Avg. Best-Seller Price Continues to Tick up as Big Publishers Score Hits

forever too farA resurgence of relatively high priced titles from the larger publishers combined with a decline in self-published hits priced at around $4.00 or lower has pushed the average price of an ebook best-seller to its highest point since 2012.

This week, the average price of an ebook best-seller is $9.17. It’s the first time this index has recorded a price over $9.00 since last year.

The average price of an ebook best-seller spiked last week from just under $7.00 to just under $9.00 as self-published hits were crowded off the list by best-sellers from big publishers. Ordinarily, big publisher ebooks are priced higher than self-published ebooks, ebooks from Amazon and ebooks from smaller publishers.

In recent months, there has been some discounting on high-priced ebooks but that seems to have ebbed. There are nine titles on the list this week priced above $10. What happened to all the retailer discounting observed earlier in the year after publishers and retailers signed new contracts that allow the retailers to discount ebooks?

It could be that the retailers have reached dangerous levels of insolvency on ebooks. Remember: Part of the deal with the Department of Justice when it settled with five of the six biggest U.S. publishers was that retailers could only discount to the point of breaking even on the sale of ebooks. Meaning that if six months into the year Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and others are showing a loss on the ebooks they sold due to over-discounting, then they need to make it up in the second half of the year by making a profit on ebooks — and that would mean less discounting.

Another interesting note on this week’s list is that hybrid author Abbi Glines has another hit on her hands with Forever Too Far, which came out on June 8. It’s the final novel in her Fallen Too Far hit series. Glines is among the elite set of hybrid authors who have both self-published and traditionally published. Hybrid authors generally have larger online marketing platforms, make more money and have more knowledge and savvier opinions about the state of the publishing industry compared with other authors. Last year, she signed a major deal with Simon & Schuster for her Seabreeze series.

Unlike many self-published authors who top the ebook best-seller list, Glines doesn’t seem to discount her books too deeply. Forever Too Far is priced at $3.99.

Ebook best-sellers from the week ending 6/16:

— Top Selling Ebooks: $10 and above
— Top Selling Ebooks: $8.00 – $9.99
— Top Selling Ebooks: $3.00 – $7.99
— Top Selling Ebooks: $0.00 – $2.99

Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 6/16/13
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price** Change
1 (2) Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon) Dan Brown Random House  $   12.99 +1
2 (1) Entwined with You (Crossfire Trilogy Series #3) Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 -1
3 (n/a) Forever Too Far Abbi Glines Self-published  $    3.99 New
4 (3) And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel Khaled Hosseini Penguin  $   12.99 -1
5 (n/a) Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen Random House  $   12.99 New
6 (4) The Hit (Will Robie) David Baldacci Hachette  $    8.99 -2
7 (9) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Random House  $   12.99 +2
8 (7) Whiskey Beach Nora Roberts Penguin  $    9.99 -1
9 (25) A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One George R.R. Martin Random House  $    9.99 +16
10 (11) 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club) James Patterson; Maxine Paetro Hachette  $   11.99 +1
11 (5) Beauty from Surrender (Beauty Series #2) Georgia Cates Self-published  $    3.99 -6
12 (14) World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War Max Brooks Random House  $    9.99 +2
13 (17) The Kill Room (Lincoln Rhyme) Jeffery Deaver Hachette  $   11.99 +4
14 (8) Silken Prey John Sandford Penguin  $   12.99 -6
15 (15) Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99
16 (24) Breath of Scandal Sandra Brown Hachette  $    4.27 +8
17 (12) Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns Lauren Weisberger Simon & Schuster  $   10.99 -5
18 (20) Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 +2
19 (23) Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    5.63 +4
20 (n/a) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 New
21 (18) Ender’s Game: Ender’s Game Quartet (Book 1) Orson Scott Card Macmillan  $    4.35 -3
22 (n/a) The Light Between Oceans: A Novel ML Stedman Simon & Schuster  $    4.99 New
23 (n/a) Crazy Little Thing Tracy Brogan Amazon  $    3.99 New
24 (n/a) The Silver Star: A Novel Jeannette Walls Simon & Schuster  $   11.89 New
25 (6) The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Simon & Schuster  $    7.31 -19

* 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 ebook pricing.
Methodology available here.

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