Ebook Best-Seller Prices Increase as Holiday Sales Abate

divergent movieFollowing a holiday season of deep ebook discounting, prices have bounced back. The average price of a best-selling ebook is now $6.33, up from $6.16 near the end of December and $5.27, the all-time low for the metric, a month ago.

Titles like The Goldfinch (by Donna Tartt, Hachette), which was selling for under $2.00 in early December, are now mostly being sold in the $4.00 to $7.00 range.

In fact, most ebooks we are tracking are being sold in that range. For that reason, we have suspended our ebook best-seller lists that divide books into four price categories ($10 and up, $8.00 to $9.99, $3.00 to $7.99 and $2.99 and below). Today, they aren’t as useful at categorizing books of different types as they were in the summer of 2012, when the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List was launched.

For instance, this week, there would only be one book on the $10 and up list and two on the $8.00 to $9.99 list, because so few top-selling books are priced that way anymore. And the top-10 list for booked in the $3.00 to $7.99 category would be identical to the top-10 ebooks in the top-25 list below.

In the coming weeks, we will settle on a more permanent way to continue to bring you the best ebook best-seller pricing analysis available.


HarperCollins and Penguin Random House Rule

Two publishers dominated ebook sales last week: HarperCollins and Penguin Random House.

HarperCollins took three of the top four spots on the list this week, all Divergent books by Veronica Roth. The first movie based on the series of young-adult books comes out in March 2014.

Penguin Random House took the Nos. 3 and 5 spots, along with ten others on the list, giving the large publisher an even dozen best-sellers to start the new year, nearly 50% of the list.


Best-Selling Ebooks of 2013

Top Ebook Publishers of 2013


Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 1/4/14
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (2) Divergent (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins        $3.99 +1
2 (5) Insurgent (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins        $6.99 +3
3 (1) Sycamore Row John Grisham Penguin Random House        $6.49 -2
4 (7) Allegiant (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins        $6.99 +3
5 (4) The Book Thief Markus Zusak Penguin Random House        $4.99 -1
6 (n/a) The Barkeep William Lashner Amazon        $4.99 New
7 (17) The Fault in Our Stars John Green Penguin Random House        $3.99 +10
8 (12) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House        $5.99 +4
9 (3) The Goldfinch Donna Tartt Hachette        $7.50 -6
10 (18) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House        $6.49 +8
11 (8) Takedown Twenty: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich Penguin Random House        $6.49 -3
12 (14) Command Authority (A Jack Ryan Novel) Tom Clancy; Mark Greaney Penguin Random House        $6.06 +2
13 (15) The Longest Ride Nicholas Sparks Hachette        $6.49 +2
14 (11) Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Book: #3) : Suzanne Collins Scholastic        $6.99 -3
15 (10) Cross My Heart (Alex Cross) James Patterson Hachette        $7.50 -5
16 (23) Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon) Dan Brown Penguin Random House        $6.49 -7
17 (20) Doctor Sleep: A Novel (The Shining) Stephen King Simon & Schuster        $7.99 +3
18 (6) The Gods of Guilt (Lincoln Lawyer) Michael Connelly Hachette      $11.39 -12
19 (n/a) Outlander: with Bonus Content Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House        $1.99 New
20 (13) King and Maxwell (King & Maxwell) David Baldacci Hachette        $8.99 -7
21 (19) Killing Jesus: A History Bill O’Reilly; Martin Dugard Macmillan        $6.49 -2
22 (n/a) The Line (Witching Savannah, Book One) J. D. Horn Self-published        $4.99 New
23 (n/a) And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel Khaled Hosseini Penguin Random House        $6.49 New
24 (22) Dark Witch: Book One of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Nora Roberts Penguin Random House        $4.99 -2
25 (n/a) Innocence: A Novel Dean Koontz Penguin Random House        $6.49 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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