Kindle New York Times besteller prices drop dramatically

Kindle New York Times besteller prices drop dramatically

Thank you, US Department of Justice!

I’ve been tracking the prices of New York Times bestselling fiction hardback equivalents in the USA Kindle store in my monthly Snapshot analysis posts since September 1, 2010, and this is the lowest I’ve seen them.

This follows on the heels of the last remaining publishers dropping the Agency Model, which had meant that Amazon could not discount those publishers’ e-book prices.

Penguin had been the last to settle with the DoJ, and Random House was bound by the settlement (that was sort of a condition of the two of them merging).

The average NYT bestseller hardback fiction equivalent is down to $10.08…that’s the first time it has been under $11 since I’ve been tracking it, and that’s way under!

No title is as high as $12.99, which had been the de facto standard after the Agency Model, although many books were higher.

While, interestingly, none of them are at exactly $9.99, several of them are below that.

We can also thank Amazon, of course…they didn’t have to lower prices just because they had the power to do so again, but they have.

This is the current list:

  1. The Cuckoo’s Calling: $6.50
  2. Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon): $10.99
  3. Mistress: $11.99
  4. And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel: $10.99
  5. The Third Kingdom (Richard and Kahlan): $11.04
  6. Night Film: A Novel: $10.99
  7. The Bone Season: $4.99
  8. Gone Girl: A Novel: $10.99
  9. The Kill List: $10.99
  10. The Husband’s Secret: $6.50
  11. The English Girl: A Novel (Gabriel Allon): $9.00
  12. The Ocean at the End of the Lane: $8.00
  13. A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five: $11.99
  14. Rose Harbor in Bloom: $10.99
  15. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: $7.48
  16. Book published by Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) not listed due to blocking text-to-speech access*: $10.67
  17. The Girl You Left Behind: $11.99
  18. Compound Fractures (Dr. Alan Gregory): $11.99
  19. The Last Witness (Badge of Honor 11): $10.99
  20. Book published by Simon & Schuster not listed due to blocking text-to-speech access*: $12.60

While some of you may be wondering why the average is over $9.99 if Amazon is setting the prices, well, there were always some (the original November 19 2007 press release said “…current New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases, which are $9.99, unless marked otherwise…”). That price was set more than four years ago…and the Agency Model did create price inflation.

On the other hand, look at the books on this list that are under $7.50! Also, compare these to the p-book (paperbook) prices. That weird situation where the e-book prices were sometimes higher also ended with the Agency Model (although it can happen from time to time due to other reasons, like the paperback being a pre-order and the Kindle price still being based on the hardback).

It’s a great time to be a reader. 🙂

Here are some of the earlier stats:

August 1, 2013:

11.99 12.99 9.99 12.99 11.99 10.99 9.99 12.99 9.99 9.99

12.99 12.99 11.04 12.99 8.52 12.99 14.99 10.91 11.04 11.84

Average: $11.71

July 1, 2013:

7.99 12.99 11.04 12.99 12.99 11.04 11.04 7.99 11.04 11.04

12.99 12.99 7.99 7.49 11.04 14.99 7.49 12.99 10.99 12.74

Average: $11.09

June 1, 2013:

12.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 8.99 12.99 13.99 12.99 12.99 9.00

14.99 12.99 9.99 9.99 10.99 14.99 10.99 12.80 9.68 12.99

Average: $12.12

May 1, 2013:

12.99 10.99 12.74 12.99 7.99 12.99 10.99 12.99 12.99 12.99
12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 10.99 10.99 12.99 7.49 14.99 12.59

Average: $12.23

April 1, 2013:

12.74 12.99 11.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 9.45
11.99 14.99 14.99 9.68 12.99 12.99 12.99 9.78 11.04 10.67

Average: $12.36

March 1, 2013:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 N/A 10.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99
12.74 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99

Average: $12.92

February 1, 2013:

N/A 12.99 12.74 12.99 9.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 11.04 12.99

9.99 8.00 12.99 11.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 13.59

Average: $12.38

January 1, 2013:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 11.04 11.04 12.74 11.43 12.74 12.99

11.99 9.99 12.99 7.50 12.99 8.00 19.99 13.49 13.99 14.99

Average: 12.49

December 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 11.99

12.99 12.99 19.99 9.50 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

Average: $13.22

November 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 19.99 12.99 9.50 12.99

11.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99 13.99 14.99 12.80 11.99 12.99

Average: $13.26

October 1, 2012:

19.99 12.99 12.99 9.50 12.99 12.99 9.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 11.99 9.45 12.99 11.99 12.99 12.99

Average: $12.84

September 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

12.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99 12.99 9.99 14.99 12.99 14.99 1.99

Average: $12.49

August 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99

12.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

Average: $13.04

July 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 14.99 12.99 12.99

Average: 13.29

June 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 11.99

12.99 9.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99 14.99

Average: $12.94

May 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 11.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

Average: $13.04

April 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

14.99* 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 11.9912.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

Average: $13.14

March 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99* 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

9.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

$13.04

February 1, 2012:

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99* 12.99 9.99 12.99 12.99

12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99

Average: $13.04

* There was also an enhanced audio/visual version of this book for $16.99. I chose to enter it here only in the standard version, since that most closely represents the comparison between paper and e-book versions. It isn’t necessary to pay $16.99: it’s an additional payment for more features

January 1, 2012

Average: $13.14

December 1, 2011

Average: $12.40

November 1, 2011:

Average: $12.45

October 1, 2011:

Avg: $13.09

September 1, 2011:

Avg: 12.99

August 1, 2011:

Avg $13.29

July 1, 2011

Avg $13.09

June 1, 2011

Avg: $12.81

May 1, 2011

Average: $12.84

April 1, 2011

Average: $12.69

March 1, 2011

Average: $12.83

February 1, 2011

Average: $12.25
Agency Model average: $12.86
Non-Agency Model average: $9.99

January 1, 2011

Average: $12.52

Agency Model: $12.99

Non-Agency: $9.99

December 1, 2010:

Average: $12.78
Agency Model average: $13.52
Non-Agency Model average: $9.99

November 1, 2010:

Average: $12.83
Agency Model average: $13.59
Non-Agency Model average: $9.99

October 1, 2010:

Average: $12.38
Agency Model average: $12.79
Non-Agency Model average: $10.87

September 1, 2010:

Average: $12.52
Agency Model average $12.99
Non-Agency Model average $9.99

* A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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2 Responses to “Kindle New York Times besteller prices drop dramatically”

  1. Common Sense Says:

    The problem is that it’s too little, too late. I received my first Kindle for Christmas before the April agency model implementation. At that time I was purchasing the ebook equivalent of the physical books I purchased before. But the agency model changed all that.

    I discovered the wonderful world of free, indie, and sale ebooks. I now have over 11,000 ebooks in my collection and rarely pay more than $3.99 for any ebook. I have more than enough books to last me the rest of my life, why would I go back to paying $7.99, $9.99, or $19.99 for one ebook when I can get many more for that amount of money?

    I maintain a list at ereaderiq.com and have been getting the price drops, but they’ve all been more than I’m willing to pay. Publishers, through their games with Amazon, have lost me as a customer unless their books are in a sale for $2.99 or less.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Common!

      That’s true for you, as a serious reader. The readers who only buy “People Magazine books”, as I call them, will be influenced and advantaged by this. While serious readers buy a lot more books per person, casual readers and gift buyers are still hugely important, especially in the holiday season.

      Remember, they may only have bought three books since the Agency Model came into being in 2010, if they only buy one book a year and they do it in the summer or later.

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