Top E-book Sellers Week of 2/24/2013

Hachette Takes Top Four Ebook Best-Seller List Spots as Ebook Prices Inch Up

Hachette had a very good week selling ebooks. The top four spots in our ebook best-seller list this week are all titles from Hachette and they each represent success in the new art of ebook pricing strategy and promotion.

Safe Haven by Nicholas SparksSafe Haven by Nicholas Sparks was the No. 1 best-selling ebook every week in 2013 until this week. It had flirted with the bottom of the list near the end of 2012 — ranked No. 25 on Dec. 1 and No. 23 on Dec. 17. What changed? Price. The ebook was $7.99 on Dec. 1 and was dropped to $3.99 around the new year. It started the year off at No. 1 and didn’t relinquish its grip until this week even though the price was raised back to $6.64 on Jan. 8. It now sells for $5.79.

The Nos. 1 and 4 books are both part of the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Last week, four books in the series took the list by storm, rocketing up the ranks due at least in part to a price drop to $2.99. Even as the prices increased this week to anywhere from $5.79 to $8.89. In fact, even as the prices went up, the ebooks continued to move up the list:

Beautiful Creatures 3

– Beautiful Creatures moved to No. 1 from No. 2

– Beautiful Darkness moved to No. 4 from No. 8

– Beautiful Chaos moved to No. 7 from No. 17

– Beautiful Redemption moved to No. 10 from No. 11

An Hachette spokesperson told Digital Book World in regards to the Beautiful Creatures price shifts that the price promotions in this case were being driven by retailers.

And, last, powerhouse author James Patterson’s new book came on Feb. 18, Alex Cross, Run. It also benefited from a one-day “new and noteworthy” Amazon homepage promotion. The title shot up to No. 3 on the list from No. 21. The price of the ebook was dropped four days prior to $11.99 from $12.74 in late Jan. It was $14.99 in early Jan.

Meanwhile, due in part to the Beautiful Creatures price increases, the average price of an ebook best-seller increased this week to $8.04, up from an all-time low last week of $7.56. Retailers still haven’t seemed to start discounting Macmillan titles per the publishers’ settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a lawsuit alleging collusion and price-fixing in the ebook market.

One last note: The first non-Hachette book on the ebook best-seller list is Wait for Me, a self-published hit by Elisabeth Naughton.

See the rest of the the best-seller lists for the week ending Feb. 24:

– Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $10.00 and Above
– Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $8.00 – $9.99
– Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $3.00 – $7.99
– Digital Book World Best-Selling Ebooks Priced $0.00 – $2.99

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