June 3, 2015 Last Updated 9:50 am

Amazon lists its ‘most well-read cities’ based on sales

It’s obviously self-serving to publish a list of “most well-read cities” as readers will be looking for their own hometown on the list, but it is what good retailers do to drum up business.
Apple has its lists of top apps, but it would be helpful if they would provide a little more data for publishers.

Of course, as is the norm, Amazon does actually provide any actual numbers in their list and one could argue that some cities that still have local bookstores (or higher populations) are not going to rank as high as those were buyers are very much dependent on online retailing.

Nonetheless, here is Amazon’s list, take it all with a grain of salt:

SEATTLE, Wash. – June 2, 2015 — Amazon.com today announced its fifth annual list of the Most Well-Read Cities in America – just in time for summer reading season. The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format from April 2014 to April 2015, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 500,000 residents.

The Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities are:

1. Seattle, Wash. 11. Charlotte, N.C.
2. Portland, Ore. 12. Baltimore Md.
3. Las Vegas Nev 13. San Diego Calif.
4. Tucson Ariz. 14. Houston, Texas
5. Washington, D.C. 15. Indianapolis, Ind.
6. Austin, Texas 16. San Jose, Calif.
7. San Francisco, Calif. 17. Jacksonville, Fla.
8. Albuquerque, N.M. 18. San Antonio, Texas
9. Denver, Colo. 19. Nashville, Tenn.
10. Louisville, Ky. 20. Chicago, Ill.

Amazon also took a closer look at the data and uncovered some interesting trends across the cities:

  • Seattle, Wash., the home of Amazon headquarters, not only purchased the most books overall but also purchased the most Kindle books, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Washington, D.C. residents, ranked #5 overall on the list, prefer the print book, outranking Seattle as the city with the most purchases of print books.
  • California is for readers with three cities making the top 20 list this year: San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose.
  • Las Vegas is for lovers—their residents purchased the most romance titles.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was the top-selling title in seven of the top 20 cities: Houston, Texas; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Tucson, Ariz., Louisville, Ky.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Baltimore, Md.

“We’re excited to see Seattle take the top spot on our annual Most Well-Read Cities list,” said Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Print and Kindle Books at Amazon.com. “Summer has just begun and we hope we can help readers discover their next favorite books and contribute to their cities’ well-read ranking.”

Customers eager to move their city up the list can visit the Amazon Book Editors’ Summer Reading feature at www.amazon.com/summerreading, where they’ll find recommendations ranging from beach reads to blockbusters.

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