- 16 older books published in the 1950s-1990s, including Snow Crash, 2 editions of Hitchhiker's Guide, 3 Ender's Game series editions and a box set, 2 Philip K. Dick novels, one classic each from Heinlein, Vonnegut, Herbert and McCaffrey, and 3 other books from the 60s-70s. Strangely, the "deluxe" edition of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones (book 1) is also on the list, despite it being Fantasy.
- 16 media tie-ins (including the #1, 2, 5, 6, 9 and 10 spots: 7 Star Wars, 4 Warhammer, 2 Star Trek, 2 HALO, 1 BioShock)
- 3 books published in 2008 (2 editions of Meyer's The Host and Card's Ender in Exile)
- 2 books published in 2009 (The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi and Boneshaker by Cherie Priest)
- 5 books published in 2010 (Echo by Jack McDevitt, All Clear by Connie Willis, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, Out of the Dark by David Weber and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu)
- 9 books (non media tie-ins) published this year (with links to Amazon):
#4 Ready Player One by Ernest ClineSo in summary, around a third of the books are old classics, a third are media tie-ins, and a third are newish but less than a fifth are new this year. And only 9 books by women in that top 51, of which 3 are media tie-ins.
#7 Hellhole by Brian Herbert
#11 Citadel: Troy Rising II by John Ringo
#15 March In Country: A Novel of the Vampire Earth by E. E. Knight (hardcover)
#16 Earthbound by Joe Haldeman (hardcover)
#21 How Firm a Foundation by David Weber (hardcover)
#32 Mecha Corps: A Novel of the Armor Wars by Brett Patton
#39 Kris Longknife: Daring by Mike Shepherd
#45 The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge (hardcover)
How many books do you have to sell to make it onto the list? Well, the bottom 7 sold less than 300 units each. Which, at most likely less than a dollar per paperback going to the author, isn't going to buy a Ferrari any time soon. Only the top 5 sold more than 1000 units each.
What can we learn from this? Don't quit your day job, and if you do, write Romance.