This book plays itself on TV: E-book bestsellers breakdown

This new weekly feature tells the backstory of how one e-book became a bestseller, and highlights bestselling titles that are selling more copies in digital than in print.

The book: “A Brewing Storm” by Richard Castle (Hyperion (s DIS), list price $2.99). “A Brewing Storm,” an e-single, is #13 on the New York Times e-book bestseller list this week, and #39 on the USA Today list. As of this writing, it’s #30 on the Nook bestseller list and does not appear on the Kindle bestseller list.

What it’s about: To be clear, Richard Castle is not a real person — he’s a character on the ABC show “Castle,” where he’s played by actor Nathan Fillion. On the show, Castle is a mystery novelist and author of the “Heat Wave” series. Hyperion, which is owned by ABC, released the “Heat Wave” titles as actual books. “A Brewing Storm” is the first in Castle’s “Derrick Storm” CIA series, which he also writes on the show. (Um…get it?) ABC will release two more Derrick Storm e-singles this summer.

How it became a bestseller: “Castle” fans had requested Derrick Storm books, which are often mentioned on the show. Hyperion hopes the “Storm” series will serve as a bridge between seasons 4 and 5 of “Castle” — the season 4 finale aired on May 7.

Members of “Club Castle,” the fan community on ABC’s Castle website, got early access to “A Brewing Storm”‘s cover by completing a trivia challenge March 26-28. They saw the cover before retailers did. also posted three free chapters of the book. And the full-length “Heat Wave” was chosen as an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal on May 8, which likely drove readers to the e-single as well.

“A Brewing Storm” on … Amazon ($1.99) | Apple ($2.99) | Barnes & Noble ($1.97) | Google ($2.51) | Kobo ($2.99)

New York Times bestseller list, week of 5/20/12

Here are the titles in the top-35 that appear on the e-book bestseller list, but not on the print bestseller list (click the link to expand the chart).

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USA Today bestseller list, week of 5/3/12

USA Today includes all formats and genres in one list and notes which format of a book sold best. Here are the titles in the top-35 where e-books outsold print (click the link to expand the chart).

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