The Week’s Top Ten SPAs


These are last week’s Top-Selling books by independent Self-Published Authors, as compiled by

Read below to discover that ALL of these author’s are on the NY Times Best Seller List, Wall Street Journal Best Seller List, USA Today Best Seller List, and Amazon Best Seller List in the Kindle or eFiction category. So, where is the best opportunity for independent, self-published authors? EBOOKS!

And, in case your interested, the overwhelming genre SPAs are doing well in is Romance, of the “Adult”  Contemporary type (ie, recommended for readers 17+ due to sexual content, harsh language and heavy subject matter involving abuse or other mature issues.)

1.Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Source: #1 New York Times Best Seller List, eFiction
#1 Wall Street Journal Best Seller List, eFiction

2. Someone to Love by Addison Moore
Source: #5 New York Times Best Seller List, eFiction
#7 Wall Street Journal Best Seller List, eFiction

3. Up to Me by M. Leighton
Source: #6 Wall Street Journal Best Seller List, eFiction
#12 USA Today Best Seller List

4. Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines
Source: #11 New York Times Best Seller List, eFiction

5. The Valentine’s Arrangement by Kelsie Leverich
Source: #23 New York Times Best Seller, eFiction

6. Down to You by M. Leighton
Source: #31 New York Times Best Seller List, eFiction
#67 USA Today Best Seller List

7. Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton
Source: #5 Amazon Best Sellers, Kindle

8. Hard to Love by Kendall Ryan
Source: #32 New York Times Best Seller List, eFiction

9. Rule by Jay Crownover
Source: #7 Amazon Best Seller List, Kindle

10. Beautifully Damaged by L.A. Fiore
Source: #21 Amazon Best Seller, Kindle

The Flux Capacitor Effect, How Old Books Become New Best Sellers

War Brides by Helen Bryan

Some interesting reads are on Publishers’ Weekly site if you’re into book stats for 2012 — what sold and why in print.

For instance, last year print sales were dominated by Romance. Romance jumped +35%, while Biography/Autobiography epic failed -26%, as did Sci Fi -21%, Business  -18%, Mystery  -11%, Cooking -3%, History -7%, Audio -7%, Children -2%.

Upshot, romance sells, particularly in hard times, and hard “romance,” like 50 Shades books, really sells.

The Romance category was also one of the most monopolized —- the top 10 romance bestsellers had only 4 different authors (E.L. James, Sylvia Day, Nora Roberts, and Nicholas Sparks) from only 3 different publishers (Vintage, Berkley, and Grand Central). Only one other adult category, Religion, saw any increase at all in 2012 —- and that only increased 1% for the year.

The really interesting stuff however is over in the Best Selling Books of 2012 Top of The Charts.

Half of the top 20 bestselling books of 2012 in print were either Fifty Shades titles or Hunger Games titles, and only one book not written by E.L. James or Suzanne Collins—Jeff Kinney’s latest Wimpy Kid title—cracked the one-million-copies-sold mark for the year.

However, Amazon’s Top 20 Print Titles reveals a larger trend evident in the bestseller lists — that just because a book is a bestseller in 2012 doesn’t mean it was published in 2012.

Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, was in Amazon’s top 20 for print, despite being first published in 2010.

In fact, eight of BookScan’s top 20 books in 2012 were published before 2012, including Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, which was published in 2004, and E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey (which came out first as a Kindle and Print on Demand title in May of 2011). Another non-2012 release, Stephen King’s 11/22/63, finished as Kindle’s #19 bestseller of the year, thanks in part to its discounted $3.99 price tag. But for Kindle, there was no bigger success story than Helen Bryan’s War Brides, which was first published in 2007 and rereleased by AmazonEncore (Amazon’s paperback division) in June 2012, needing just over six months to become the #14 Kindle bestseller of 2012.

So just because your book didn’t fly off the shelves the year you published it, doesn’t mean it won’t ever make the bestseller list!

Jesus Calling

Self-Published Authors Make UK Amazon Kindle 2012 Bestseller List


07.01.13 | Lisa Campbell  (Full article can be found on The Bookseller, copyright The Bookseller).

Amazon has revealed that 15% of its bestselling Kindle books in the UK last year were written by self-published authors, with Hodder & Stoughton’s Nick Spalding landing the bestselling self-published author gong [award].

Spalding’s books Love…From Both Sides and Love…And Sleepless Nights sales combined to make Spalding the bestselling digital book author through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform last year. The author was snapped up by Hodder & Stoughton imprint Coronet for a six-figure sum last October.

Amazon said overall 15 of the top 100 Kindle books sold in the UK were by authors using its self-publishing tool, with 75 by traditional publishers. Amazon added that since KDP launched, 61 KDP authors have sold over 50,000 copies of their books. It also revealed that 12 KDP authors have sold in excess of 100,000 copies, with 50 authors earning in excess of £50,000 [$80K US], and 11 of these earning more than £100,000 [$160K US].

The best-selling KDP books of 2012 on

1. Love… From Both Sides by Nick Spalding

2. Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott

3. Love… And Sleepless Nights by Nick Spalding

4. One Cold Night by Katia Lief

5. Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson

6. Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne

7. Touch by Mark Sennen

8. Taunting the Dead by Mel Sherratt

9. The Tea Planter’s Daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter

10. Here She Lies by Katia Lief

The 99 Cent Best Seller


It’s easier than ever for authors to publish themselves–but tougher by the day to find fame. For those of you that want a great read on the inside the race to become the next E.L. James, pick up a copy of the Dec 10th, 2012 Time Magazine and dive into Andrew Rice’s article The 99c Best Seller.

You can also read more online, but you’ll need to be a Time subscriber:

Published in: on December 10, 2012 at 1:01 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Get your book published, or better yet, get it stolen and then get it published

Ok, as you all know we at FAB don’t go in for certain genres (ie, obscene language as humor), but we know you all have hear of the book we’re going to talk about: the adult “children’s” book Go the …. to Sleep.

What you may not know, and might be encouraged to learn, is that this book was made into a bestseller only because so many people stole it. That’s right, people . . . people who love people . . . were emailing a PDF version of the book around (breaking the copyright) before the book was even released. Google the book and you’ll see the first thing that comes up is a pirate version PDF, not an Amazon link. And the second thing is the Samuel L. Jackson audio reading of the book (also free).

Without copyright infringement, it’s doubtful this book ever would have found major success, and Adam Mansbach admits that in a recent (06/16/11) CNET article by  Rafe Needleman. Every author should read Adam’s comments on piracy  (ditto anyone interested copyright law or publishing).

Adam actually raises a whole host of good points every author should think about.  Such as the benefits of see it free first (in other words, just how you’d see the whole thing if there were still bookstores around), and how larger publishing houses are often the least up on social media, or trends, or even how to use new media effectively. One publisher told Mansbach he need to write a blog “three times a week,” to support his work.

Something that really struck us about the article was Adam’s comment that he wanted to be an author, not an industry.  Most major publishing houses want to turn an author into an industry. Most authors just want to write. If you’re a writer, you should stop and think about this because how you feel about what you do, will probably have a big impact on whether you want to publish with big house or a small press (which will also impact your profits).

As for publishers, or would be publishers, there’s good nuggets in the CNET article for you as well, but we’re reposting this CNN article in addition because we want you to note in the following story of how difficult it sometimes is for a small publisher to manage a huge success (something big houses do well — which is why once JK Rowling’s book caught on, her small publisher took the substantial buy-out by a larger publisher, and let JK and the big pubs take care of business in global fashion).

Go The F@K To Sleep Publisher Gets Big Boost
Book Set For Wide Release

By Dina Santorelli, contributing writer

Posted: 10:08 am CDT June 8, 2011Updated: 10:20 am CDT June 8, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Johnny Temple, publisher and founder of Brooklyn-based Akashic Books, likes to say this about independent book publishing:  ”Just keep your doors open for business, and then one day lightning will strike.”

Cue lightning.

Next week, Akashic plans to publish the most irreverent ”children’s” book in recent memory.

Written in the style of a children’s book, ”Go the F to Sleep” unabashingly drops the F-bomb in the text.

The book, written by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, originally was slated for a fall release. Then the PDF version of the book hit the Internet and went viral. As a result, Akashic is moving up its release date, for both the print book and ebook, to June 14. The film rights already have been sold to Fox 2000.

The popularity of the book has raised the profile of Akashic and is likely to raise its profits.

”Go the F to Sleep” is actually a book for adults that deals with the age-old problem of trying to get children to go to sleep.

”It was very evident to me that the book was addressing with humor what is perhaps the core psychological hurdle of parenthood in the early years,” said Temple, whose own children are ages 3 and 5. ”Lack of sleep breaks up marriages.”

Temple previously worked with Mansbach on an anthology. The author had written other books, which included bestseller ”Angry Black White Boy,” published by Three Rivers Press in 2005.

Mansbach brought the idea to Temple, believing he would be willing to take on the project, despite its controversial title.

”I’ve published some very edgy novels with some big publishers, but I think that’s the exception,” said Mansbach. “Small presses are more willing to take some risks.”

Temple indeed agreed to publish it. Akashic, which publishes 25 to 30 titles per year, was the first — and only — publisher who got a glimpse of the ”Go the F to Sleep” manuscript.

Temple did no promotion for it other than to book sellers and other retail avenues. Not long after, a version of the book appeared on the Internet after an author reading in Philadelphia in late April.

”It was probably accidentally leaked by a bookseller who we had sent a PDF to,” said Temple.

Preorders for the book on Amazon sent it flying up its bestseller’s list. Akashic is one of only a few independent publishers to get a book to hit No. 1 on the e-commerce site.

It would seem that the book going viral would be a detriment to book sales. But the extraordinary success of ”Go the F to Sleep” — whose print edition, at press time, was in its 44th day in Amazon’s Top 100 — perhaps proves that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to pay for the cow even though they could have gotten the milk for free.

Temple takes a rather ambivalent stance on the leak. ”Obviously, if I’m running a business, I want to stay in business,” he said, ”but I believe very strongly in an expansive public domain. We want to allow parents to continue enjoying the book the way they’ve been enjoying it and not really tamper with that too much.”

Originally a rock musician by trade, Temple founded Akashic in 1997 as a ”hobby” with two musician friends (who left the company early on) and an initial investment of $70,000. Since 2002, when Akashic became Temple’s main pursuit, the company has found a well-defined, and well-respected, niche as a place for urban literary fiction. Financially, though, the company has only managed to break even, with annual revenues ranging between $750,000 and $1 million.

Until now.

At press time, the first printing of ”Go the F to Sleep” had been upped to 275,000 copies — by far, Akashic’s biggest to date. The company’s average first print run is between 4,000 and 6,000 copies.

”We could easily be printing up 350,000, but I just want to manage this very carefully,” said Temple, sounding a bit like a guy who has just won the lottery, but is reluctant to quit his day job. ”Once you expand, it’s very hard to contract.”

Temple credits Akashic’s longevity to ”consistently good books, creative low-budget marketing, and careful financial management.”

That being said, he is not about to let a runaway hit derail a management style that has kept his small press’ doors open for the past 14 years.

Independent publishers can actually be hurt by such successes, because they do not have the infrastructure to support the demand, he said.

”We have a sensation and a phenomenon on our hands, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” he added. ”I’m being very cautious about what we do with our success and how we manage it.”

Just in case lightning strikes again.

Copyright CNN 2011