Despite it being the No. 1 best-seller last week, retailers decided to push the envelope with Penguin Random House’s The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, discounting it to $6.50 from $9.99.
The move is part of a pattern emerging this week at retailers of discounting front-list, top-selling ebooks from the largest publishers. Hachette’s The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling is now $6.50, too, down from $9.99; and HarperCollins’s The English Girl by Daniel Silva is now $9.00, down from $11.99, just to name a few.
The increased discounting follows a week when the average price of a best-selling ebook hit an all-time low: $6.33. This week, the price stayed at $6.33 (for those of you out there keeping close track, it actually rose by $0.002).
The low prices may be part of a war being waged between retailers to court ebook customers in the U.S. as a new fleet of devices from Amazon, Kobo and others are set to hit store shelves in time for this year’s holiday shopping. The discounts have created an interesting dichotomy on the best-seller list: expensive ebooks and cheap ebooks.
There are a handful of ebooks on the best-seller list price above $10, and a glut priced below $8, but very few in the middle. Essentially, $9.99, which was for a moment the de facto price for top-selling ebooks, has all but disappeared.
In addition to there being a hole in the middle of the best-seller list when it comes to ebook pricing, lower-priced titles from big publishers are squeezing self-published works off the list — both the top-25 list as well as the $3.00 to $7.99 list and the $0.00 to $2.99 list.
Ebook best-sellers from the week ending 9/1:
|1 (1)||The Husband’s Secret||Liane Moriarty||Penguin Random House||$ 6.50||—|
|2 (2)||City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments Book 01||Cassandra Clare||Simon & Schuster||$ 4.99||—|
|3 (5)||The Cuckoo’s Calling||Robert Galbraith; J. K. Rowling||Hachette||$ 6.50||+2|
|4 (3)||High Heat: A Jack Reacher Short Story||Lee Child||Penguin Random House||$ 1.99||-1|
|5 (n/a)||Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women’s Quarters||Pearl S. Buck||Open Road Media||$ 1.99||New|
|6 (6)||Mistress||James Patterson; David Ellis||Hachette||$ 11.99||—|
|7 (12)||Divergent||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 3.99||+5|
|8 (22)||Ruin||Rachel Van Dyken||Self-published||$ 0.99||+14|
|9 (15)||City of Ashes: The Mortal Instruments Book 02||Cassandra Clare||Simon & Schuster||$ 4.99||+6|
|10 (8)||Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon)||Dan Brown||Penguin Random House||$ 12.99||-2|
|11 (9)||The Fault in Our Stars||John Green||Penguin Random House||$ 3.99||-2|
|12 (n/a)||War Brides||Helen Bryan||Amazon||$ 4.99||New|
|13 (7)||The Boy in the Suitcase||Lene Kaaberbol; Agnete Friis||Soho Press||$ 1.99||-6|
|14 (n/a)||King and Maxwell (King & Maxwell)||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 11.99||New|
|15 (21)||Wicked Firsts||Elisabeth Naughton; Alexandra Ivy; Cynthia Eden; Laura Wright; Katie Reus; Joan Swan||Self-published/The Indie Six||$ 0.99||+6|
|16 (11)||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Penguin Random House||$ 12.99||-5|
|17 (n/a)||The Hero (Thunder Point)||Robyn Carr||Harlequin||$ 4.55||New|
|18 (16)||Insurgent (Divergent)||Veronica Roth||HarperCollins||$ 6.99||-2|
|19 (13)||The Silent Wife: A Novel||A. S. A. Harrison||Penguin Random House||$ 7.99||-6|
|20 (n/a)||Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel||Lee Child||Penguin Random House||$ 13.99||New|
|21 (14)||And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel||Khaled Hosseini||Penguin Random House||$ 10.99||-7|
|22 (24)||City of Glass: The Mortal Instruments Book 03||Cassandra Clare||Simon & Schuster||$ 4.99||+2|
|23 (18)||Ender’s Game: 1 (The Ender Quintet)||Orson Scott Card||Macmillan||$ 3.98||-5|
|24 (19)||Afterburn (Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin)||Sylvia Day||Harlequin||$ 1.99||-5|
|25 (23)||The English Girl: A Novel (Gabriel Allon)||Daniel Silva||HarperCollins||$ 9.00||-2|
* 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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