The New York Times (s nyt) Best-Seller lists have been the metric used by consumers and the publishing industry to gauge the popularity of books since 1935. Starting next year, the paper will extend the lists to include the top-selling e-books, a validation of how significant the digital publishing business has grown. This validation is fitting given the Association of American Publishers recent report that e-books have seen a year-over-year growth in sales of almost 190 percent, which is 9 percent of total book sales.
The e-book industry was kick-started with the release of the Kindle by Amazon (s amzn), and the Nook by Barnes & Noble (s bks). Both companies have produced apps for the major smartphone platforms, turning most smartphones sold today into devices for consuming digital books. The New York Times Best-Seller list for e-books should drive sales of digital content, as consumers will have the same reference of popularity that has existed for printed works for so many years.
The Times have partnered with RoyaltyShare, Inc., a company with technology to help the paper validate reported sales figures from the major retailers of e-books.
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