Friday, July 29, 2011

A Quick Look at Amazon’s July ‘Big Deal’ promotion



Amazon just wrapped up their second big eBook promotion of the year, this time including a number of titles from the agency publishers.  This is a quick summary before the weekend of what we saw.
First let’s take a look at the movement of the average daily price (unweighted) of the entire Kindle Bestseller list for the past three weeks:



It’s pretty clear when the promotion began and notice that within three days, the average price of the top-100 dropped from just above $9 to just above $6.  Taking a deeper look at how the quantities of books in our price bands changed shows us no real surprises:

 

The number of sub-$3 titles was gently declining from 30 to 25 going into the promotion and immediately jumped up to the 40s, peaking at 49 on July 25.  For one day, half of the list was priced below $3.  This increase came proportionately from books in the two higher price bands (above $8). 

So where is the ‘interesting’ data this time?  It has to do with WHICH publishers benefited from this promotion.  All six of the agency publishers presumably were invited to submit titles to this promotion.  Let’s look at the counts of titles under $4 on the list for each of the agency publishers:

 

It looks like HarperCollins was clearly the big winner, getting as many as nine titles into the top-100 under the promotional pricing compared to a maximum of two for any of the other publishers.  Looking at the chart for all titles (not just under $4) shows us that Harper was the only agency publisher to gain list share:



This is just one example of the ‘new rules of publishing’ that everyone needs to figure out pretty quickly.  'Share of list' is one of the new digital equivalents of premium retail space in the front of the store, and quickly becoming as or more important.   Since it’s not something publishers can directly pay for, they are faced with the challenge of understanding how to get it in other ways.  For this latest week, it looks like Harper won the set.

Dan Lubart can be reached at dan@iobyte.com.
You can follow him on Twitter at @ebook_mktview  

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