Bookscan is a very valuable service and reporting tool used by publishers and retailers alike. It provides point-of-sale information from approximately 4,500 retailers across the U.S. As you may have seen in previous blog posts by O'Reilly, the data is very useful.
I thought it would be interesting to provide a weekly snapshot of the top 25 computer books according to Bookscan data. Here’s a breakdown of the top publishers and topic areas from last week’s report (all percentages are based on sell-through units):
Leading Publishers Leading Topics
#1 Wiley 30% #1 Microsoft Office 25%
#2 Pearson 22% #2 Windows XP 17%
#3 Microsoft Press 19% #3 Photoshop/Photography 16%
#4 O’Reilly 16% #4 Mac 13%
#5 Penguin 6% #5 Web Development 7%
By the way, although they show up separately in Bookscan, Penguin is owned by Pearson, which means the Pearson total goes up to 28% in this list.
As you’ll see over time, share splits and topic importance tend to fluctuate due to seasonality, new product releases and perhaps most importantly, promotional efforts by publishers and retailers. Also, although you can’t extrapolate data for the top 25 titles for the entire market, they are a good indicator of what’s hot and who’s doing well.