The average price of a best-selling ebook inched down to $7.86 this week, driven not by less expensive self-published works but by deeply discounted big-six titles.
Following the success of Hachette’s Beautiful Creatures series selling at $2.99, Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins and Hachette have ebook best-sellers this week selling for $2.99 or less.
Debbie Macomber’s 1984 novel Heartsong is being sold by Random House as an ebook for $2.99 and hit the best-seller list at No. 10. Sandra Brown’s 1990 novel Mirror Image is being sold by Hachette as an ebook for $1.99 and hit the best-seller list at No. 12.
While those titles are older and represent a move among big-six publishers to market and sell back-list ebooks at a discount, two other titles on the list are newer and may represent a shift in strategy to sell recent releases.
Into the Darkest Corner, a HarperCollins novel by Elizabeth Haynes, was released in June 2012. It is currently being sold for $1.99. And The Painted Girls, a Jan. 2013 novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan from Penguin, was a Kindle Daily Deal on Feb. 25 for $2.99 (which is why it is on our list at that price, despite being sold for $14.99 currently).
Are these price drops an attempt at a new strategy for big publishers?
“Part of the way we bring our authors’ books to market is to offer well-placed and well-timed price promotions,” said a HarperCollins spokesperson when asked about a new pricing strategy.
We’ll have to wait and see if it continues to learn more. Hachette did not respond to request for comment before press time. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Penguin declined to comment.
See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending March 3:
– 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 – $2.99
Read and comment on our methodology.
|1 (2)||Safe Haven||Nicholas Sparks||Hachette||$ 5.62||+1|
|2 (3)||Alex Cross, Run||James Patterson||Hachette||$ 11.99||+1|
|3 (5)||Wait For Me||Elisabeth Naughton||Self-published||$ 2.99||+2|
|4 (n/a)||Calculated in Death||J. D. Robb||Penguin||$ 14.99||New|
|5 (11)||The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel||Matthew Quick||Macmillan||$ 9.99||+6|
|6 (6)||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Random House||$ 12.99||—|
|7 (1)||Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1)||Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl||Hachette||$ 5.22||-6|
|8 (12)||A Week in Winter||Maeve Binchy||Random House||$ 12.99||+4|
|9 (8)||Rush (The Breathless Trilogy)||Maya Banks||Penguin||$ 7.99||-1|
|10 (20)||Heartsong: A Novel||Debbie Macomber||Random House||$ 2.99||+10|
|11 (9)||Touch and Go||Lisa Gardner||Penguin||$ 12.99||-2|
|12 (n/a)||Mirror Image||Sandra Brown||Hachette||$ 1.99||New|
|13 (n/a)||The Painted Girls: A Novel||Cathy Marie Buchanan||Penguin||$ 2.99||New|
|14 (n/a)||Into the Darkest Corner||Elizabeth Haynes||HarperCollins||$ 1.99||New|
|15 (4)||Beautiful Darkness (Beautiful Creatures)||Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl||Hachette||$ 6.99||-11|
|16 (13)||Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel||Jonathan Kellerman||Random House||$ 12.99||-3|
|17 (16)||Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||-1|
|18 (n/a)||Dead Asleep||Jamie Freveletti||HarperCollins||$ 0.99||New|
|19 (7)||Beautiful Chaos (Beautiful Creatures)||Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl||Hachette||$ 7.59||-12|
|20 (15)||Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||-5|
|21 (18)||The Forgotten||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 9.99||-3|
|22 (n/a)||War Brides||Helen Bryan||Amazon||$ 2.99||New|
|23 (n/a)||Life of Pi||Yann Martel||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt||$ 8.33||New|
|24 (17)||Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||-7|
|25 (10)||Beautiful Redemption (Beautiful Creatures)||Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl||Hachette||$ 8.89||-15|
* 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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