tooting its horn without any numbers to back it up–a practice that’s increasingly frustrating publishing people.
The lists reaffirms what Amazon’s been saying all along: Kindle is its top product, both in sales and wishes. The next two items on the list are notable, if not surprising. Item number two on both the sales and wish list is the print edition of Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol,’ and number three is the Kindle edition of the same book.
But tensions are building around these kinds of claims. Already, a commenter on Mike Cane’s eBook Test, claiming to be an employee of a major trade publisher, has said the 200,000 supposed eBook sales of ‘The Lost Symbol’ is “laughable.” If more publishing people come out of the woodwork with numbers, Amazon will feel some pressure to come up with numbers of its own. Though of course, that kind of pressure has never had any effect on the retailing giant before.