Average Ebook Best-Seller Price Drops as Hachette and Simon & Schuster Ink New Retail Deals

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New deals signed last week between Hachette and Simon & Schuster and their ebook retail partners have driven down prices of ebook best-sellers.

This week, both Hachette and Simon & Schuster inked new retail contracts with Amazon and their other partners, giving up pricing control per a settlement both publishers signed with the Department of Justice over the issue of ebook price-fixing. The retailers have wasted no time discounting some of the publishers’ ebook titles.

Michael Connelly’s The Black Box (Hachette, No. 1 on the best-seller list this week) was $14.99 at Amazon and other retailers and is now priced at $12.74 at Amazon and elsewhere. Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (Simon & Schuster, No. 9 on the best-seller list) was $9.99 and went down to $8.74 last week; the book is currently priced at $7.99.

As a result of those price changes and others, the average price of a book on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List has dropped to its lowest point since it was launched, $9.06. That’s down from $9.79 last week and the high of $11.79 on Oct. 20.

Partially responsible are several lower-priced titles hitting the list, led by Stop the Wedding, a self-published hit by Stephanie Bond. It rocketed up the list last week to hit No. 6 and is currently sitting at No. 2. A holiday sales push could make it the first self-published title to hit No. 1 on the list — stay tuned!

See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending Dec. 8:

Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $10.00 and Above
Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $8.00 – $9.99
Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $3.00 – $7.99
Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $0.00 – $2.99

Read and comment on our methodology.

Hear more about what makes an ebook best-seller during a morning keynote speech at Digital Book World 2013 in January in New York. Register today!

Top 25 E-Book Best-Sellers
Week Ending 12/8/12
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price** Change
1 (2) The Black Box (A Harry Bosch Novel) Michael Connelly Hachette  $   12.74 +1
2 (6) Stop the Wedding! (a romantic comedy) Stephanie Bond NeedtoRead  $    0.99 +4
3 (3) The Forgotten David Baldacci Hachette  $   11.04
4 (1) Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich Random House  $   12.99 -3
5 (4) The Racketeer John Grisham Random House  $   12.99 -1
6 (7) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Random House  $   12.99 +1
7 (5) Merry Christmas, Alex Cross James Patterson Hachette  $   11.04 -2
8 (9) The Last Man: A Novel Vince Flynn Simon & Schuster  $   11.99 +1
9 (21) Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife Eben Alexander III M.D. Simon & Schuster  $    8.43 +12
10 (n/a) Threat Vector Tom Clancy; Mark Greaney Penguin  $   14.99 New
11 (10) Life of Pi Yann Martel Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  $    4.99 -1
12 (12) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99
13 (20) Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +7
14 (19) Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +5
15 (13) The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  $    6.41 -2
16 (n/a) A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows: An Outlander Novella Diana Gabaldon Random House  $    1.99 New
17 (11) The Perfect Hope: Book Three of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy (The Inn Trilogy) Nora Roberts Penguin  $    9.99 -6
18 (8) Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files Jim Butcher Penguin  $   12.99 -10
19 (16) Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99 -3
20 (15) Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 -5
21 (14) My Kind of Christmas (Virgin River Series: #18) : Robyn Carr Harlequin  $    1.99 -7
22 (17) Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99 -5
23 (n/a) The Pact Jodi Picoult HarperCollins  $    2.99 New
24 (22) Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 -2
25 (23) Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard Macmillan  $   12.99 -2

* Previous week’s list rank in parentheses.
** Price reflects minimum price across all retailers throughout the week. Price may vary between retailers and may change throughout the week. Contact Iobyte Solutions for more information on e-book pricing.
Methodology available here.

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