What caused ebook prices to shift so wildly? The difference between last week and this week is $2.19, or 23%.
It was a combination of two factors:
— There are a handful of best-selling books that were not discounted last week that are being discounted this week. Some examples:
- The Hit by David Baldacci is $7.49 (was $8.99)
- Divergent by Veronica Roth is $4.99 (was $5.69)
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is $11.99 (was $12.99)
- 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is $7.49 (was $11.99)
— There are more self-published titles and inexpensive titles from smaller publishers on the list this week:
- Damaged 2, the follow-up to H.M. Ward’s Damaged rocketed to No. 2 at $3.99
- Damaged is back on the list at $0.99
- Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown hit the list at No. 14 at $1.99
We may never know why some of the above-mentioned books got the discount treatment last week and not the week before*. And the reason that some of these self-published titles rocketed up the list is a mystery as old as trade publishing.
Now that Penguin and Random House have closed their merger deal, it’s only a matter of time before the new publishing house signs new contracts with retailers and Penguin Random House books start getting discounted.
Penguin Random House
With the merger closed yesterday, we should point out a few things:
— Starting next week, books that had formerly been classified as Penguin or Random House will now all be classified as Penguin Random House.
— This week, had we counted both publishers as one, the new entity would control 40% of the top-25 best-sellers. The next most successful publisher, Hachette, has four.
* One of the four books, And the Mountains Echoed, is a book published by Penguin. At the time of this writing it was selling on Amazon for $11.06, a very un-agency-like price. Yet, Amazon still holds its standard agency disclaimer, “This price was set by the publisher.” We will follow up.
Ebook best-sellers from the week ending 6/30:
|1 (1)||Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon)||Dan Brown||Random House||$ 12.99||—|
|2 (n/a)||Damaged 2||H.M. Ward||Self-published||$ 3.99||New|
|3 (n/a)||Second Honeymoon||James Patterson; Howard Roughan||Hachette||$ 7.49||New|
|4 (3)||And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel||Khaled Hosseini||Penguin||$ 11.99||-1|
|5 (2)||Entwined with You (Crossfire Trilogy Series #3)||Sylvia Day||Penguin||$ 9.99||-3|
|6 (6)||World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War||Max Brooks||Random House||$ 9.99||—|
|7 (14)||Divergent||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 4.99||+7|
|8 (5)||Bad Monkey||Carl Hiaasen||Random House||$ 12.99||-3|
|9 (9)||The Heist: A Novel||Janet Evanovich; Lee Goldberg||Random House||$ 12.99||—|
|10 (7)||The Hit (Will Robie)||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 7.49||-3|
|11 (8)||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Random House||$ 12.99||-3|
|12 (12)||Whiskey Beach||Nora Roberts||Penguin||$ 9.99||—|
|13 (4)||Forever Too Far||Abbi Glines||Self-published||$ 3.99||-9|
|14 (n/a)||Dixie Divas||Virginia Brown||Belle Bridge Books||$ 1.99||New|
|15 (n/a)||Insurgent (Divergent)||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 6.49||New|
|16 (13)||12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club)||James Patterson; Maxine Paetro||Hachette||$ 7.49||-3|
|17 (23)||The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel||Neil Gaiman||HarperCollins||$ 7.99||+6|
|18 (n/a)||Damaged||H.M. Ward||Self-published||$ 0.99||New|
|19 (n/a)||The Billionaire’s Obsession: The Complete Collection Boxed Set (Mine For Tonight, Mine For Now, Mine Forever, Mine Completely)||J.S. Scott||Self-published||$ 0.99||New|
|20 (20)||The Light Between Oceans: A Novel||ML Stedman||Simon & Schuster||$ 4.99||—|
|21 (n/a)||Crazy Little Thing||Tracy Brogan||Amazon||$ 3.99||New|
|22 (11)||The Kill Room (Lincoln Rhyme)||Jeffery Deaver||Hachette||$ 7.49||-11|
|23 (n/a)||Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy||E. L. James||Random House||$ 9.99||New|
|24 (n/a)||Pros and Cons: A Short Story (Kindle Single)||Janet Evanovich; Lee Goldberg||Random House||$ 0.99||New|
|25 (n/a)||The Silver Star: A Novel||Jeannette Walls||Simon & Schuster||$ 6.99||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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