Saturday, March 8, 2014

Price Survey of the Top 100 Bestselling ebooks.

It's time to have another look at the price of the 100 bestselling ebooks. And this time I have added GRAPHS. I have been surveying the price of ebooks every now and then for the past two years.  

Price of 100 Bestselling ebooks.

On March 2 I checked the prices of the top 100 bestselling ebooks on Amazon.


From the graph it is obvious that most of the ebooks purchased were $4.99 or less. The most popular prices were 99c (21), $2.99 (17), $1.99 (14) and $4.99 (11). 

The graph shows the number of ebooks selling at 99c in the top 100 seems to have stabilised around 21-23.


There has had been a big increase in the number priced at $1.99. Before Sept 2012 the number at $1.99 was too insignificant to mention. 

The number of ebooks at the guru recommended selling price of $2.99 is on the rise again. 


This graph shows that the overall prices of ebooks in the top 100 is decreasing. 


The number of ebooks in the top 100 selling at $3.99 is decreasing.

But the number of ebooks selling at $4.99 is on the rise again. This is good for me as I am trying to avoid buying ebooks for less than $4.99. 


The number of ebooks at $7 or more dropped sharply. Times must be tough. So prices of the top selling ebooks are definitely decreasing. If this is an overall trend in the ebook market, the race to the bottom in price is well and truly on. Will all ebooks be free in a few years?

Note: Amazon used to combine both free and paid ebooks in the one bestseller list. My initial surveys of the top 100 showed that it was quickly becoming a list of free ebooks. 

My next post will be about the price of the top 100 bestselling ibooks with a comparison to the bestselling ebooks.


Anthony J. Langford said...

Very good graphs Graham!
Seems there's not much to be made with ebooks. The poor author can pretty much stick to the day job, save a lucky few. So much for a year's work.

What would be interesting to see would how much does an author receive if the ebook is not self-published, ie through a publisher-what percentage cut do they get?

Makes me depressed for writers. Still, it may encourage more people to buy.

Looking forward to future comparisons.

Unknown said...

Great post. Thanks for collecting this data.

One thing I'd love to know about this — what number of these books are being sold on a temporary discount? Since that's one of the most popular strategies to drive sudden sales boosts, I'd wager that you'd find a large, large number of these books that are on the top 100 list temporarily during a sales push with a discounted price.

It would be helpful data.

Graham Clements said...

Hi Garrett,

I have not come across a lot of authors plugging a discount on their ebooks, usually it is making them absolutely free for a couple of weeks. The question is then, which best seller list would they turn up in. The free list or the paid list. They may turn up in the paid list with sales boasted. Would discounting a book or making it free boast into the 100 best sellers anyway? Next time I do the survey I will check to see if the books are being discouted at that time.

Graham Clements said...

Hi Anthony,

The reason this post took so long to create was relearning how to make graphs using Excel. And then Blogger decided to mess up the formatting.

I think writers who use publishers only get about 25% of the list price, whereas the self-published gets 70% if the ebook is priced $2.99 or more, and 35% if it is less than $2.99.


Graham Clements said...

I just went and had a look at the current top 100 and the price listed on the book in the top 100 list was usually half the price or so of the ebook when I clicked on it to get further information. For example number one at the moment is Divergent. On the bestseller list it is listed as $4.99, click on that and go to the American store and it is priced at $10.75. But if I go to the Australian store it is $4.50. Only one of the books in the top ten list had a price close to that of what it was listed at when clicked on. That was a 99c book at 95c. This needs more investigation.

Anthea Lawson said...

Hi Graham,

It's the bargain book marketing lists you want to cross-check with. The biggest (over a million subscribers) is BookBub. When I ran a promotion last September, my sale book (discounted for only one week) made it to #28 in the Kindle store overall. Every single day, BookBub sends discounted books into the Top 100. People have hit the USA Today Bestseller list on the strength of a limited-time sale and a BookBub ad. So I think, while interesting, that your data is being corrupted by that phenomena. ;)

Graham Clements said...

Thanks for the info Anthena. I will have to check BookBub out.