Kindle Store Top 100 Pricing Analysis

I’ve seen a few recent claims about the average price of the books in the Top 100. Most of them have struck me as strange. We know that prices in the Kindle Store Top 100 are falling relentlessly. Yet claims are made constantly that the average price is in the $8 to $9 range.

Well, let’s do some pricing analysis using two methods, using only the Kindle Store, and figure out what the truth is.

  1. First, let’s do average pricing assuming every book in the Top 100 sells the same amount. This gives us one estimate.
  2. Second, let’s do average pricing assuming book sales are approximately – 10,000 a day for #1 to #10, 2,000 a day for #11 to #20, 1,000 a day for #21 to #50, and 500 a day for #51 to #100. This gives us a second estimate.

From these two estimates, we can get a good idea of what the actual average price of books in the Top 100 is.

Kindle Store Top 100 Pricing

Here’s what we have in the Kindle Store Top 100 -

  1. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $1 – #7, #9, #20, #22, #24, #26, #27, #28, #30, #33, #38, #44, #47, #48, #55, #72, #86, #90, #96, #97, #98.
  2. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $2 – #1, #32, #53, #56, #89, #91.
  3. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $3 – #4, #15, #23, #34, #46, #60, #75, #77, #80, #85, #95.
  4. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $4 – #3, #11, #13, #16, #18, #25, #37, #49, #54, #57, #58, #63, #67, #68, #76, #84.
  5. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $5 – #17, #41, #83, #99.
  6. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $6 – #50, #51, #61, #64, #65, #88.
  7. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $7 – #35, #73, #87, #93.
  8. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $8 – #12, #45, #92, #100..
  9. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $9 – #9, #70.
  10. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $10 – #5, #19, #29, #31, #62, #69, #71, #74, #79.
  11. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $11 – #42.
  12. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $12 – #21, #36, #39, #40.
  13. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $13 – #2, #6, #8, #14, #43, #52, #59, #66, #78, #82 (assumed price), #94.
  14. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $14 – None.
  15. Kindle Store Sales Ranks of Top 100 Books at $15 – #81.

This is a very interesting list. Interesting to see $1, $4, and $3 being so popular. $13 is just as popular as $3 and $10 is also very popular.

Quick Review of the Frequency of Every Price Point in the Top 100

  1. 21 books at $1. That’s massive and is bound to drop the average price. If 20% of your Top 100 are at $1, that says something. It’s also apparent that readers are voting with their still-heavy wallets when it comes to book pricing – $1 works.
  2. 16 books at $4 ($3.99 to be precise). Not sure why $3.99 beats out $1.99, $2.99, and $4.99. Perhaps that whole psychological thing of readers seeing $3.99 as $3. Why then does $2.99 not work better?
  3. 11 books at $3. $3 is the price at which Amazon starts giving Authors 70% revenue share. That, combined with readers preferring prices below $5, is perhaps why $3 and $4 do so well.
  4. 11 books at $13. The joint third-most-popular price point. It seems Publishers are making $13 work for new books. It’s interesting to see 4 books at $13 in the Top 15 and then nothing until #43. Perhaps $13 works for new books but then reduces longevity in the Top 50.
  5. 9 books at $10. This was the price point we were promised in 2007 and 2008 – $9.99. Interesting to see it become the 5th most popular price point.

The rest of the figures are there for you to see. This list obviously changes frequently. However, this is a reasonable list. I don’t see prices going up higher anytime soon.

Average Pricing and Pricing Analysis assuming Similar Sales at all Top 100 Sales Ranks

Yes, we know this is wrong. However, this gives us a good bound.

If we just weigh each sales rank equally, and given the relatively balanced distribution this isn’t a terribly bad idea, we get $571 as the amount required to buy all 100 books. That gives an average price of $5.71.

That should be a wake-up call to Publishers who complained that $9.99 was unsustainable. They started the Agency Model and tried to torture users with $13.99 and $15.99 prices. Now, instead of a nice and healthy $9.99 per ebook, they are faced with the average Top 100 price being just $5.71.

That’s incredible. $5.71. However, this is a very rough method. So let’s try something a bit more accurate.

Average Pricing and Pricing Analysis assuming Sales Figures drop sharply

10,000 a day for #1 to #10, 2,000 a day for #11 to #20, 1,000 a day for #21 to #50, and 500 a day for #51 to #100

We can simplify this as – 20 a day for #1 to #10, 4 a day for #11 to #20, 2 a day for #21 to #50, and 1 a day for #51 to #100. This simplification won’t affect the average price (just imagine we divided each figure by 500).

  1. Average Price of the Top 10 – $6.89. Multiplied by 20 – $137.8.
  2. Average Price of #11 to #20 – $5.63. Multiplied by 4 – $22.51.
  3. Average Price of #21 to #50 – $5.06. Multiplied by 2*3 (because there are 30 books) – $30.364.
  4. Average Price of #51 to #100 – $5.844. Multiplied by 1*5 (because there are 50 books) – $29.22.
  5. Grand Total: $219.894.
  6. Average = Grand Total/35 = $6.283.
  7. An average of $6.283 per book. Very interesting to see the Top 10 being much higher than the other sales ranks. Perhaps due to the presence of three $13.99 books, one $10 book, and one $9 book.

$6.283 is surprisingly close to our previous estimate of $5.71. $6.283 is probably more accurate since it factors in the fact that the Top 10 and Top 20 sell a lot more than the rest of the Top 100.

Conclusion: The Average Sales Price of the Top 100 Kindle Books is perhaps around $6.283

Based on the above estimates and lists, we arrive at a few data points and guesstimates -

  1. Average Sales Price of a Top 100 Kindle Book: $6.283.
  2. Most Popular Price Points: $1, $4, $3 and $13 (joint), $10.
  3. Most Popular Price Bands: $1, $3 to $4, $10 to $13.
  4. Average Sales Price of a Top 10 Kindle Book: $6.89.
  5. Average Sales Price of a Book in the bottom half of the Top 100: $5.844.
  6. There are only 17 books priced above $9.99 in the Top 100. Contrary to the perception that $13.99 is winning out due to impatient Kindle owners, we are seeing prices above $10 mostly fail. The exception is $13 and that might be linked to the newest releases all being $13.
  7. There are an absolutely massive 58 books below $5. This suggests prices below $5 are going to be the norm for the Top 100 in the near future.
  8. There are 21 books at $1 and 16 books at $4 suggesting that $1 and $4 (or perhaps $3) might be long-term stable price points.

That figure of $6.283 is absolutely fascinating. The assumption all along has been that we would settle at price points such as $9, $10, $13, and $7. That would result in an average sales price of $10 to $11. In actuality, the advent of indie authors has forced prices down massively. There are very popular price bands of $1 and $3 to $4. These bring down prices to $6.283 on average.

$6.283 is very interesting. Even more interesting is the rise of $1 and the $3 to $4 band, and the possibility that average prices drop below $5 and perhaps stabilize in the $3 to $4 band.

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