Yes, Sony and Google have teamed up to offer 500,000 free e-books on the Sony Reader. Free is nice, and half a million is an impressive number, but lots of free and cheap e-books can wreak havoc on your database and best-seller lists--just ask Amazon.com, which found itself with Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" briefly sitting atop its best-seller list for legal thrillers in the Kindle Store, experienced earlier Thursday.
The Kindle Edition of "Mein Kampf" isn't free on Amazon. What's interesting is that there are actually two versions: one costs $1.58, and the other costs $1.60.
Both are fairly popular, but it's the cheaper version that captured the No. 1 spot on the legal-thriller list, then bizarrely disappeared within minutes of our capturing the screen grab. (Amazon, which updates its rankings hourly, had yet to respond to a request for a comment when we went to press, but we'll add any response we get when and if it comes).
Amazon also has some issues with competing Kindle best-seller lists. For instance, when you click on the Kindle Books link at the top of the page, you get a list of best-selling titles with stuff like Steve Harvey's "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" and "The Shack" listed at the top (they cost $9.99 and $8.24, respectively). Meanwhile, it appears that Robin Hobb's free "Assassin's Apprentice" is the true No. 1 book in the Kindle Store.… Read more