Epic Fantasy Analysis March 3, 2013

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This is the fourth in the series and is from data as of 3/03/2013. 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

  • 79% of the titles remain from the last snapshot which is up from 71% of last time
  • Only 4 titles that went through a price change (1 increased in price, 6 decreased)

 

Title Author Type Chg New Old
A Storm of Swords George R.R. Martin Traditional + $9.99 $8.99
Charon’s Claw R.A. Salvatore Traditional $5.59 $7.59
The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien Traditional $7.61 $7.81
The Mongoliad: Book One Multiple Amazon $0.99 $2.99

 

The following table summarizes the changes:

Self-published Small Press Amazon Traditional
Items removed 11 1 1 8
Items added 8 4 1 8
Net Change -3 +3 0 0

 

Full List Statistics

Type %’s $0.99 $1-$2.99 $3-$4.99 $5-$9.99 over $10 unavail
Traditional 51% 1 1 0 36 11 2
Amazon 8% 1 5 2 0 0 0
Small Press 5% 3 1 1 0 0 0
Self published 36% 7 15 13 1 0 0
Percentages 12% 22% 16% 37% 11% 2%

 

Traditional Author Analysis: Traditional continues to occupy a little more than 50% of the list, remaining unchanged 8 spots removed and 8 spots.  Authors that gained titles include: Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Doug Beyer C. S. Lewis, Terry Brooks, Mark Lawrence, Sylvia Day. Bayer’s title from Wizards of the Coast is the first time I’ve seen that publisher on the Top 100 and it is with a low priced entry at $1.99. Pre-orders for the ebook version of A Memory of Light and Terry Brook’s Bloodfire indicates (unsurprisingly) that these will be big sellers when they go live. Even so at $16.99 the ebook for A Memory of Light seems high. There is no one “new on the scene” as all 8 books come from authors who have appeared on the list before.  No significant discounting put anyone on the list, and Rachel Aaron (whose low priced book put her on the list last time) has returned to its normal price and as such has fallen off the list. I was surprised to see a price increase by an old title (Storm of Swords by Martin) as there seemed to be no reason to raise its price. The publishers of Tolkien are continuing their policy of lowering the price a small amount at a time so that it keeps coming up as a “price drop” even if that price drop is only a few dimes. The authors who lost spots include: George R. R. Martin, Michael J. Sullivan, Brent Weeks, Rachel Aaron

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
  •  7 – George R.R. Martin: 1-na, 2-$8.99, $9.99, $14.99, $29.99 (omni), $39.99 (omni)
  •  7 – Brandon Sanderson (3 w/Jordan): $2.99 (short), 2-$7.99, $8.99, 2-$9.99, $20.69 (omni)
  •  4 – J.R.R. Tolkien: 2-$7.61, $7.81, $9.00
  •  4 – Peter V. Brett: 1-na, 2-$7.99, $12.99
  •  3 – Terry Brooks: $0.99 (short), $7.99, $13.99
  •  2 – Justin Cronin: $7.99, $13.99
  •  2 – R.A. Salvatore: $5.59, $9.78
  •  1 – Brent Weeks: $9.99
  •  1 – Michael J. Sullivan: $7.99 (omni)
  •  1 – C.S. Lewis: $12.00 (omni)
  •  1 – Sylvia Day: $9.99
  •  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: $8.69
  •  1 – Jim Butcher: $9.99
  •  1 – Mark Lawrence
  •  1 – Doug Bayer: $1.99

 

Once again much of the list was dominated by authors with multiple titles on the list. More than 74% (38 of the 51 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.

  • 45.1% (23 books) by 3 authors with 6+ books on the list (Jordan, Sanderson, Martin)
  • 29.4% (15 books) by 5 Authors with 2 – 5 books (Tolkien, Weeks, Cronin, Brooks, Salvatore)
  • 25.5% (13 books) by  13 Authors with 1 book (Sullivan, Weeks, McCammon, Harkness, Mitchell, Rothfuss, King, Abercrombie, Butcher, Lawrence, Bayer, Lewis, Day)

 

Amazon & Small Press Author Analysis: Amazon and small presses have gained as of late and now makes up 13% of the overall list. Amazon lost 1 and gained one this month and makes up 8% of the list. Jeff Wheeler’s books and The Mongoliad books continue to dominate the list, but in the case of the later it comes from deep discounting. The first book is now at $0.99 and the other two at $2.99.  Just a short while ago that first book went for $4.99 but they have price reduced it twice. The Amazon Crossings imprint added a new title on the list by bringing to the US a translated version of an overseas title. Small presses increased by 3 titles making it 5% this time around with 1 entry coming from a reissue of “classics” in the pubic domain (which has been around awhile and made the list in the past, and a new entry by Charles River’s Press. As in the past all the small presses are using low price points ($0.99 $2.99,& $3.99).

  • 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 – L. Frank Baum: $0.99 (small press-classics)
  • 1 – Pierre Grimbert: $4.99 (Amazon, crossing)
  • 1 – Tessa Dawn: $3.99 (small press)
  • 1 – M.L. Hamilton: $0.99 (small press)

 

Self-Published Authors: Self publishing lost ground for the second time in a row this time losing 3 titles to small presses.  Historically the list has been divided 50% / 50% between self and traditional, but this time just 36% comes from the self-published authors…This may be indicating a trend. 8 titles were added half to by veterans including: D.W. Jackson, Lindsay Buroker, T.B. Christensen, David A. Wells (single titles each). The other half came from new names (also single titles each): Alexey Glushanovsky, Jason Derleth, Leeland Artra, Wendell Sweet.  77% of the books on the self-published list are carrying over from the last time around (28 of 36).  A promising sign is all the added titles were $2.99 or above and 62.5% were $3.99 – $4.99. The full break down is as follows:

  • 4 – M. R. Mathias: 2-$0.99, $4.88, $6.88
  • 3 – Ben Hale: $0.99, 2-$2.99
  • 3 – Michael G. Manning: $0.99, $2.99, $4.95
  • 2 – T.B. Christensen:  $3.99
  • 2 – David A. Wells: 2-$2.99
  • 2 – Joseph Lallo: 2-$2.99
  • 2 – Aaron Pogue: $0.99, $4.99
  • 2 – D.W. Jackson: 2-$2.99
  • 1 – Toby Neighbors: $2.99
  • 1 – John Daulton: 2-$3.99
  • 1 – Alexey Glushanovsky: $2.99
  • 1 – Jason Derleth: $3.99
  • 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 – Brian D. & Jonathan Anderson: $3.99
  • 1 – Tess Williams: $0.99
  • 1 – Daniel Arenson – $3.99
  • 1 – Lindsay Buroker: $4.95

 

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
  • 55.5% (20 books) by 8 Authors with 2 – 5 books (Mathias, Hale, Manning, Christensen, Wells, Lallo, Pogue, Jackson)
  • 44.5% (16 books) by 17 Authors with 1 book (Neighbors, Daulton, Glushanovsky, Derleth, Artra, Sweet, Rathbone, Hahn, Rice, Arnquist, McCord, Gavin, Anderson, Williams, Arenson, Buroker)

 

So there you have it. The fourthinstallment 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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