A big box office weekend for the film adaptation of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” (Penguin Random House) has the e-book once again atop this week’s e-book bestseller list. It even bested the debut of Stephen King’s latest, “Mr. Mercedes” (Simon & Schuster).
Notably missing from the list this week are four Amazon Publishing titles: “The Fracking King” by James Browning; “Supreme Justice” by Max Allan Collins; “One Lavender Ribbon” by Heather Burch; and “Artful” by Peter David. All four are titles being pushed currently in the Kindle First program.
Kindle First allows Kindle owners a low-priced shot at Amazon Publishing e-book titles before they’re released to the wider public at a discount (in this case, the $4.99 titles are being sold for $1.99). Prime members can download one of these free per month, and that’s the issue.
All four of these titles would have been in the top 25 this week — with two in the top ten — if both paid downloads and free downloads were counted. When we queried Amazon on this, a company spokesperson rightly pointed out that none of the downloads were technically free, since Prime is a paid membership program. Nevertheless, not each download was paid for and it could be misleading to include titles that are part free and part paid. When we suggested Amazon provide a breakdown of what percentage of the downloads were free to Prime members, the company declined further comment. Therefore, the only solution we could think of was to remove these titles from the list.
Feel free to leave a comment here if you have a question or concern about this practice.
The average price of a bestselling e-book again jumped over the $8.00 mark to settle this week at $8.17. Last week, the average price of a bestselling e-book was $7.29. The increase is mostly due to the arrival on the list of George R. R. Martin’s five-book Game of Thrones set for $19.99.
E-book bestsellers from the week ending 6/7:
1. “The Fault in Our Stars”, John Green, Penguin Random House, $4.99
2. “Mr. Mercedes: A Novel”, Stephen King, Simon & Schuster, $11.99
3. “The Goldfinch: A Novel”, Donna Tartt, Hachette, $7.50
4. “City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments)”, Cassandra Clare, Simon & Schuster, $10.67
5. “Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club)”, James Patterson; Maxine Paetro, Hachette, $8.99
6. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, Maya Angelou, Penguin Random House, $4.01
7. “The Husband’s Secret”, Liane Moriarty, Penguin Random House, $5.99
8. ”Field of Prey”, John Sandford, Penguin Random House, $8.99
9. “Allegiant” (Divergent Series), Veronica Roth, HarperCollins, $6.99
10. “Insurgent” (Divergent Series), Veronica Roth, HarperCollins, $6.99
Jeremy Greenfield is responsible for managing all editorial content on DigitalBookWorld.com, including the DBW Expert Publishing Blog, the Digital Book Wire and editorial email and social media communications. Prior to joining Digital Book World in October 2011, Jeremy spent three years as a careers editor at FINS.com. Jeremy lives and works in New York City and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.