‘If I Stay’ Shoots to No. 1, Dethrones ‘Fault’ on Ebook Best-Seller List

if i stay book cover versus movie posterWhat makes an ebook successful?

In a lot of ways, it’s the same stuff that makes print books successful: great writing and storytelling; attractive packaging; and smart and timely marketing. Current events and events in other media can also have an impact, most notable movie tie-ins.

But for ebooks, unlike print books, a movie release doesn’t mean a publisher needs to print new copies, decide how many and where to distribute them. Back-list ebooks are simple: They’re there and maybe need a metadata update.

Hence, welcome If I Stay, the 2009 hit novel from Gayle Forman (Penguin Random House), to the No. 1 spot on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List.

Aside from aggressive promotion of the film adaptation, which hits theaters on August 22, If I Stay only benefited additionally from price promotions at Apple’s iBooks and Barnes & Noble’s Nook (Amazon already had it at $4.99).

The Kindle version of the ebook doesn’t even have a movie-related cover image featuring star Chloë Grace Moretz and it’s doing quite well.

Related: Ebooks — Marketing the Infinite Back-List



Meanwhile, the average price of a best-selling ebook swooned this week to $7.48 after spiking last week to $8.45 following the removal of Kindle Unlimited titles.


Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 8/2/14
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (10) If I Stay Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +9
2 (2) The Fault in Our Stars John Green Penguin Random House  $    4.99
3 (2) The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Donna Tartt Hachette  $    6.99 -1
4 (6) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $    8.52 +2
5 (n/a) Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $   10.99 New
6 (n/a) Not a Drill: A Jack Reacher Short Story (Kindle Single) Lee Child Penguin Random House  $    1.99 New
7 (8) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +1
8 (7) Act of War: A Thriller Brad Thor Simon & Schuster  $   12.74 -1
9 (20) Outlander: A Novel Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +11
10 (3) Invisible James Patterson; David Ellis Hachette  $    8.99 -7
11 (n/a) Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E L James Penguin Random House  $    7.99 New
12 (9) Chill Factor: A Novel Sandra Brown Simon & Schuster  $    1.99 -3
13 (11) Orphan Train: A Novel Christina Baker Kline HarperCollins  $    6.99 -2
14 (4) The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon Book 14) Daniel Silva HarperCollins  $   13.99 -10
15 (15) Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    4.99
16 (13) Insurgent (Divergent Book 2) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -3
17 (5) The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) Deborah Harkness Penguin Random House  $   11.99 -12
18 (14) Allegiant (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -4
19 (16) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $    9.99 -3
20 (12) Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich Penguin Random House  $   10.99 -8
21 (n/a) Where She Went (If I Stay Book 2) Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    4.99 New
22 (n/a) Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades Trilogy E L James Penguin Random House  $    4.99 New
23 (n/a) All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Anthony Doerr Simon & Schuster  $   10.99 New
24 (25) A Perfect Life: A Novel Danielle Steel Penguin Random House  $   11.84 +1
25 (n/a) Death by Food Pyramid Denise Minger Primal Nutrition Inc.  $    0.99 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 ebook pricing. Methodology available here.

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2 thoughts on “‘If I Stay’ Shoots to No. 1, Dethrones ‘Fault’ on Ebook Best-Seller List

  1. Michael W. Perry

    Not needing new print runs for a hot movie release isn’t the only advantage of digital over print. I’ve been told that Oprah originally intended her book recommendations to favor unknown authors from small publishers. That fell apart when she discovered that those publishers simply could not meet the demand her endorsement triggered.

    Digital doesn’t have that limitation. Independent authors and small publishers can take as much advantage of Amazon and Apple’s huge ebook server farms as a giant like Simon & Schuster. When it comes to supply, the playing field is level. The giants would do well to keep that in mind when a talented and well-known writer talks of leaving their fold and going independent.

    –Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride (dramatic with excellent film potential)

  2. Toni Kenyon

    I’m fascinated to see the third installment of 50 Shades making it back onto the bestseller list. Fans perhaps reacting to the movie announcement and deciding to finish reading the series. Of course, Outlander is doing phenomenally well even though the series has been around for over ten years. It’s interesting watching the effect movie/TV adaptations have on the sales of the original book.



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