As the trade dispute between Amazon and Hachette grinds on, there are at least three authors who have less cause than others for grievance: James Patterson, Donna Tartt and David Baldacci. Titles by these three are still hanging tough in the Digital Book World E-book Bestsellers list despite their publishers’ dispute with the e-book retailer.
Over the past few months, Amazon has been in negotiations with Hachette and has reportedly used certain tactics to persuade the publisher to sign a deal with more favorable terms. Shipments of Hachette books have been delayed to customers; “buy” buttons have been removed from pre-orders of Hachette books; and customers looking to buy certain Hachette titles have been steered toward competitive books.
Yet, aside from a short period in which some e-books seem to have been sold at higher prices, Amazon has continued to deeply discount some of Hachette’s most popular e-book titles.
The conventional wisdom is that there is only so far the retailer will go in disrupting Hachette’s business if it means disrupting its own. Amazon could be giving up a lot of sales if customers decide to go elsewhere to pick up “The Goldfinch”. Another thought is that it’s relatively easy for Amazon to steer the casual book browser away from a back-list title that they may not necessarily need to buy right now but that readers who want the latest James Patterson e-book will just go elsewhere for it.
Meanwhile, the average price of a top-25 bestselling e-book dropped this week to $6.22 from $7.45 last week, due mostly to a $20 Game of Thrones collection dropping off the list and the appearance of several $0.99 titles. Also, Katie McGarry’s “Pushing the Limits” (Harlequin) is priced at $0.31 this week, a new low for a single title on the list.
E-book bestsellers from the week ending 5/24:
1. “The Fault in Our Stars”, John Green, Penguin Random House, $4.99
2. “Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club)”, James Patterson; Maxine Paetro, Hachette, $8.74
3. ”Field of Prey”, John Sandford, Penguin Random House, $8.99
4. “The Goldfinch: A Novel”, Donna Tartt, Hachette, $7.50
5. “Moving Day: A Thriller”, Jonathan Stone, Amazon, $4.99
6. “The One and Only”, Emily Giffin, Penguin Random House, $11.84
7. ”The Target (Will Robie)”, David Baldacci, Hachette, $8.99
8. “The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic (P.S.)”, Hazel Gaynor, HarperCollins, $1.99
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.