Well, this kind of feels like a bit of a pivotal moment for e-books- the most nationally referenced best-seller list is getting an e-book list, too.
The New York Times, whose best-seller list is often used as a reference point for an author or work’s legitimacy or success (the Times itself modestly refers to its own list as the “industry standard”), has been ranking best-selling books since 1935. Janet Elder, the gray lady’s editor of news surveys and election analysis, said the e-book best-seller ranking was a long time in the works:
“We’ve had our eye on e-book sales since e-books began,” Ms. Elder said. “It was clear that e-books were taking a greater and greater share of total sales, and we wanted to be able to tell our readers which titles were selling and how they fit together with print sales.”
It’s probably about damn time the NYT began ranking e-books, which according to Mashable are expected to top a billion dollars in sales this year. One of the nation’s top booksellers, Amazon, said earlier this year that e-book sales have outpaced hardcover books, and that they’re expected to outsell paperbacks by the end of 2011.