Epic Fantasy Analysis March 14, 2013

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This is the fifth in the series and is from data as of 3/14/2013. Links to review previous data:

 

As always this data comes from the   Amazon Kindle Epic Fantasy Bestseller List. For readers, you’ll be able to see what authors are selling well and find some titles that are worth checking out.  For authors, you’ll be better informed when choosing between self-publishing and traditionally. My hope is that overtime we’ll see some new and interesting trends.

Changes

  • 86% of the titles remain from the last snapshot which is up from 79% of last time
  • 7 titles (3 more than last time) went through a price change (5 increased in price, 2 decreased)

 

Title Author Type Chg New Old
A Clash of Kings George R.R. Martin Traditional + $9.99 $8.99
A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin Traditional + $9.99 $8.99
The Blade Itself Joe Abercrombie Traditional + $9.27 $8.69
Elseerian The Chronicles of Lumineia Ben Hale Self + $2.99 $0.99
Thread Slivers Leeland Artra Self + $5.99 $4.99
A Memory of Light Sanderson/Jordan Traditional $14.99 $16.99
Earth’s Survivors Book One Wendell Sweet Self $2.99 $4.95

 

The following table summarizes the changes:

Self-published Small Press Amazon Traditional
Items removed 9 1 0 4
Items added 7 0 0 7
Net Change -2 -1 0 3

 

Full List Statistics

Type %’s $0.99 $1-$2.99 $3-$4.99 $5-$9.99 over $10 unavail
Traditional 54% 1 1 1 35 12 4
Amazon 8% 1 5 2 0 0 0
Small Press 4% 2 1 1 0 0 0
Self published 34% 6 16 9 3 0 0
Percentages 10% 23% 13% 38% 12% 4%

 

Traditional Author Analysis: Traditional continues to gain spots and is now over half the list, picking up 4 spots.  Authors that gained titles include: Martin (2 more titles on the UK list), Harrison, Briggs, Hobbs (2 titles – one preorder, one deep discount), Brooks (pre-release). I’m glad to see that A Memory of light was lowered to $14.99. When the price was first announced at $16.99 I thought that was a bit of a price gouge. I think the publisher ended up feeling some push back from readers and adjusted it downward.  Over the last two reporting periods all three of Martin’s A Song of Ice and fire books have started creeping up. They were all $8.99 and now 3 of the five have been raised to $9.99. I was also surprised to see a price increase on Joe Abercrombie’s book as this is an older title and generally in the past we have seen prices go down not up for first titles. It may be signaling that Joe is gaining in popularity, or perhaps just a “test the waters” thing by the publisher. Also of note, is that Hobb’s publisher has deeply discounted her first book in the Rain Wild’s Chronicles which has put it and her pre-release on the map). Traditional authors that lost spots include Sanderson, Day, and Lewis.

The traditional authors on the list break down as follows:

  • 12 – Robert Jordan (3 w/Sanderson):  6-$7.99, 2-$8.99, 3-$9.99, $16.99
  •  9 – George R.R. Martin: 3-na, 3-$9.99, $14.99, $29.99 (omni), $39.99 (omni)
  •  6 – Brandon Sanderson (3 w/Jordan): $2.99 (short), $7.99, $8.99, 2-$9.99, $20.69 (omni)
  •  4 – J.R.R. Tolkien: 2-$7.61, $7.81, $9.00
  •  4 – Terry Brooks: $0.99 (short), $7.99, 2-$13.99
  •  3 – Peter V. Brett: 2-$7.99, $12.99
  •  2 – Justin Cronin: $7.99, $13.99
  •  2 – R.A. Salvatore: $5.59, $9.78
  •  2 – Robin Hobbs: $3.99, $12.74
  •  1 – Brent Weeks: $9.99
  •  1 – Michael J. Sullivan: $7.99 (omni)
  •  1 – Robert McCammon – $8.54
  •  1 – Deborah Harkness : $12.99
  •  1 – David Mitchell: $11.99
  •  1 – Patrick Rothfuss $9.99
  •  1 – Stephen King: $8.99
  •  1 – Joe Abercrombie: $9.27
  •  1 – Jim Butcher: $9.99
  •  1 – Mark Lawrence: $7.99
  •  1 – Doug Bayer: $1.99
  •  1 – Kim Harrison: $12.79
  •  1 – Patricia Briggs: $7.99

 

Once again much of the list was dominated by authors with multiple titles on the list. More than 78% (42 of the 54 spots) were occupied by traditional authors with multiple titles in the top 100. There were many more authors making the list with just one book this time around.

  • 44.4% (24 books) by 3 authors with 6+ books on the list (Jordan, Sanderson, Martin)
  • 31.5% (17 books) by 56 Authors with 2 – 5 books (Tolkien, Brett, Cronin, Brooks, Salvatore, Hobbs)
  • 24.1% (13 books) by  13 Authors with 1 book (Sullivan, Weeks, McCammon, Harkness, Mitchell, Rothfuss, King, Abercrombie, Butcher, Lawrence, Bayer, Harrison, Briggs)

 

Amazon & Small Press Author Analysis: Amazon and small presses have lost one spots and is 11% of the overall list. The book lost was a $0.99 book that was only briefly on the list. Nothing of note happened for this category this period.

  • 4 – Jeff Wheeler: 3-$2.99, $4.99
  • 3 – Greg Bear, Stephenson, Teppo, Eric Bear, Brassey, Moo, Galland, Grell: $0.99, 2-$2.99
  • 2 – Aya Knight: $0.99, $2.99 (small press)
  • 1 – Pierre Grimbert: $4.99 (Amazon, crossing)
  • 1 – Tessa Dawn: $3.99 (small press)

 

Self-Published Authors: Self publishing lost ground for the third time in a row this time losing 2 titles to traditional and now is 34% of the list.  I’m starting to believe that the days of 50/50 between self and traditional are gone, and that small/amazon is now taking up 10%-12% of the titles that used to be in the “self” category. 9 titles were lost, 7 were added and in some cases the authors traded out a title (meaning they lost one but added another). Rathbone and Arenson fall into this category. Of the authors losing titles all of them were”big names” in the indie world including: Pogue (2 books), Anderson, Rathbone, Arenson, Wells, Daulton, Christensen, and Neighbors. Likewise of the new additions 5 were common names:  Patterson, Rathbone, Arenson, Maxwell, Powers and two are relatively new: Hallowell ad Yallowitz.  The full break down is as follows:

  • 4 – M. R. Mathias: 2-$0.99, $4.88, $6.88
  • 3 – Ben Hale: 3-$2.99
  • 3 – Michael G. Manning: $0.99, $2.99, $4.95
  • 2 – Joseph Lallo: 2-$2.99
  • 2 – D.W. Jackson: 2-$2.99
  • 1 – T.B. Christensen:  $3.99
  • 1 – Alexey Glushanovsky: $2.99
  • 1 – Jason Derleth: $3.99
  • 1 – David A. Wells: $2.99
  • 1 – Daniel Arenson: $7.99
  • 1 – Leeland Artra: $4.99
  • 1 – Wendell Sweet: $4.95
  • 1 – Brian Rathbone: $2.99
  • 1 – Chanda Hahn: $2.99
  • 1 – Morgan Rice: $2.99
  • 1 – Michael J. Arnquist: $4.99
  • 1 – R. James McCord: $0.99
  • 1 – Andy Gavin: $2.99
  • 1 – Tess Williams: $0.99
  • 1 – Lindsay Buroker: $4.95
  • 1 – Aaron Patterson/Chris White: $2.99
  • 1 – Charles E. Yallowitz: $0.99
  • 1 – J.D. Hallowell: $3.82
  • 1 – James Maxwell: $3.99
  • 1 – P.S. Power: $4.99

 

Once again the list is not as top-heavy as the traditional where 3 authors occupy most of the spaces. The breakdown between authors with multiple books is:

  • 0.0% (0 books) by Authors with 6 or more books
  • 41.2% (14 books) by 5 Authors with 2 – 5 books (Mathias, Hale, Manning, Lallo, Jackson)
  • 58.8% (20 books) by 22 Authors with 1 book (Patterson/White, Glushanovsky, Gavin, Rathbone, Hahn, Yallowitz, Arenson, Wells, Hallowell, Maxwell, Derleth, Artra, Buroker, Arnquist, Rice, Powers, McCord/Chiodo, Christensen, Williams, Sweet)

 

So there you have it. The fifth installment of data for epic fantasy as 2013. I’m going to try to keep doing these every 15 – 20 days so we can get a good picture across several snapshots. I hope you try some of the books by authors on this list as their sales are a good indication that they are writing fiction that many are finding enjoyable. And for those with multiple books on the list, it proves that people keep coming back for more than just the first one. We’ll see how things progress from here.

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