Ebook Publisher Power Rankings: Hachette Still on Top Through Q2 2013

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

It’s a great feat for a publisher to have even one book make a best-seller list. Below is a list of the publishers who have made the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List in the second quarter of 2013 — and how many times they’ve each made the list. I’ve also compiled a list (further down) of the complete rankings from the first half of 2013.

Hachette is on top of both lists. In the first quarter, it was series like Beautiful Creatures that helped Hachette to No. 1. In the second quarter, it was a handful of titles and authors that took Hachette to the top, including David Baldacci’s The Hit (a mainstay on the list) and 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (another mainstay).

In all, Hachette had 65 appearances in the top-25 best-selling ebooks list over 13 weeks.

Penguin and Random House are not far behind with 60 titles and 59 titles, respectively. Of course, if we combined their performance over the second quarter (to match their merged status starting at the beginning of the third quarter), their total best-sellers would far and away eclipse every other publisher.

Just behind Random-Penguin is, once again, self-published titles. It was a surprise that self-published titles were No. 4 on this list last quarter. The repeat here is likely no fluke, especially considering there were more self-published best-sellers in the second quarter than in the first — double, in fact: 44 vs. 22.

In addition to ranking by appearances, I decided for this iteration of the list to note how many No. 1 ebook best-sellers each publisher had. The top-five publishers each had at least one with Random House nailing six. Penguin had one. Adding the two publishers together would give them over half of the No. 1 best-sellers last quarter.


— Ebook Publisher Power Rankings: Hachette No. 1 in 2013

— Ebook Publisher Power Rankings 2012: Random-Penguin on Top


Top 17 Ebook Publishers
Q2 2013
Rank Publisher Appearances No. 1 Best-sellers
1 Hachette 65 3
2 Penguin 60 1
3 Random House 59 6
4 Self-published 44 2
5 Simon & Schuster 23 1
6 Macmillan 20
7 Amazon 16
8 HarperCollins 15
9 Harlequin 7
10 Belle Bridge Books 1
11 Sourcebooks 1
12 Kensington Books 1
13 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1
14 Scholastic 1
15 Entangled Publishing 1
16 Open Road Media 1
17 The Indie Voice 1


While Hachette is still on top after the first half of the year, our next list will combine Random House and Penguin. Penguin Random House will likely lead both the third-quarter and the full-year rankings.

We can also observe here which publishers had a better second quarter versus their first quarter. For instance, Simon & Schuster made a big push to go from No. 10 on the list to No. 6. On the other hand, Scholastic dropped from No. 6 to No. 9.


Top 21 Ebook Publishers
First Half 2013
Rank Publisher Appearances Q1 Rank
1 Hachette 153 1
2 Random House 146 2
3 Penguin 102 3
4 Self-published 66 4
5 Macmillan 38 5
6 Simon & Schuster 30 10
7 HarperCollins 30 7
8 Amazon 27 8
9 Scholastic 18 6
10 Harlequin 13 11
11 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 8 9
12 Abrams 2 12
13 Belle Bridge Books 1 n/a
14 Sourcebooks 1 n/a
15 Kensington Books 1 n/a
16 Entangled Publishing 1 n/a
17 Open Road Media 1 n/a
18 The Indie Voice 1 n/a
19 Hyperion 1 13
20 ORLY Press 1 14
21 Workman 1 15


8 thoughts on “Ebook Publisher Power Rankings: Hachette Still on Top Through Q2 2013

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  2. Melanie

    I’m curious about the #4 slot: There were 44 self-published best-sellers, including two #1s. I’d like to see an article about that: What were those titles, and who is buying them? How are people sorting through the overabundance of ebooks that are available? Or is there no overabundance (yet)?

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