SmashwordsDigging through self-published e-books can be tedious, especially given the fact that thousands upon thousands have been published in just the last few years alone.

Smashwords, however, has partnered with Publishers Weekly in attempt to make the task easier. PW has announced that it will be running a monthly bestseller list from e-books sold on Smashwords’ platform.

The first list, which came this week, featured the top books from May 2013. Smashwords CEO Mark Coker wrote the following on his blog:

“Sales data is aggregated from across the global Smashwords distribution network. Our distribution network includes the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Amazon, Diesel, the store, and public libraries.”

Of the first 25 books on the list, 16 of them fall under the romance category, with two more considered erotica. Women dominate the list as well.

Mark Coker

This list could be helpful for those looking for e-books that aren’t too expensive, and yet are also well liked. Only two books retail for more than $3.99.

I would like to see the list, however, expanded a bit in order to separate the genres. I can appreciate romance books and respect people who want to read them (the top book on the list, “The Billionaire’s Obsession: The Complete Collection,” has 247 reviews on Amazon), but the romance genre doesn’t usually do it for me.

Historical fiction falls onto the list a couple different times as well, so maybe even a top five list from different genres could be a way to reach different audiences.

I’m aware that you can go to Smashwords and search bestsellers by genre. But this list seems more of a way to reach a readership that is unaware of Smashwords—or perhaps people who are still cautious about e-books. If anything, getting a bestseller list into Publishers Weekly seems like a way to add more legitimacy to Smashwords and its authors. What are your thoughts?


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