Kindle ebooks introduced a new way of looking at and consuming literature, but if you focus just on bestsellers when searching books for Kindle you are missing on a huge chuck on titles that could be a better fit for you and your literary tastes. Danil Rudoy’s Martina Flawd, a novel on love, sex, magic and lucid dreaming is a good example: while it will inevitably become a bestseller in a not-so-distant future, only few select readers proved capable of fathoming its nature. If you understand and appreciate true literature, however, you may want to read a free sample in the amazon kindle store, but hurry: there is a lot of pride in getting acquainted with a work of art before liking it becomes mainstream.
Best books for Kindle in contemporary literature and bestsellers
The paradox of contemporary literature is that whether or not a book becomes a bestseller depends not on its literary value but marketing. This is how titles like 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight, Divergent and similar reads arrive at the top of NY Times best sellers list, as well as those of amazon kindle. Those rankings have nothing to do with writing quality, they are merely lists of books that sell best.
How does marketing make best selling books?
Most books become bestsellers when a significant marketing budget is focused on a well-defined target audience of people. For example, a new title in the steamy romance novels genre is produced, a title tailored to young female professionals of 25-45 years living in large cities and making above average income. Now its all about reaching those people with reasonable frequency across various media channels to get them to start reading the novel and, ideally, writing positive reviews.
Once enough of the “right type” of people contributed their money and 5-star reviews, the snowball effect begins to take place. The people outside the immediate target audience look at an emerging best selling book and think to themselves: well, I guess if so many people liked this title that it became a romance novels bestseller, it had to be one of the best books for Kindle, right? At least some of those people will buy the book, and their opinion of it is going to be average: well, I read this bestseller, but nothing special. Most of them won’t leave a review, so their contribution is largely limited to the purchase itself. But that purchase will push the title a notch higher on the bestseller list where more people can see and buy it, guided by the assumption that it is one of the best books to read on Kindle!
The snowball effect of bestseller lists
This becomes a virtuous (or vicious) circle: the higher a book is on bestseller lists, the more people buy it, and the higher the book gets on that Kindle list. Never mind that a lot of people who buy the book at this point aren’t even from the target audience: the hype is self-propagating, and it usually doesn’t end either until the marketing budget is exhausted, or until the target audience (those people who truly make a book into a bestseller) is saturated, meaning most of those people have already read the book (and some would even vehemently disagree that it was a good book to read).
But what if I belong to the same target audience?
You could be thinking: why wouldn’t I trust the collective opinion of, say, readers of romance novels if I myself am after the same books for Kindle? Wouldn’t I by definition tend to like the bestsellers that audience likes? Well, how mainstream are you as a person 🙂 ? Besides, there is a huge difference between not hating the book with a lot of 5-star review and loving it. How often did you really love an aggressively advertised best selling book? And wouldn’t you want to read more of the books that you loved, regardless of whether they became bestsellers and what reviews they got?
So, how do I find best books to read?
The good news: there are dozens of millions books out there, so the numbers are on your side: some of them will necessarily be loved by you as much (or more!) than your favorite stories. So, how do you get to them if you only leverage bestseller lists and those, well, can’t be too long by definition?
How to find best books for Kindle
While consulting bestseller list might be an acceptable tactic for a literary newbie, there are more advanced ways of finding good books to read, and amazon’s Kindle offers great help. The feature that allows previewing the first several pages is probably the single most valuable asset that bibliophiles get from online bookstores (except perhaps the option to read books online for free). This is best books for Kindle delivered on demand, your tailored way of finding what you would be interested in reading, as opposed to what someone else is trying to persuade you to buy. Marketing wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t tried to force-feed you what benefits those who pay for the marketing (which, in most cases, aren’t even the writers but the publishers), but is there a guarantee that their interests correspond with yours? So, make up your mind on your own instead of outsourcing your opinion of whether a book is a good one to a bestseller list, or to a bunch of 5-star reviews.
5-star reviews of best sellers are not always authentic
You’d think that glaring review is a sure sign of a good book for Kindle, but some modern publishers purchase positive 5-star reviews to create momentum for their book: which, supplemented with robust marketing budgets, well-defined audience and professional tactical execution, can bring most books to the coveted bestseller list: if not the ultimate top-100 New York Times best sellers of this year, then at least that of a particular genre (like steamy romance novels, in our example). Amazon claims to vet suspicious comments and reviews, yet an experienced publisher with even a small team can circumvent the vetting and post dozens of 5-star reviews to a title that doesn’t deserve to have been published in the first place. Now, what do those purchased 5-star reviews have to do with you?
Who knows what are the best books for Kindle that belongs to you better than you?
No one, so don’t be afraid to form your own opinion and stick to it. Don’t even bother checking whether the books is a bestseller, or what it’s average review star rating is. Open the free sample on Kindle (if the writer is any good, there is no reason for him or her to hide the first pages) and read it: thoughtfully and carefully. Is there anything in the language, or in the manner, or in the tone that grabs your attention – and I don’t mean the infamous overpromise and underdeliver approach where the first three pages have the setup of an epic fiction trilogy, all to disintegrate into a poorly slabbed story that is as formulaic as it is not verisimilar (its author will persuade you that it is one of the best books for Kindle still). A true writer will intrigue you much more subtly, leaving it up to you whether to follow beyond the free sample, and not being upset if you choose not to, because for a true writer the joy of having his book not read by an inappropriate audience is almost as great as that of meeting a single person who is worth having written that book for.
Some current amazon kindle best selling books
Books for Kindle are manifold and copious, and each day there is more. If you still unpersuaded that your own opinion should be the determining factor in choosing your next read and intend to continue consulting the bestseller lists for that purpose, feel free to use this gallery containing some of the best books to read on kindle as per amazon bestseller list:
And, in any case, hopefully you are going to come across more books that you actually love, as opposed to those you feel the pressure to like simply because everyone else seems to.