Self-Published Titles Dominate Top of Ebook Best-Sellers List

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the hitLast week self-published authors stunned the publishing world by taking the Nos. 1 and 2 spots on the DBW Ebook Best-Seller list.

This week, David Baldacci’s The Hit (Hachette) is No. 1, ending the reign of Holly Ward’s Damaged; however, this week, Ward brought friends. Five of the top ten best-selling ebook titles this week were self-published, three of them at $0.99 and one of them by a bankable big-six author gone hybrid.

Several years ago, Barbara Freethy made headlines when she started self-publishing her out-of-print titles as ebooks. Freethy, who has published with Penguin and Simon & Schuster among others, sold between one and two million ebooks as of last year and is now back on the ebook best-seller list with her 2005 title Don’t Say a Word.

Authors like Freethy have been joined by authors like Ward to make a new class of power-players in publishing: hybrid authors. They publish with traditional publishers when they want to, self-publish when they choose and run their careers like businesses. It might be merely interesting to publishers, retailers and everyone in between if these authors weren’t starting to dominate best-seller lists; it’s more than interesting now — it’s material.

One issue that publishers have to contend with here is price. Four of the six self-published ebooks on the best-seller list this week are $0.99. The other two are $3.99. As a result, the average price of an ebook best-seller has again dropped to an all-time low (a familiar refrain this year): $6.58. That’s down from last week, $6.93, the previous all-time low.

As an exercise, removing the six self-published ebooks on the list and recalculating the average results in an $8.03 average price for a best-selling ebook.

See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending April 28:

– 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 4/28/13
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price** Change
1 (13) The Hit David Baldacci Hachette $9.19 +12
2 (1) Damaged H.M. Ward Self-published $0.99 -1
3 (2) The Bet Rachel Van Dyken Self-published $0.99 -1
4 (3) Whiskey Beach Nora Roberts Penguin $12.99 -1
5 (n/a) Twisted Perfection Abbi Glines Self-published $3.99 New
6 (n/a) Real Katy Evans Self-published $3.99 New
7 (22) The Great Gatsby F.Scott Fitzgerald Simon & Schuster $7.99 +15
8 (6) Alex Cross, Run James Patterson Hachette $7.49 -2
9 (4) Six Years Harlan Coben Penguin $12.99 -5
10 (n/a) Don’t Say a Word Barbara Freethy Self-published $0.99 New
11 (7) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Random House $12.99 -4
12 (11) Breath of Scandal Sandra Brown Hachette $2.49 -1
13 (n/a) Bones Are Forever: A Novel (Temperance Brennan) Kathy Reichs Simon & Schuster $2.99 New
14 (10) The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel Matthew Quick Macmillan $4.99 -4
15 (5) The Wanderer (Thunder Point) Robyn Carr Harlequin $1.99 -10
16 (n/a) 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club) James Patterson; Maxine Paetro Hachette $11.99 New
17 (12) Fever (The Breathless Trilogy) Maya Banks Penguin $9.99 -5
18 (9) The Misremembered Man Christina McKenna Amazon $2.00 -9
19 (24) Taking Eve (Eve Duncan) Iris Johansen Macmillan $7.99 +5
20 (n/a) Fly Away Kristin Hannah Macmillan $12.59 New
21 (19) Unintended Consequences (Stone Barrington) Stuart Woods Penguin $12.99 -2
22 (14) The Forgotten David Baldacci Hachette $4.99 -8
23 (n/a) Promise Me Darkness Paige Weaver Self-published $0.99 New
24 (n/a) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E. L. James Random House $9.99 New
25 (n/a) Midnight Sacrifice Melinda Leigh Amazon  $3.99 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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