Average Price Rises on Ebook Best-Seller List, but Few Signs of Agency Pricing

Digital Book World Ebook Best-sellers agency pricingThe number of titles priced above $10 on this week’s Ebook Best-Seller List doubles since last week, from four to eight, sending the average price of a best-seller shooting up to $8.05, from $6.89.

While four of those eight titles are from publishers that have regained the right from Amazon to set their own ebook prices, only two of them—The Nightingale (Macmillan) and All the Light We Cannot See (Simon & Schuster)—are actually listed by Amazon as falling into that category.

In fact, they’re the only two ebooks within the top 25 that do.

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Hachette was comparatively slower to implement its new agency terms, with only some of its titles beginning to appear on Amazon earlier this month with the label, “This price was set by the publisher.” None of Hachette’s five titles on this week’s rankings are marked on Amazon as having prices Hachette set itself.

Simon & Schuster and Macmillan both began setting their own ebook prices by the second week of January, and there were few indications that it was having a decisive impact on the Best-Seller List around a month ago, either.

It could simply be that those three publishers aren’t as keen to control pricing for their best-seller as they are for other titles—or it could just be too early to tell. In any case, higher prices don’t seem to be getting in the way of sales for quite a handful of titles this week.

Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train extends its run at No. 1 into a third week, while a newcomer, Obsession in Death by J. D. Robb, lands at No. 2.

Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 2/14/15
Rank* Title Author Publisher Price Change**
1 (1) The Girl on the Train: A Novel Paula Hawkins Penguin Random House $8.99
2 (n/a) Obsession in Death J. D. Robb Penguin Random House $10.49 New
3 (9) Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy Book 3) E L James Penguin Random House $4.99 +6
4 (4) Fifty Shades of Grey E L James Penguin Random House $2.99
5 (3) Gone Girl: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House $4.99 -2
6 (2) American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History Chris Kyle; Scott McEwen; Jim DeFelice HarperCollins $5.86 -4
7 (6) Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty Penguin Random House $3.99 -1
8 (10) All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Anthony Doerr Simon & Schuster $11.99 +2
9 (5) To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee HarperCollins $3.99 -4
10 (n/a) Memory Man David Baldacci Hachette $10.12 New
11 (7) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand Penguin Random House $4.99 -4
12 (8) Private Vegas James Patterson; Maxine Paetro Hachette $9.99 -4
13 (n/a) Motive: An Alex Delaware Novel Jonathan Kellerman Penguin Random House $9.99 New
14 (14) The Nightingale Kristin Hannah Macmillan $14.99
15 (11) Dark Places: A Novel Gillian Flynn Penguin Random House $2.99 -4
16 (n/a) A Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel Anne Tyler Penguin Random House $10.99 New
17 (12) Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail Cheryl Strayed Penguin Random House $6.15 -5
18 (24) Crash & Burn Lisa Gardner Penguin Random House $11.99 +6
19 (n/a) 14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club Series) James Patterson; Maxine Paetro Hachette $12.74 New
20 (15) The Escape (John Puller Series Book 3) David Baldacci Hachette $9.99 -5
21 (13) Go Set a Watchman: A Novel Harper Lee HarperCollins $12.99 -8
22 (25) Orphan Train: A Novel Christina Baker Kline HarperCollins $6.99 +3
23 (21) Hope to Die (Alex Cross Series Book 22) James Patterson Hachette $5.99 -2
24 (16) Gray Mountain: A Novel John Grisham Penguin Random House $9.99 -8
25 (n/a) Outlander: A Novel Diana Gabaldon 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.

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