Newly Discounted Titles Drive Avg. Price of Ebook Best-Seller Below $8.00, All-Time Low

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There was little change at the top of the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller list, with the top five titles staying static and the top 11 nearly unchanged. One has to travel all the way to No. 15 to find a new title to the list, Alan Russell’s Burning Man (Amazon).

What has changed again this week is a new all-time low for the average price of an ebook best-seller. The average price for a best-selling ebook is now $7.66, down from $8.09 a week ago and $11.79 in late Oct., the last time that the price of an ebook best-seller increased.

Price experimentation from new titles that have jumped onto the list helps explain part of the decrease. Breaking Night by Liz Murray (Hyperion) is currently (as of this writing) priced at $9.50 at major ebook retailers, but a price decrease this week to $1.99 helped bump it onto the list. And Brad Meltzer’s The Fifth Assassin (Hachette) has been discounted slightly to $12.74 from $12.99. The titles are each good examples of the kind of discounting that works — and the kind that does not.

In the case of the Murray book, a 2010 title, a steep discount coupled with some promotion (likely, though we can’t confirm it from our tracking of on-site promotions) rejuvenated sales of a title that’s nearly three years old. Following its price decrease some sales were sustained at the higher price point; the title has been on the Kindle top-100 best-seller list for three days of full-price selling following the price drop.

The Meltzer book came out this week and was priced at $12.99. Retailers are now selling it $12.74 — though readers generally don’t respond to these small variations in price when making ebook-buying decisions. (To learn more about how discounting impacts sales, watch our exclusive session on the phenomenon from Digital Book World 2013.)

See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending Jan. 19:

– 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 1/19/12
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (1) Safe Haven Nicholas Sparks Hachette  $    6.64
2 (2) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Random House  $   12.99
3 (3) Someone to Love Addison Moore Self-published  $    0.99
4 (4) The Forgotten David Baldacci Hachette  $    9.20
5 (5) Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99
6 (7) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 +1
7 (6) Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House  $    9.99 -1
8 (8) Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 2) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99
9 (10) Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 3) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.99 +1
10 (9) The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book 1) Suzanne Collins Scholastic  $    5.00 -1
11 (11) The Racketeer John Grisham Random House  $   12.99
12 (16) Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1) Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl Hachette  $    3.99 +4
13 (15) The Black Box (A Harry Bosch Novel) Michael Connelly Hachette  $    7.50 +2
14 (14) Private London James Patterson; Mark Pearson Hachette  $    8.28
15 (n/a) Burning Man Alan Russell Amazon  $    4.99 New
16 (12) Merry Christmas, Alex Cross James Patterson Hachette  $    9.20 -4
17 (19) Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston Macmillan  $    2.99 +2
18 (13) The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  $    6.36 -5
19 (n/a) The Fifth Assassin Brad Meltzer Hachette  $   12.74 New
20 (n/a) Breaking Night Liz Murray Hyperion  $    1.99 New
21 (20) Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 -1
22 (21) Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel Sylvia Day Penguin  $    9.99 -1
23 (n/a) Life of Pi Yann Martel Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  $    8.63 New
24 (17) Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich Random House  $   12.99 -7
25 (n/a) The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel James Rollins HarperCollins  $    1.99 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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