John Green, Penguin Random House Solidify Hold on Best-Seller List; ‘The Silkworm’ Absent

top secret 21John Green is racking up weeks on the best-seller list, getting double credit in the latest edition for his No. 1 best-seller The Fault in Our Stars and his No. 20 best-seller Looking for Alaska. Both are back-list titles enjoying a resurgence.

With The Fault in Our Stars, it’s obvious why the ebook has been No. 1 for weeks. It’s less obvious why Green’s 2006 novel Looking for Alaska is seeing a resurgence. USA Today theorizes it’s a halo effect from The Fault in Our Stars movie.

Meanwhile, Penguin Random House, Green’s publisher, has 13 of the top-25 spots on this week’s ebook best-seller list. Last week the publisher had 14. PRH also had nearly half the spots on Amazon’s “Best Books of the Year (So Far)” list, which came out earlier this week.


Notable Absence: The Silkworm

The Silkworm, J.K. Rowling’s latest book under pen name Robert Galbraith, came out last week. It doesn’t appear on the list below because it was not in the top-25 best-sellers across all ebook retailers. It clocked in at No. 30 on our list.

However, if we filter out Amazon Kindle and just look at ebook best-sellers across the other platforms, representing nearly a third of all ebook sales, then The Silkworm would have ranked at No. 6.

The Silkworm wasn’t available for purchase as an ebook at Amazon until the middle of the morning on the day of its release, Thursday the 19th of June. Not enabling pre-orders certainly affected the title’s ebook sales.

There’s no way to know what might have occurred had Amazon and Hachette not been in a trade dispute and the retailer did more to push the ebook, but the disparity between sales for a No. 30 best-seller and a No. 6 best-seller should give us some indication that Amazon can powerfully effect the trajectory of best-selling ebooks.

Related: Amazon’s Nuclear Option


Best-Seller Prices 

The average price of a best-selling ebook decreased slightly this week to $7.37 from last week’s average of $7.51.


Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 6/21/14
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (1) The Fault in Our Stars John Green Penguin Random House  $    4.99
2 (20) Top Secret Twenty-one: A Stephanie Plum Novel Janet Evanovich Penguin Random House  $   11.84 +18
3 (4) The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Donna Tartt Hachette  $    7.99 +1
4 (3) Mr. Mercedes: A Novel Stephen King Simon & Schuster  $   11.99 -1
5 (5) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $    5.99
6 (2) Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: A Novel (Outlander) Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $   11.99 -4
7 (10) Divergent (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    4.99 +3
8 (11) Insurgent (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 +3
9 (n/a) All Fall Down: A Novel Jennifer Weiner Simon & Schuster  $   11.04 New
10 (13) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $    8.52 +3
11 (9) Allegiant (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -2
12 (24) Second Watch: A J. P. Beaumont Novel J. A. Jance HarperCollins  $    1.99 +12
13 (6) If I Stay Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    5.43 -7
14 (15) Orphan Train: A Novel Christina Baker Kline HarperCollins  $    6.99 +1
15 (7) Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club) James Patterson; Maxine Paetro Hachette  $    8.99 -8
16 (n/a) The Arrangement 15 (The Ferro Family) H.M.  Ward Self-published  $    2.99 New
17 (19) Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison Piper Kerman Penguin Random House  $    5.99 +2
18 (n/a) George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set (Song of Ice and Fire Series): A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons George R.R. Martin Penguin Random House  $   19.99 New
19 (25) A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One George R.R. Martin Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +6
20 (n/a) Looking for Alaska John Green Penguin Random House  $    4.99 New
21 (16) The Target (Will Robie) David Baldacci Hachette  $    8.99 -5
22 (18) Field of Prey John Sandford Penguin Random House  $    8.99 -4
23 (21) The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, Book One) (The Maze Runner Series) James Dashner Penguin Random House  $    5.69 -2
24 (n/a) Wallbanger (The Cocktail Series) Alice Clayton Simon & Schuster  $    2.99 New
25 (n/a) Me Katharine Hepburn Penguin Random House  $    1.99 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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