When it comes to ebook pricing in the post-Department of Justice era, the commentators mostly got it wrong. It’s not a race to the bottom; it’s a race to the middle.
Now that retailers can set prices at will for all but two publishers (Random House and Penguin — though they will join their competitors soon), they’ve lowered prices slowly and strategically, just as Digital Book World predicted a year ago.
Ebooks priced above $10 are starting to disappear from the best-seller list for all but the newest, biggest books. Even the $9.99 price band, which was the most popular among consumers just six months ago, has fallen out of favor. Now, most ebooks that people are buying fall into the $3.00 to $7.99 range. Some 13 such titles appear on the best-seller list this week; that’s 52% of the list.
As a result, the average price of a best-selling ebook has fallen to its lowest level ever, $7.21, down from over $8.00 last week.
Just looking at the top-five titles this week, the first two fall into that category — and it’s not just back-list titles. The first is a back-list ebook, The Host, a 2008 release from Hachette by Stephenie Meyer; it’s having a moment now because the theatrical release based on the book was the end of March. The second is a new release from Simon & Schuster, Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire.
At least for now, the $9.99 ebook has fallen way out of favor. On the $8.00 to $9.99 ebook best-seller list this week only includes the top-five titles. Why? No. 6 was ranked in the 140s overall, meaning that its sales were far, far below No. 5 and not really relevant or deserving of being highlighted.
See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending April 7:
– 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 – $2.99
Read and comment on our methodology.
|1 (2)||The Host: A Novel||Stephenie Meyer||Hachette||$ 3.99||+1|
|2 (n/a)||Walking Disaster: A Novel||Jamie McGuire||Simon & Schuster||$ 7.35||New|
|3 (n/a)||Fever (The Breathless Trilogy)||Maya Banks||Penguin||$ 9.99||New|
|4 (3)||Six Years||Harlan Coben||Penguin||$ 12.99||-1|
|5 (7)||Alex Cross, Run||James Patterson||Hachette||$ 7.49||+2|
|6 (5)||Three Sisters (Blackberry Island)||Susan Mallery||Harlequin||$ 5.49||-1|
|7 (8)||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Random House||$ 12.99||+1|
|8 (1)||Lover At Last: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood||J.R. Ward||Penguin||$ 12.99||-7|
|9 (n/a)||Tobacco Road||Erskine Caldwell||Samuel French, Inc.||$ 1.99||New|
|10 (14)||The Storyteller||Jodi Picoult||Simon & Schuster||$ 7.49||+4|
|11 (19)||The Burgess Boys: A Novel||Elizabeth Strout||Random House||$ 12.99||+8|
|12 (13)||The Wanderer (Thunder Point)||Robyn Carr||Harlequin||$ 3.99||+1|
|13 (11)||Safe Haven||Nicholas Sparks||Hachette||$ 3.49||-2|
|14 (18)||The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel||Matthew Quick||Macmillan||$ 4.99||+4|
|15 (n/a)||To Die For||Jana DeLeon; Jasinda Wilder; Debra Holland; Theresa Ragan; Denise Grover Swank; Liliana Hart; Tina Folsom; Colleen Gleason||The Indie Voice||$ 0.99||New|
|16 (n/a)||The Forgotten||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 4.99||New|
|17 (n/a)||The Bet||Rachel Van Dyken||Self-published||$ 0.99||New|
|18 (n/a)||Rush (The Breathless Trilogy)||Maya Banks||Penguin||$ 7.99||New|
|19 (22)||Just One Night, Part 1: The Stranger||Kyra Davis||Simon & Schuster||$ 0.99||+3|
|20 (n/a)||Life After Life: A Novel||Kate Atkinson||Hachette||$ 7.49||New|
|21 (16)||Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead||Sheryl Sandberg||Random House||$ 12.99||-5|
|22 (21)||Breath of Scandal||Sandra Brown||Hachette||$ 4.74||-1|
|23 (17)||Defending Jacob: A Novel||William Landay||Random House||$ 7.99||-4|
|24 (20)||Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||-4|
|25 (10)||A Week in Winter||Maeve Binchy||Random House||$ 12.99||-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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