The Bestselling Books of 2013

Hard Luck, the eighth book in Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series, was the bestselling book across all print formats in 2013, selling over 1.8 million hardcover copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks roughly 80% of print sales. It was also the third most popular title among print books purchased on Amazon. Yet the book didn’t crack the top 100 on Amazon’s Kindle bestsellers list. In 2012, The Third Wheel, the seventh book in the series, performed similarly on each of the lists—an indication that the immensely popular, illustration-heavy series for middle graders isn’t one that translates to digital. On the other hand, last year’s bestselling young adult novels in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, which have shown cross-generational appeal, appeared on all three lists. The first book in the trilogy, Divergent, landed at #6 on Nielsen’s ranking, #2 on Kindle’s, and #19 on the Amazon print list. The second title, Insurgent, appeared at #8 on the Kindle list, and the third book,Allegiant, hit #11 on Nielsen’s list and #7 on Kindle’s.

The 2013 charts revealed, once again, that fiction is the genre of choice for customers who read e-books: the top 20 bestselling books on Kindle’s list were all novels. In fact, the highest-ranking nonfiction title on the Kindle bestseller list for 2013 was Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven at #47, followed by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s Killing Jesus at #52. The performance of the books in the Kindle ranking stands in stark contrast to their relative positions on Nielsen’s print list. Killing Jesus wound up at #3 on that list, which indicated sales of over 1.1 million copies for the title.Proof of Heaven landed just behind it in Nielsen, at #4, selling over 935,000 copies throughout the year.

Movie adaptations moved the needle in 2013 for titles new and old. Originally published in 2010, the movie-tie-in edition of Nicholas Sparks’s Safe Haven was the sixth bestselling Kindle title in 2013 (the film version was released in February). With a movie adaptation released in the fall,The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, originally released in 2006, finished at #10 on the Kindle list and #15 on Amazon’s print list. Ender’s Game, which hit the shelves in 1985, was brought back into the fold thanks to its film adaptation, which opened in November. The movie-tie-in version of Orson Scott Card’s novel sat in the #15 slot on the Kindle chart. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, released in 1925, was set to screen by director Baz Luhrmann, in a film version released last spring, sending the American classic back to the bestseller charts: it hit #16 on Nielsen’s list, which indicated print sales of over 560,000 copies for the title this year. Gatsby also appeared on the Kindle list at #12, and on Amazon’s print list at #9.

Nielsen BookScan Top 20

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney (Amulet)

2. Inferno by Dan Brown (Doubleday)

3. Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt)

4. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon and Schuster)

5. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (Disney Press)

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

7. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)

8. Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Doubleday)

9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet)

10. Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson (Howard)

11. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

12. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf)

13. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Dutton)

14. Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer (Crown Forum)

15. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Scribner)

16. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner)

17. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)

18. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)

19. Si-Cology 1 by Si Robertson (Howard)

20. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)

Amazon Kindle Top 20

1. Inferno by Dan Brown (Doubleday)

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

4. Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Doubleday)

5. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (Putnam)

6. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central)

7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

8. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

9. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland Books)

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

11. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)

12. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner)

13. The Hit by David Baldacci (Grand Central)

14. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Dutton)

15. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Tor Books)

16. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (Colleen Hoover)

17. Entwined with You by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

18. Never Go Back by Lee Child (Delacorte)

19. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

20. Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

Amazon Print Top 20

1. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)

2. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf)

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney (Amulet)

4. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh (Threshold Editions)

5. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)

6. Inferno by Dan Brown (Doubleday)

7. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (Disney Press)

8. Things that Matter by Charles Krauthammer (Crown Forum)

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner)

10. Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt)

11. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon and Schuster)

12. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (American Psychiatric Publishing)

13. The Official SAT Study Guide, Second Edition (College Board)

14. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Dutton)

15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

16. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

17. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Northfield Publishing)

18. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (Amer. Psychological Assn.)

19. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

20. Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott (Revell)

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