Despite low price points, industry enthusiasm and some quick hits, short-form e-book content hasn’t taken off as expected. While some authors have made tens of thousands of dollars publishing Kindle Singles, the success stories have been few and far between. Further, short-form content firm The Atavist had to pivot to sell its technology platform to stay a viable business; and competitor The Byliner has lost its CEO and is rumored to be going out of business.
The going thinking around the industry is that short-form e-book content is a supplemental business or good for marketing upcoming long-form titles. Penguin Random House is proving here that it can be both.
“The Neighbor” by Dean Koontz is both a standalone Kindle Single selling for $0.99 as well as a prequel to a new novel from Koontz, “The City”, which came out July 1. “The Neighbor” is currently No. 4 on the e-book bestseller list. With less than a full week of sales, “The City” is currently No. 50 on the list (and therefore does not appear below). We’ll keep close watch over the next few weeks to see if and when “The City” has success that follows “The Neighbor”.
The average price for a top 25 bestselling e-book held steady this week at $6.96. Last week it was $6.99.
E-book bestsellers from the week ending 7/5:
1. “The Fault in Our Stars”, John Green, Penguin Random House, $4.99
2. “Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel”, Janet Evanovich, Penguin Random House, $10.99
3. “Invisible”, James Patterson; David Ellis, Hachette, $8.99
4. “The Neighbor” (Short Story) (Kindle Single), Dean Koontz, Penguin Random House, $0.99
5. “The Goldfinch: A Novel”, Donna Tartt, Hachette, $6.99
6. “The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Series #2)”, Robert Galbraith, Hachette, $8.99
7. “All Fall Down: A Novel”, Jennifer Weiner, Simon & Schuster, $10.99
8. “Gone Girl: A Novel”, Gillian Flynn, Penguin Random House, $8.52
9. “Orphan Train: A Novel”, Christina Baker Kline, HarperCollins, $6.99
10. “The Husband’s Secret”, Liane Moriarty, Penguin Random House, $9.99
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.