Apart, Penguin and Random House were the Nos. 2 and 3 most prolific publishers in the first quarter when it came to publishing ebook best-sellers. Random House had 87 titles on the list and Penguin had 42 — only Hachette had more with 88.
That’s a result unlikely to be repeated in subsequent quarters.
In the first ebook best-sellers list of the third quarter, Penguin Random House, as the newly merged company is known, has jumped out to a big lead with nine titles on the list, including the Nos. 1 and 3 books and four in the top ten. The next two most successful publishers are HarperCollins with five titles on the list and Hachette with four.
What may be even more astounding is that if you look at the $10 and up and the $8.00 to $9.99 lists, Penguin Random House takes 19 of the 20 spots (HarperCollins has the No. 6 title on the $8.00 to $9.99 list). So, not only is the new big publisher in control of the overall best-sellers list, but when it comes to the books with higher prices, it’s all PRH.
There’s a very good explanation for this. PRH is the lone agency publisher left standing. Although some prices for its books are now a little on the funky side (Entwined with You by Sylvia Day for $8.89, for instance), as of this writing, the old agency agreements still seem to be in place. Amazon still has its infamous disclaimer up on its site: “This price was set by the publisher.”
King of Best-Selling Erotica
Penguin Random House is the indisputable king of the kinds of books that make cash registers sing in 2012 and 2013: best-selling erotica. The company now controls both the Fifty Shades and Crossfire franchises. Together, we estimate that at this point they’ve sold close to if not more than 100 million copies.
Ebook Best-Seller Pricing
The average price of an ebook best-seller this week is $7.04, down from $7.29 a week ago. This is the second-straight week of declines following three surprising and breathtaking rises to a 2013 high of $9.48. Undoubtedly, when Penguin Random House signs new ebook retail contracts, the price average is set to stay low or go even lower.
Ebook best-sellers from the week ending 7/7:
|1 (1)||Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon)||Dan Brown||Penguin Random House||$ 12.99||—|
|2 (3)||Second Honeymoon||James Patterson; Howard Roughan||Hachette||$ 7.49||+1|
|3 (4)||And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel||Khaled Hosseini||Penguin Random House||$ 10.99||+1|
|4 (n/a)||This Man Confessed (This Man Trilogy)||Jodi Ellen Malpas||Hachette||$ 5.51||New|
|5 (n/a)||The One I Left Behind||Jennifer McMahon||HarperCollins||$ 1.99||New|
|6 (5)||Entwined with You (Crossfire Trilogy Series #3)||Sylvia Day||Penguin Random House||$ 8.89||-1|
|7 (7)||Divergent||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 4.99||—|
|8 (11)||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Penguin Random House||$ 12.99||+3|
|9 (2)||Damaged 2||H.M. Ward||Self-published||$ 3.99||-7|
|10 (18)||Damaged||H.M. Ward||Self-published||$ 0.99||+8|
|11 (8)||Bad Monkey||Carl Hiaasen||Penguin Random House||$ 12.99||-3|
|12 (10)||The Hit (Will Robie)||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 7.49||-2|
|13 (9)||The Heist: A Novel||Janet Evanovich; Lee Goldberg||Penguin Random House||$ 12.99||-4|
|14 (6)||World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War||Max Brooks||Penguin Random House||$ 9.99||-8|
|15 (n/a)||Out Of Breath (The Breathing Series, #3)||Rebecca Donovan||Self-published||$ 3.99||New|
|16 (n/a)||Unbreak Me||Lexi Ryan||Self-published||$ 0.99||New|
|17 (n/a)||The Newcomer (Thunder Point)||Robyn Carr||Harlequin||$ 3.99||New|
|18 (15)||Insurgent (Divergent)||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 6.49||-3|
|19 (17)||The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel||Neil Gaiman||HarperCollins||$ 7.99||-2|
|20 (16)||12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club)||James Patterson; Maxine Paetro||Hachette||$ 7.49||-4|
|21 (n/a)||The Last Original Wife: A Novel||Dorothea Benton Frank||HarperCollins||$ 7.99||New|
|22 (19)||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||-3|
|23 (12)||Whiskey Beach||Nora Roberts||Penguin Random House||$ 9.99||-9|
|24 (n/a)||Ender’s Game: Ender’s Game Quartet (Book 1)||Orson Scott Card||Macmillan||$ 1.99||New|
|25 (n/a)||The Fault in Our Stars||John Green||Penguin Random House||$ 9.78||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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