Steve Jobs biography is Amazon's bestselling book of 2011

Amazon also says two of its other top 10 books were self-published titles available only through its Kindle store.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Amazon's bestseller, "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson.
Amazon's bestseller, "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster

Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography was the top-selling book on Amazon this year, even though it only hit store shelves in October.

Amazon didn't provide the book's sales figures, but the company's senior editor of Books, Chris Schluep, says they "have been phenomenal" in both hardcover and digital formats.

"Steve Jobs" beat out "Bossypants" by Tina Fey and "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard to take the top spot in Amazon's bestseller list. The Jobs book was published by Simon & Schuster, which--like CNET--is a unit of CBS.

Isaacson's biography was authorized by Jobs himself. The book includes excerpts from interviews Isaacson conducted with the Apple co-founder, and since Steve Jobs passed away earlier this year at the age of 56, it provides the last bit of insight into what he thought about a range of topics, including televisions, smartphones, and Google.

Amazon's list also points to an emerging trend in the publishing industry: print versions are becoming less important to a title's success.

According to Amazon, two books in this year's top-ten list of bestsellers, "The Mill River Recluse" by Darcie Chan and "The Abbey" by Chris Culver, were available only through its Kindle Store; hardcover copies were not printed. What's more, the authors printed their books through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service, which shares 70 percent of the book's revenue with the author.

Amazon has been saying for months that Kindle e-book sales are starting to outpace print versions. In May, the company said that "for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books."

"We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly--we've been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than 4 years," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said at the time.

Here's Amazon's full list of bestsellers in 2011:

  1. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson
  2. "Bossypants" by Tina Fey
  3. "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard
  4. "The Mill River Recluse" by Darcie Chan
  5. "In the Garden of the Beasts" by Erik Larson
  6. "A Dance with Dragons" by George R.R. Martin
  7. "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain
  8. "The Litigators" by John Grisham
  9. "The Abbey" by Chris Culver
  10. "Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle)" by Christopher Paolini