I work for a trade house, and while I am not going to reveal my identity or that of my employer, I can tell you that our top Kindle sales of any one title are in the range of about 1000 downloads life to date. I am someone who receives the sales numbers for our titles directly from Amazon and I look at them every week; and, I agree that the actual sales numbers are much LOWER than anyone is pretending to have achieved.
I also work at one of the big six trade houses, specifically in the ebooks dept. “200,000 ebooks sold” is laughable, even if it *is* Dan Brown. Our numbers track much closer to the above Anonymous posters’.
Amazon’s lack of transparency in disclosing these numbers is unconscionable, and is making publishers, who are already scared stupid, act even stupider.
Oh, and while I’m here: this silly business of labeling free ebooks as ‘bestsellers’ needs to stop, too.
It’s great that you’re questioning Amazon on yet another in an endless series of dishonest business practices, but why in the world are you laying it on publishers to tell the truth about Amazon, as opposed to simply calling upon Amazon to tell the truth itself? One would think it was even more morally incumbent upon Amazon to do so in the first place, and that it was as well legally incumbent upon it to do so as a publicly traded company. No matter how obvious a thing is in the book business, it seems it’s always the publisher that’s held responsible, and perceived as withholding the truth.
Mike Cane responded:
If publishers knew their “competitor’s” biggest-seller stats, they’d have a way of extrapolating some sort of data from that. Until they share this information, Amazon is using Divide & Conquer on them. Publishers can come to their own rescue.