Monday, August 11, 2014

Top 25 Ebooks - Does Price Really Matter?

Digital Book World's most recent ebook bestseller list is highly illuminating, especially in light of the Amazon vs Everybody wars. One of the contentions raised by Amazon is that in order to maximize book sales, prices of ebooks must be kept low. Their recommendation is $9.99. Publishing houses disagree.

There are a couple of questions raised by the claim that low prices means more sales, one of which is "whose books?" For unknown authors, a low price will stimulate sales. But for popular authors, buyers are willing to pay a higher price.

Another question is whether authors will get a bigger cut of the profits reaped by ebooks. So far, publishing houses are not willing to share, and while Amazon gives its authors up to 70% of retail, for most self-published authors, royalties are still negligible.

Note that on this top 25 list, all the ebooks represented have been published by major publishers. Also note that these publishers are either undercutting Amazon, or charging more than Amazon's recommended price.

Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 8/2/14
Rank*TitleAuthorPublisher Price** Change
(10)If I StayGayle FormanPenguin Random House $    4.99+9
(2)The Fault in Our StarsJohn GreenPenguin Random House $    4.99
(2)The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)Donna TarttHachette $    6.99-1
(6)Gone Girl: A NovelGillian FlynnPenguin Random House $    8.52+2
(n/a)Big Little LiesLiane MoriartyPenguin Random House $   10.99New
(n/a)Not a Drill: A Jack Reacher Short Story (Kindle Single)Lee ChildPenguin Random House $    1.99New
(8)Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionLaura HillenbrandPenguin Random House $    4.99+1
(7)Act of War: A ThrillerBrad ThorSimon & Schuster $   12.74-1
(20)Outlander: A NovelDiana GabaldonPenguin Random House $    4.99+11
10 (3)InvisibleJames Patterson; David EllisHachette $    8.99-7
11 (n/a)Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three Of The Fifty Shades TrilogyE L JamesPenguin Random House $    7.99New
12 (9)Chill Factor: A NovelSandra BrownSimon & Schuster $    1.99-3
13 (11)Orphan Train: A NovelChristina Baker KlineHarperCollins $    6.99-2
14 (4)The Heist: A Novel (Gabriel Allon Book 14)Daniel SilvaHarperCollins $   13.99-10
15 (15)DivergentVeronica RothHarperCollins $    4.99
16 (13)Insurgent (Divergent Book 2)Veronica RothHarperCollins $    6.99-3
17 (5)The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)Deborah HarknessPenguin Random House $   11.99-12
18 (14)Allegiant (Divergent Series)Veronica RothHarperCollins $    6.99-4
19 (16)The Husband’s SecretLiane MoriartyPenguin Random House $    9.99-3
20 (12)Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum NovelJanet EvanovichPenguin Random House $   10.99-8
21(n/a)Where She Went (If I Stay Book 2)Gayle FormanPenguin Random House $    4.99New
22(n/a)Fifty Shades Of Grey: Book One Of The Fifty Shades TrilogyE L JamesPenguin Random House $    4.99New
23(n/a)All the Light We Cannot See: A NovelAnthony DoerrSimon & Schuster $   10.99New
24 (25)A Perfect Life: A NovelDanielle SteelPenguin Random House $   11.84+1
25(n/a)Death by Food PyramidDenise MingerPrimal Nutrition Inc. $    0.99New
* Previous week’s list rank in parentheses.

1 comment:

  1. With top notch books selling for $4.99 (or less) where does that leave room for new/unknowns? The water keeps getting more clouded and murky, instead of clearing up. I guess that let's the sharks roam freely, waiting to strike.


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