Ebook Best-Seller Prices Continue to Decline; Fifty Shades and Hunger Games Make Comeback

For the eighth straight week* the price of an ebook best-seller has declined. Retailer discounting and the popularity of a surprise self-published hit are the reasons.

The average price of an ebook best-seller is now $8.09, down from $8.23 a week ago and $11.79 on Oct. 22, 2012, the last time the average price of a best-seller increased.

As we described last week, retailer discounting is the culprit:

For instance, this week’s new No. 1, Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Hachette), was discounted by its retailers to $3.99 on Dec. 20 after several graduated discounts throughout the Fall that saw its price decrease from $9.99, the last price its publisher set. It had been priced at $12.99 when it was new in late 2010 and early 2011. (The ebook was also likely helped by the upcoming film adaptation, set to hit theaters in Feb. 2013.)

Another good example is our last No. 1 book on this list, The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Hachette). It was discounted this week to $9.20 after being priced at $11.04 for most of Dec. The last time its publisher set its price it was $12.99.

Another interesting metric to note is that the number of $10 and above books in the top-25 has taken a nosedive. A month ago, there were nine ebooks at that price point on the list. On Oct. 22. there were 13 books at that price point in the top-25. This week, there are only five. (We’ll be discussing this trend and others at DBW2013, Wednesday morning at 10:45 A.M. in a session titled Ebook Pricing: State of Play and Analysis.)

One last reason for the price decrease is the rise of Addison Moore’s Someone to Love to No. 3 on the list. The $0.99 self-published title has been gaining momentum. It was ranked No. 30 last week.

Meanwhile, both the Fifty Shades and Hunger Games trilogies have crept back up to the top of the best-seller list, taking ranks Nos. 5 through 10, in the usual order.

* Due to Hurricane Sandy, we missed several weeks of tracking and we also took two weeks off tracking during the holiday season at the end of Dec.

See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending Jan. 12:

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.

Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 1/12/13
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price** Change
1 (1) Safe Haven Nicholas Sparks Hachette  $    3.99
2 (2) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Random House  $   12.99
3 (n/a) Someone to Love Addison Moore Self-published  $    0.99 New
4 (7) The Forgotten David Baldacci Hachette  $    9.20 +3
5 (8) Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +3
6 (9) Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +3
7 (10) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +3
8 (5) Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 2) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99 -3
9 (3) The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 1) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.00 -6
10 (11) Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 3) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99 +1
11 (6) The Racketeer John Grisham Random House  $   12.99 -5
12 (12) Merry Christmas, Alex Cross James Patterson Hachette  $    9.20
13 (4) The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  $    6.36 -9
14 (13) Private London James Patterson; Mark Pearson Hachette  $    8.28 -1
15 (18) The Black Box (A Harry Bosch Novel) Michael Connelly Hachette  $    8.28 +3
16 (24) Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1) Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl Hachette  $    3.99 +8
17 (16) Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich Random House  $   12.99 -1
18 (n/a) Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes Ian K. Smith Macmillan  $   11.99 New
19 (n/a) Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston Macmillan  $    2.99 New
20 (19) Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 -1
21 (21) Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99
22 (n/a) Forever My Girl Heidi McLaughlin Bandit Publishing  $    3.99 New
23 (23) Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, No. 1) Lee Child Penguin  $    9.99
24 (22) Threat Vector (Jack Ryan Novels) Tom Clancy; Mark Greaney Penguin  $   12.99 -2
25 (17) The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 7) Jeff Kinney Abrams  $    3.99 -8

* 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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