Ebook Best-Seller Prices Fall as Retailers Rev Discount Engine

silent rainThe average price of a best-selling ebook fell dramatically this week to $6.39 after hovering around $8.00 for about a month.

The price fall was driven primarily by retailer discounting. Many titles that were selling for around $10.00 were discounted below $8.00 this week.

John Grisham’s Sycamore Row (Penguin Random House) was No. 1 on the list this week at $6.59; it held the top spot last week, too, at $11.99. Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (Simon & Schuster) is No. 16 this week at $7.64; last week it ranked at No. 11, selling for $10.99.

Retailers also discounted ebooks that were priced below $8.00 to even lower levels. Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (Macmillan) is No. 4 this week at $2.90; it was ranked at No. 3 last week for $3.98.

The sales could have something to do with the holidays or the price wars between retailers that we have come to know.

In related news, Amazon Publishing titles and some self-published titles made it onto the list this week, including J.R. Rain’s Silent Echo from Amazon, which is currently sitting at No. 2 on the list. The big-five publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster) have come to dominate the list of late with big fall releases and price promotions on popular back-list titles.

Ebook best-sellers from the week ending 11/10:

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 11/10/13
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price** Change
1 (1) Sycamore Row John Grisham Penguin Random House  $    6.59
2 (17) Silent Echo J. R. Rain Amazon  $    4.99 +15
3 (8) The Book Thief Markus Zusak Penguin Random House  $    2.90 +5
4 (3) Ender’s Game: 1 (The Ender Quintet) Orson Scott Card Macmillan  $    2.90 -1
5 (2) Allegiant Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -3
6 (4) Dark Witch: Book One of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Nora Roberts Penguin Random House  $    4.79 -2
7 (5) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $    5.99 -2
8 (6) Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    3.99 -2
9 (n/a) Things We Set on Fire Deborah Reed Amazon  $    4.99 New
10 (7) Killing Jesus: A History Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard Macmillan  $   10.91 -3
11 (n/a) Mine (The REAL series) Katy Evans Simon & Schuster  $    6.87 New
12 (n/a) Wilderness (Short Story) (Kindle Single) Dean Koontz Penguin Random House  $    0.99 New
13 (9) Insurgent (Divergent) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -4
14 (15) The Goldfinch Donna Tartt Hachette  $    7.64 +1
15 (13) The Longest Ride Nicholas Sparks Hachette  $    6.62 -2
16 (11) Doctor Sleep: A Novel Stephen King Simon & Schuster  $    7.64 -5
17 (n/a) Double Down: Game Change 2012 Mark Halperin; John Heilemann Penguin Random House  $   11.93 New
18 (12) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $    4.99 -6
19 (14) Gone (Michael Bennett) James Patterson; Michael Ledwidge Hachette  $    7.64 -5
20 (16) Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel Lee Child Penguin Random House  $    9.74 -4
21 (n/a) The Edge of Always J.A Redmerski Hachette  $    3.63 New
22 (24) Catching Fire: (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 2) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    7.40 +2
23 (n/a) Beautiful Player Christina Lauren Simon & Schuster  $    4.74 New
24 (n/a) The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan HarperCollins  $   11.93 New
25 (20) The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus Series #4) Rick Riordan Hachette  $    5.99 -5

* 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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8 thoughts on “Ebook Best-Seller Prices Fall as Retailers Rev Discount Engine

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  2. Michael W. Perry

    Look at those prices. Only three of the twenty-five are over $9.99. According to the DOJ’s lawyers, Amazon was the good guy dictating that pricing for bestsellers, while the Big Six were supposed to be evil for thinking they could keep prices well above that. And yet competition has driven twenty-two of these books to prices well below that, with the average price being $6.39.

    Ebooks are perhaps the openest and freest market in human history. The barriers to entry are so low, someone could pick up an old PC sitting free on a curbside and create a book that sells a million self-published copies mere months later. In such a market, being big offers only limited advantages and no one can fix prices. Most readers, concluding that one novel is overpriced, will simply buy one from another author.

    –Michael W. Perry, Tolkien Warriors (just 99 cents)

  3. Pingback: Ebook Best-Seller Prices Fall as Retailers Rev Discount Engine – Digital Book World » red book

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  5. Laura

    Only Amazon & Barnes & Noble are selling Doctor Sleep for $7.64. All other ebook retailers were between $10.99 and $14.46. Amazon hasn’t posted a profit, ever. Barnes & Noble is struggling. I guess loss leading is one way to sell more but make no money.

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  7. Pingback: eBooks too expensive for the youth market claims market report | Publishing Technology


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