Media Tie-Ins Power Half the Week’s Best-Selling Ebooks

We’ve written before about the impact of popular TV and film productions on the Ebook Best-Seller List, and the power of media tie-ins to drive ebook sales is no secret inside the publishing industry.

This week that phenomenon is especially noticeable even amid significant fluctuation in the rankings. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl slides into the No. 1 spot with the release of a film adaptation scheduled to hit theaters on October 3rd.

Eight other titles within the top-25 (The Maze Runner, three titles in the Outlander series, If I StayThe Fault in Our Stars, This Is Where I Leave You and Dark Places) have current or upcoming film or TV series tie-ins. And three additional titles (PersonalWhere She Went and The Scorch Trials) belong in series that do. Altogether, that’s just under half of this week’s list.

There remains room for best-selling authors like Ken Follett, whose Edge of Eternity shot up ten places to snag the No. 2 position this week, to gain serious traction without the boost from a media-tie in. But even so, it’s hardly been clearer that that doesn’t hurt.

In the meantime, Penguin Random House expands its domination of the best-seller list from 17 titles to 18 this week.

The average price of a best-selling ebook dips to $7.26, down from $7.50 last week.

Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 9/20/14
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (2) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $   7.99 +1
2 (12) Edge of Eternity (Century Trilogy Book 1) Ken Follett Penguin Random House  $    11.99 +10
3 (1) Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel Lee Child Penguin Random House  $   10.99 -2
4 (8) The Maze Runner James Dashner Penguin Random House  $    5.99 +4
5 (6) Outlander: A Novel Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $   4.99 +1
6 (5) Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $    10.99 -1
7 (11) Captivated By You (Crossfire Book 4) Sylvia Day Penguin Random House  $   7.99 +4
8 (4) If I Stay Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    4.99 -4
9 (7) Mean Streak Sandra Brown Hachette  $    12.99 -2
10 (n/a) An Invisible Thread Laura Schroff; Alex Tresniowski Simon & Schuster  $    1.99 New
11 (3) Festive in Death J. D. Robb Penguin Random House  $    11.99 -8
12 (9) The Fault in Our Stars John Green Penguin Random House  $   7.56 -3
13 (19) This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel Jonathan Tropper Penguin Random House  $    7.99 +6
14 (11) Private Down Under James Patterson; Michael White Hachette  $    6.49 +2
15 (17) Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander Book 2) Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +2
16 (13) The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Donna Tartt Hachette  $    6.99 -3
17 (18) Orphan Train: A Novel Christina Baker Kline HarperCollins  $    6.99 +1
18 (14) Black Lies Alessandra Torre Self-published  $    3.99 -4
19 (15) Where She Went (If I Stay Book 2) Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +1
20 (22) Dark Places: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +2
21 (25) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $   9.99 +4
22 (n/a) Alpha Billionaire 2 (Alpha Billionaire Book 2) Helen Cooper Self-published  $    0.99 New
23 (n/a) Voyager (Outlander Book 2) Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $    4.99 New
24 (n/a) The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Book 2) James Dashner Penguin Random House  $    5.64 New
25 (21) The Eye of Heaven (A Fargo Adventure) Russell Blake Penguin Random House  $    11.99 -4

* 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 “Media Tie-Ins Power Half the Week’s Best-Selling Ebooks

  1. Michael W. Perry

    It’s a Catch-22 that haunts authors. Great sales attract movie makers and movie making sells books. But how does an author get inside that loop? You have to be seen to be seen.

    My book, Lily’s Ride, illustrates that. Set in post-Civil War North Carolina and based on an 1879 bestseller, it tells of a teen girl who gets an anonymous warning, just as the sun is setting, that the Klan plans to murder that very night. The Klan, it warns, control the telegraph lines, so the only way she can reach him in time is to ride his extremely high-strung thoroughbred stallion over roads that’ll be swarming with Klansman. You can’t top drama like that—a \slight\ girl taking on over a hundred Klansmen alone at night.

    Of course, there are aspects of that true-to-life tale that’ll rub Hollywood’s political correctness the wrong way. The good guys are Republicans. Indeed, the reason Lily’s father is to be murdered is because he’s a friend of an anti-Klan Republican judge. And another heroes in the tale is a group Hollywood loves to demonized today, a poor white farmer desperate to give his two daughters the education he was never able to get. (Much like today, that puts him in conflict with the Democratic party.) Poor whites and Republicans as good guys. Democrats as bad guys. Forget the drama. There’s no way Hollywood will touch such a film.

    In fact, historically, that’s precisely how Hollywood has acted. The first blockbuster film in cinema history, The Birth of a Nation, is based on a book that was specifically written to counter the influence of A Fool’s Errand, the book on which my book is based. And Birth opens by quoting (negatively) my co-author, Albion Tourgee, a \carpetbagger,\ a former NC Republican judge, and perhaps the foremost champion of civil rights in the last decades of the nineteenth century. That’s the sort of book Hollywood has liked.

    Nor did Hollywood change when movies add sound and later color. For over two decades The Birth of a Nation was the best earning film of all time. It was only unseated when Gone with the Wind was released. The first made heroes of the Klan. The second glorified slavery and, in defiance of all reality, made it seem beneficial.

    Is Hollywood doing any better today in the films it selects? I doubt it. At its best, it’s only interested in money. At its worst, it is far worse.

    –Michael W. Perry



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