NYT to Launch e-book Bestseller LIsts

If you need any further validation that e-books have finally made it big, here it is. The New York Times plans to launch a bestseller list for e-books in early 2011.

The New York Times bestseller lists are the gold standard for defining a book's success. The print version of the bestseller lists are divided into several categories.

For e-books, things will start "small." The New York Times will have only two lists covering fiction and non-fiction when it launches. Rankings will be independently verified by third party company RoyaltyShare.

You can read the full press release below.
The New York Times to Launch eBook Best-Seller Lists

Independent Third Party, RoyaltyShare, Inc., Will Help Validate Sales Data
NEW YORK, Nov 11, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The New York Times announced today it will publish eBook fiction and nonfiction Best-Seller Lists beginning early 2011.

Since 1935, The New York Times Best-Seller Lists have been the definitive metric that book publishers and authors have used to judge success. The Times's eBook Best-Seller Lists are a natural extension of this important franchise as the proliferation of portable devices grows.

"The vibrant growth of digital publishing has created a need for an impartial, reliable source for tracking and reporting the top-selling eBooks across the country," said Janet Elder, editor of News Surveys for The New York Times. "The Times is a trusted brand within the book publishing industry and with consumers. As with all The Times's rankings, these additional lists will benefit from corroborative sourcing and we will watch for trends in the industry."

"The best-seller list is an essential part of the Book Review, and we're excited we'll be able to give readers newer and more complete information," said Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review.

The rankings will reflect sales aggregated from a growing number of online service providers who sell eBooks to consumers. To further secure the integrity of the rankings, The Times is aggressively developing a means of processing and displaying the information necessary, and of verifying the data provided.

The Times has entered into a relationship with an independent third party, RoyaltyShare, Inc., whose unique, Web-based software platform will be used by the staff of The New York Times Best Seller Lists to help validate eBooks sales data received from various sources.

As new devices continue to captivate readers, the eBook category has seen tremendous growth. The Association of American Publishers recently reported that eBook sales for the first eight months of the year were up more than 190 percent, generating nine percent of total consumer book sales.

The lists will appear in The New York Times Book Review both in print and online editions. Rankings will reflect sales for the week at many venues where a wide range of general interest eBooks are sold nationwide. These include independent book retailers; national, regional and local chains; and online and multimedia entertainment retailers.