Average Price Stays Low as Ebooks in Series Crowd Best-Seller List

Gone-Final-199x300Last week saw a precipitous drop in the average price of a best-selling ebook, from $7.21 to $5.68. Holiday discounting seemed a likely contributor, since the change coincided with the week leading up to Black Friday.

This week’s best-seller list appears to confirm those suspicions, with the average price slipping by a few cents more, to $5.61

Series are one answer to the mounting discoverability challenges of the digital market, and they’re hardly newcomers to the best-seller list, but the model’s impact is sometimes worth remarking. Eleven of this week’s top 25 ebooks (or about 44% of the list) belong in a series, including the only self-published title, Gone: Part 1 by Deborah Bladon, whose Ruin series had a strong showing recently.

Hachette, which struck a deal with Amazon last month, ending the two companies’ bitter standoff, finds its titles faring no better or worse on balance. The publisher’s new distribution agreement gives it back the ability to determine its own ebook prices but includes incentives on Amazon’s part to keep prices low.

The same three Hachette titles in last week’s top ten remain there, with the same additional pair of titles, Mean Streak by Sandra Brown and The Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lee Child, again scoring spots lower down the list.

Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 12/6/14
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (2) Gray Mountain: A Novel John Grisham PenguinRandom House  $    3.25 +1
2 (5) The Burning Room (Harry Bosch Series Book 19) Michael Connelly Hachette  $    3.99 +3
3 (4) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand PenguinRandom House  $    2.99 +1
4 (6) The Escape (John Puller Series Book 3) David Baldacci Hachette  $   10.99 +2
5 (1) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn PenguinRandom House  $    2.99 -4
6 (3) Hope to Die (Alex Cross Series Book 22) James Patterson Hachette  $    9.99 -3
7 (n/a) Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail Cheryl Strayed PenguinRandom House  $    3.99 New
8 (9) All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Anthony Doerr Simon & Schuster  $    6.99 +1
9 (8) Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty PenguinRandom House  $    3.99 -1
10 (7) Captivated by You (Crossfire Series Book 4) Sylvia Day PenguinRandom House  $    7.99 -3
11 (10) Dark Places: A Novel Gillian Flynn PenguinRandom House  $    2.99 -1
12 (14) Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard Macmillan  $    3.25 +2
13 (25) Mean Streak Sandra Brown Hachette  $    3.25 +12
14 (n/a) Gone: Part 1 Deborah Bladon Self-published  $    0.99 New
15 (13) Blood Magick (The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Book 3) Nora Roberts PenguinRandom House  $    2.50 -2
16 (11) The Last Anniversary Liane Moriarty HarperCollins  $    1.99 -5
17 (12) Revival: A Novel Stephen King Simon & Schuster  $   12.74 -5
18 (n/a) Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect (Jack Ryan Series Book 10) Mark Greaney PenguinRandom House  $   11.99 New
19 (15) Leaving Time: A Novel Jodi Picoult PenguinRandom House  $   10.99 -4
20 (17) Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel Lee Child PenguinRandom House  $    3.25 -3
21 (n/a) In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin Erik Larson PenguinRandom House  $    1.99 New
22 (20) The Fault in Our Stars John Green PenguinRandom House  $    2.99 -2
23 (19) Blue Labyrinth (Pendergast Series Book 14) Douglas Preston; Lincoln Child Hachette  $    9.99 -4
24 (18) Flesh and Blood (Scarpetta Series Book 22) Patricia Cornwell HarperCollins  $   10.99 -6
25 (n/a) Deadline (Virgil Flowers Series Book 8) John Sandford PenguinRandom House  $    3.25 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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