Penguin Random House Continues Ownership of Best-Seller List; Some Indies Eschew Kindle Unlimited

personal jack reacherThe top seven ebook best-sellers this week are from Penguin Random House, the world’s largest publisher and its largest producer of best-selling books. Nearly half of the top-25 best-selling ebooks are Penguin Random House.

Gayle Forman’s If I Stay held the No. 1 spot for a fifth straight week after it dethroned John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (also from Penguin Random House) from a twelve-week run.

When Penguin and Random House first merged, other publishers — Hachette and HarperCollins, notably, kept it from completely dominating the ebook best-seller list with several big hits in late 2013 and early 2014. But those hits have given way and PRH is clearly the most powerful ebook publisher, as it was in the first half of the year.


Some Indies Eschew Kindle Unlimited

Many self-published titles are a part of Amazon’s new subscription ebook service Kindle Unlimited. Since those ebooks are offered to readers for free on a trial basis and then are not sold only at retail on Amazon like all the other books on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List, they are not included on the list.*

However, some indie authors are choosing not to be included in Kindle Unlimited — and still having best-seller success. On this list, No. 12, The Arrangement 16 by H.M. Ward, and No. 24 VAIN – Part Three, are worth pointing out.

* A small correction has been made to this line to more accurately reflect how Kindle Unlimited books are sold. 


Best-Seller Prices

The average price of a best-selling ebook fell this week to $6.71, down from $7.56 last week. See the long-term trend here.


Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 8/30/14
Rank* Title Author Publisher  Price**  Change
1 (1) If I Stay Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    4.99
2 (3) Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $   10.99 +1
3 (2) Outlander: A Novel Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $    4.99 -1
4 (5) Where She Went (If I Stay Book 2) Gayle Forman Penguin Random House  $    4.99 +1
5 (4) The Fault in Our Stars John Green Penguin Random House  $    4.99 -1
6 (7) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House  $    7.99 +1
7 (16) Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel Lee Child Penguin Random House  $   11.84 +9
8 (6) The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Donna Tartt Hachette  $    6.99 -2
9 (12) The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, Book One) James Dashner Penguin Random House  $    5.99 +3
10 (19) Mean Streak Sandra Brown Hachette  $   12.99 +9
11 (10) Not a Drill: A Jack Reacher Short Story (Kindle Single) Lee Child Penguin Random House  $    1.99 -1
12 (n/a) The Arrangement 16 (The Ferro Family) H.M.  Ward Self-published  $    2.99 New
13 (8) Insurgent (Divergent Book 2) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -5
14 (13) Orphan Train: A Novel Christina Baker Kline HarperCollins  $    6.99 -1
15 (9) Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    4.99 -6
16 (14) The Husband’s Secret Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House  $    9.99 -2
17 (15) Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander Series #2) Diana Gabaldon Penguin Random House  $    4.99 -2
18 (11) Allegiant (Divergent Series) Veronica Roth HarperCollins  $    6.99 -7
19 (n/a) Maybe Someday Colleen Hoover Simon & Schuster  $    2.99 New
20 (n/a) Private Down Under James Patterson; Michael White Hachette  $    6.49 New
21 (18) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand Penguin Random House  $    7.99 -3
22 (20) Invisible James Patterson; David Ellis Hachette  $    8.99 -2
23 (n/a) The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Louise Penny Macmillan  $   12.74 New
24 (n/a) VAIN – Part Three (The VAIN Series Book 3) Deborah Bladon Self-published  $    0.99 New
25 (21) Night Moves Nora Roberts HarperCollins  $    4.99 -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 “Penguin Random House Continues Ownership of Best-Seller List; Some Indies Eschew Kindle Unlimited

  1. Daniel Vian

    You say that Kindle Unlimited books are not sold at retail. But that is not true. All KU books are also offered as ordinary ebooks at retail price to both KU and non-KU readers. Any KU subscriber can also buy any book they have already borrowed. Also, KU books are NOT free, since there is a subscription fee of $10/month.



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