For the second time this year, a self-published title has risen to the top of the ebook best-seller list, beating books from established publishers.
The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken was the best-selling ebook in the U.S. last week. At $0.99 a copy, it’s unlikely that it generated more revenue for Van Dyken than Six Years by Harlan Coben (the No. 2 book this week) generated for Penguin.
Let’s do some napkin math. Let’s say that Six Years sold 10,000 ebook copies last week, generating $129,900 in revenue. Because Penguin still seems to be operating under its old agency contracts, it should receive about 70% of that revenue, or $90,930. For ebooks sold under $2.99, most retailers pay 30% or so of sale price to the publisher. So, how many copies of The Bet would Van Dyken have had to sell to equal the same amount of revenue as Six Years? Some 306,162.
This is not to downplay in any way Van Dyken’s accomplishment. It’s meant to uncover the economics of competition between ebooks sold for more than $10 and those sold for under $2.99.
This competition may not be too relevant for much longer. There are fewer $10 and $8.00 to $9.99 ebooks becoming best-sellers than any time in the past year. The average price of a best-selling ebook ticked up this week to $7.43 from an all-time low last week of $7.21; in the past year, since we’ve started tracking the average price of an ebook best-seller, it’s been a march to under $8.00.
The economics of competition between ebooks are changing: when it comes to price that consumers pay and rewards that publishers reap.
See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending April 14:
– 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 – $2.99
Read and comment on our methodology.
|1 (17)||The Bet||Rachel Van Dyken||Self-published||$ 0.99||+16|
|2 (4)||Six Years||Harlan Coben||Penguin||$ 12.99||+2|
|3 (3)||Fever (The Breathless Trilogy)||Maya Banks||Penguin||$ 9.99||—|
|4 (n/a)||The Misremembered Man||Christina McKenna||Amazon||$ 2.00||New|
|5 (5)||Alex Cross, Run||James Patterson||Hachette||$ 7.49||—|
|6 (7)||Gone Girl: A Novel||Gillian Flynn||Random House||$ 12.99||+1|
|7 (12)||The Wanderer (Thunder Point)||Robyn Carr||Harlequin||$ 1.99||+5|
|8 (n/a)||The Hit||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 12.74||New|
|9 (14)||The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel||Matthew Quick||Macmillan||$ 4.99||+5|
|10 (n/a)||Damaged||H.M. Ward||Laree Bailey Press||$ 0.99||New|
|11 (20)||Life After Life: A Novel||Kate Atkinson||Hachette||$ 7.49||+9|
|12 (6)||Three Sisters (Blackberry Island)||Susan Mallery||Harlequin||$ 5.49||-6|
|13 (16)||The Forgotten||David Baldacci||Hachette||$ 4.99||+3|
|14 (1)||The Host: A Novel||Stephenie Meyer||Hachette||$ 3.99||-13|
|15 (11)||The Burgess Boys: A Novel||Elizabeth Strout||Random House||$ 12.99||-4|
|16 (n/a)||Don’t Go||Lisa Scottoline||Macmillan||$ 12.59||New|
|17 (18)||Rush (The Breathless Trilogy)||Maya Banks||Penguin||$ 7.99||+1|
|18 (13)||Safe Haven||Nicholas Sparks||Hachette||$ 3.49||-5|
|19 (n/a)||Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel||Debbie Macomber||Random House||$ 12.99||New|
|20 (n/a)||Rules of Entanglement (Fighting for Love)||Gina L. Maxwell||Entangled Publishing||$ 3.79||New|
|21 (n/a)||Unintended Consequences (Stone Barrington)||Stuart Woods||Penguin||$ 12.99||New|
|22 (10)||The Storyteller||Jodi Picoult||Simon & Schuster||$ 7.49||-12|
|23 (n/a)||The Spellman Files: Document #1||Lisa Lutz||Simon & Schuster||$ 9.69||New|
|24 (22)||Breath of Scandal||Sandra Brown||Hachette||$ 4.74||-2|
|25 (23)||Defending Jacob: A Novel||William Landay||Random House||$ 7.99||-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 e-book pricing.
Methodology available here.
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