Hachette Takes Top Four Ebook Best-Seller List Spots as Ebook Prices Inch up

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Alex-Cross-RunHachette had a very good week selling ebooks.

The top four spots in our ebook best-seller list this week are all titles from Hachette and they each represent success in the new art of ebook pricing strategy and promotion.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks was the No. 1 best-selling ebook every week in 2013 until this week. It had flirted with the bottom of the list near the end of 2012 — ranked No. 25 on Dec. 1 and No. 23 on Dec. 17. What changed? Price. The ebook was $7.99 on Dec. 1 and was dropped to $3.99 around the new year. It started the year off at No. 1 and didn’t relinquish its grip until this week even though the price was raised back to $6.64 on Jan. 8. It now sells for $5.79.

The Nos. 1 and 4 books are both part of the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Last week, four books in the series took the list by storm, rocketing up the ranks due at least in part to a price drop to $2.99. Even as the prices increased this week to anywhere from $5.79 to $8.89. In fact, even as the prices went up, the ebooks continued to move up the list:

Beautiful Creatures moved to No. 1 from No. 2
Beautiful Darkness moved to No. 4 from No. 8
Beautiful Chaos moved to No. 7 from No. 17
Beautiful Redemption moved to No. 10 from No. 11

An Hachette spokesperson told Digital Book World in regards to the Beautiful Creatures price shifts that the price promotions in this case were being driven by retailers.

And, last, powerhouse author James Patterson’s new book came on Feb. 18, Alex Cross, Run. It also benefited from a one-day “new and noteworthy” Amazon homepage promotion. The title shot up to No. 3 on the list from No. 21. The price of the ebook was dropped four days prior to $11.99 from $12.74 in late Jan. It was $14.99 in early Jan.

Meanwhile, due in part to the Beautiful Creatures price increases, the average price of an ebook best-seller increased this week to $8.04, up from an all-time low last week of $7.56. Retailers still haven’t seemed to start discounting Macmillan titles per the publishers’ settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a lawsuit alleging collusion and price-fixing in the ebook market.

One last note: The first non-Hachette book on the ebook best-seller list is Wait for Me, a self-published hit by Elisabeth Naughton.

See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending Feb. 24:

– 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 2/24/13
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (2) Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1) Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl Hachette  $    5.79 +1
2 (1) Safe Haven Nicholas Sparks Hachette  $    5.98 -1
3 (21) Alex Cross, Run James Patterson Hachette  $   11.99 +18
4 (8) Beautiful Darkness (Beautiful Creatures) Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl Hachette  $    6.99 +4
5 (3) Wait For Me Elisabeth Naughton Self-published  $    0.99 -2
6 (4) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Random House  $   12.99 -2
7 (17) Beautiful Chaos (Beautiful Creatures) Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl Hachette  $    7.59 +10
8 (5) Rush (The Breathless Trilogy) Maya Banks Penguin  $    7.99 -3
9 (6) Touch and Go Lisa Gardner Penguin  $   12.99 -3
10 (11) Beautiful Redemption (Beautiful Creatures) Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl Hachette  $    8.89 +1
11 (13) The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel Matthew Quick Macmillan  $    9.99 +2
12 (25) A Week in Winter Maeve Binchy Random House  $   12.99 +13
13 (12) Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel Jonathan Kellerman Random House  $   12.99 -1
14 (n/a) The Cider House Rules John Irving HarperCollins  $    1.99 New
15 (18) Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +3
16 (15) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 -1
17 (16) Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 -1
18 (19) The Forgotten David Baldacci Hachette  $    9.99 +1
19 (10) Private Berlin James Patterson; Mark Sullivan Hachette  $   10.99 -9
20 (20) Heartsong: A Novel Debbie Macomber Random House  $    2.99
21 (9) Beauty From Pain Georgia Cates Self-published  $    3.99 -12
22 (n/a) The Shoemaker’s Wife: A Novel Adriana Trigiani HarperCollins  $    2.99  New
23 (7) Lost to You A.L. Jackson Sapphire Star Publishing  $    0.99 -16
24 (n/a) Until the End of Time: A Novel Danielle Steel Random House  $   12.99 New
25 (n/a) Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 3) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99 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 e-book pricing.
Methodology available here.

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