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Amazon to Drop Free Books from Kindle Bestseller List

To mangle a snarky old line from my not-so-recent adolescence, I took a picture of the zero-priced books at the top of the Kindle Store’s Bestseller list (at right), because it will last longer.

That’s right. Rachel Deahl of Publisher’s Weekly has reported today that an Amazon representative told her that, within “a few weeks,” Amazon “will be splitting its Kindle bestseller list, creating one list for paid books and another for free titles.”

As of today, the top 10 titles on the Kindle bestseller list, and 33 of the top 50, are either currently free or achieved their lofty ranking due to being free until the past couple of days.

The prospect of a bifurcated list will certainly create a different look and feel for the Kindle Store sales rankings, and could conceivable reduce the incentive for publishers and authors to offer free promotional downloads of some of their Kindle-formatted books. But if Deahl’s report is true the new top 10 will soon include names like Larsson, Patterson, Turow, Stocket, Quindlen, Coben, Bush, Baldacci, Junger, and Rachman.

We’ll be back soon with some analysis of how this reported change will fit in with a number of major changes that are now in the process of occurring in the Kindle catalog.

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