The Search, by John Battelle
Sirius Is a Joke

Bookscan -- Week Ending 12/4/05

Here’s a breakdown of the top 750 titles in the computer/tech category for the most recent week:

1. Pearson/Penguin            29%
1. Wiley                             29%
3. O’Reilly                          19%
4. Microsoft Press              10%
5. Osborne/McGraw-Hill        4%

(I hope all my Pearson friends will notice that I listed them first despite the fact that the Pearson and Wiley market share percentages are virtually identical.)

Comparing that to my last Bookscan post for the week ending 10/30, Pearson is down 1 point, Wiley is flat, O’Reilly is up 1 point, Microsoft Press is down 2 points and Osborne/McGraw Hill is down 1 point.

Out of the top 20 titles for the week, Pearson and Wiley both had 6, O’Reilly had 5 and Microsoft Press had 3.

Now that we’re in the midst of the holiday season, the topic breakdown tends to shift around a bit. Office topics were dominant in several of the earlier weeks – this time there are only 3 Office titles (including various Office applications) in the top 20.

The #1 topic by title count in the top 20? Would you believe…Programming? I guess the latest books on Ajax and ASP are popular stocking stuffers. Speaking of ASP, I’m thrilled to see our own Professional ASP.NET 2 comes in strong in the #15 position this week. By the way, that performance has been achieved without the benefit of an endcap placement, “30% off” sale or any other special deal. Congratulations to the author team led by Bill Evjen and WROX editor Jim Minatel.


James McGovern

Maybe you could also show which publishers are on the decline. You are welcome to disclaim the fact that a reader not from the publishing industry inquired...

Joe Wikert

Hi James. As you can tell from the list in the original post, all the other publishers not listed in the top 5 have less than 4% of the market share each. So, any decline by them is going to be minimal. The top 5 publishers represented 91% of the entire market, at least for that week. As you can see from my earlier Bookscan posts, the list of the top 4 publishers is fairly consistent from month to month. The more recent trends haven't been so much publishers dropping significant share as they have been publishers swapping a point or two every so often.

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