THE BLOG
06/24/2013 09:36 am ET Updated Aug 24, 2013

Publisher Weekly's First E-Book Single Lands on Best-Seller List

An e-book single from Publishers Weekly about the behind-the-scenes pricing battles for e-books has become one of the surprise nonfiction best sellers for the week of June 23. The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon and the Big Six Publishers Changes the E-Book Business Overnight, by PW senior writer Andrew Richard Albanese, ranks as the #5 best-selling nonfiction e-book single for the week.

Much of the reporting for this meaty story is based on the Justice Department's lawsuit against Apple and the subsequent trial that began June 3. The outcome is still unknown at this time. (For the full story of how Publishers Weekly rushed the e-book single to digital retailers visit here.) The initial success of The Battle for $9.99 is no doubt driven not only by tremendous fascincation within the publishing industry, but also by consumers whose interest is probably stoked by continuous page 1 news coverage throughout the month. Credit Publishers Weekly for jumping on a big story quickly and experimenting with a new platform to distribute a very timely story.

The Battle for $9.99
is already outselling heavyweights like Stephen King's Guns (#6), Andy Borowitz's An Unexpected Twist (#8), and Niall Ferguson's Always Right (#10), according to the Thin Reads weekly analysis.

The new #1 nonfiction e-book single for the week is Peter Ross Range's Murder in the Yoga Store. The skilled magazine writer has written a riveting true story about the murder of a young woman at the Lululemon yoga-wear retail store in upscale Bethesda, MD. We know from weekly analysis of the Kindle Single best-seller charts that e-book singles about crime generate substantial sales. But the rapid success of this book can be attributed to some new revelations about the killer that has brought media attention to the book last week.

After three straight weeks as the #1 nonfiction Kindle Single, Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell slipped to #2, and Trial by Fury fell from #2 to #4.

The Road Less Graveled, Wendy Laird's memoir about the year she and her family lived in Tuscany, continues to post strong sales for the second week in a row, rising from #8 to #7. And Will Richardson's essay on school reform, Why School?, also remains in the top 10 for the second week in a row. What's remarkable about Why School? is that it was published last September, a long 10 months ago.

For the first time in several weeks, no dating books were in the top 10 - but they were close. Not a Match, came in as #12 for the week of June 23, and Drinking My Way Through 14 Dating Websites ranks #15. Prominent recent nonfiction e-book singles that appear to be generating decent sales include Brian Mockenhaupt's Three Days in Gettysburg (#29), James Wolcott's Wild in the Streets (#31) and Mark Dery's All the Young Dudes (#45).

The Kindle Single best-selling fiction list looks like it's been frozen in place for the past month. Pros and Cons, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, remains the best-selling fiction Kindle Single for the sixth week in a row. And Karin Slaughter's Busted ranks #2 in fiction for the fourth week in a row. The fiction list, as always, is dominated completely by big name authors. It's not a playground for rookies.

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