On the official morning of its release, Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs is #1 on the Kindle bestseller list, #1 in Apple’s iBookstore and #2 on the Nook bestseller list. It is not yet showing up on the Kobo or Google (NSDQ: GOOG) bestseller lists, possibly since those sites don’t offer pre-orders.
Pre-orders for e-books (and other products) give retailers a way to capitalize on pre-release hype and lock in orders early. Kindle, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Nook all have special pre-order sections of their stores. Those books also show up in the stores’ bestseller lists prior to their release, giving them a little added promotion for users who might be browsing the lists.
People who had pre-ordered Steve Jobs through Kindle or the iBookstore also had an advantage: While the book was officially supposed to be released today, it hit both stores early and showed up on the Kindles of users who’d pre-ordered it last night before midnight, according to accounts on Apple Insider and various other blogs.
Meanwhile, Kobo and Google do not offer pre-orders and don’t have “coming soon” sections. Steve Jobs is available in those stores today, but is not yet appearing on either store’s bestseller list (here’s Kobo’s, here’s Google’s). If you search Google or Kobo for John Grisham’s The Litigator, which is set to release on October 25, the title simply doesn’t show up. Meanwhile, it’s currently #3 on the Nook bestseller list and #13 on the Kindle bestseller list–proving there is clearly a lot of interest in the title, and that Kobo and Google are losing out on sales by not offering it for pre-order.
In an interview with Publishers Weekly this July, Google eBooks product manager Pratip Banerji acknowledged “that the lack of a pre-order system was a hindrance to using Google eBooks.” But it’s not just a hindrance for users, it’s also sending sales to Google eBooks’ competitors.
Check out our bestseller lists to find out the most popular digital content of the day from iTunes, YouTube, Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), Facebook, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Last.fm, Android, and Hulu.