Big Publishers Push Indie Authors Off Best-Seller List

the husband's secretFor the second week in a row, not a single self-published title made it on to the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller list. Not surprisingly, the average price of a best-selling ebook ticked up as well.

Big publishers dominated the list, led by Penguin Random House with The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. The world’s largest publisher had 11 of the 25 titles on the list this week.

While each of the five largest publishers in the world — Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster — were on the list at least once, only one other publisher even made it: Hyperion, with the No. 2 best-seller The House of Hades by Rick Riordan.

Not surprisingly, without self-published titles and smaller presses on the list, the average price of a top-25 best-selling ebook ticked up this week to $8.53, from $8.37 last week.

While the price increase was driven by a high percentage of $10 and above titles on the list, there are still many titles by big publishers seeing deep discounts from retailers.

The most startling example might be multi-year best-seller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Penguin Random House). The hit has been a mainstay of this best-seller list, but usually at much higher prices.

The book’s price arc and sustained sales could be a model for retailers when it comes to squeezing every ounce of productivity out of a title. Regular price drops over the course of the book’s lifetime could be part of the reason it has stayed on the best-seller list so long.

Ebook best-sellers from the week ending 10/20:

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 10/20/13
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (1) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $    5.99
2 (2) The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus Series #4) Rick Riordan Hyperion  $    9.99
3 (n/a) Between Sisters (Hannah, Kristin) Kristin Hannah Penguin Random House  $    0.99 New
4 (3) Gone (Michael Bennett) James Patterson; Michael Ledwidge Hachette  $   11.99 -1
5 (13) Allegiant (Divergent) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 +8
6 (8) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +2
7 (9) Ender’s Game: 1 (The Ender Quintet) Orson Scott Card Macmillan  $    3.98 +2
8 (5) Killing Jesus: A History Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard Macmillan  $   11.04 -3
9 (6) Doctor Sleep: A Novel Stephen King Simon & Schuster  $   10.99 -3
10 (7) The Longest Ride Nicholas Sparks Hachette  $   10.99 -3
11 (12) Storm Front (A Virgil Flowers Novel) John Sandford Penguin Random House  $   10.99 +1
12 (10) Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel Lee Child Penguin Random House  $   10.99 -2
13 (14) Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    3.99 +1
14 (n/a) The Book Thief Markus Zusak Penguin Random House  $    3.99 New
15 (4) My Story Elizabeth Smart; Chris Stewart Macmillan  $   10.99 -11
16 (n/a) Sycamore Row John Grisham Penguin Random House  $   11.99 New
17 (21) Insurgent (Divergent) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.49 +4
18 (18) The Fault in Our Stars John Green Penguin Random House  $    3.99
19 (19) The Signature of All Things: A Novel Elizabeth Gilbert Penguin Random House  $   10.99
20 (n/a) I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban Malala Yousafzai Hachette  $    9.75 New
21 (15) David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Malcolm Gladwell Hachette  $   12.59 -6
22 (24) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Penguin Random House  $    7.78 +2
23 (17) W Is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone Series #23) Sue Grafton Penguin Random House  $   10.99 -6
24 (20) Deadline Sandra Brown Hachette  $   10.99 -4
25 (n/a) Confessions: The Private School Murders James Patterson; Maxine Paetro Hachette  $    8.89 New

* 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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