Sunshine Deals Shake Up Amazon Bestseller List, Avon Cuts Prices

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Amazon's experiment with lower priced ebooks is impacting the online retailer's bestseller list and might be influencing Avon's decision to discount about 60 of its titles as well.

Almost one-third of the books in Amazon's top 100 are part of the company's Kindle Sunshine Deals.

According to, about 80 percent - 24 books - were not Kindle bestsellers before prices were slashed.

The two-week promotion includes lower pricing on about 650 ebooks. The prices range from $0.99 to $2.99. The Sunshine Deals all come from small- to mid-sized publishers like Candlewick, Bloomsbury and Sourcebooks.

The apparent enthusiasm for discounted titles is in keeping with a recent survey which found that the heaviest buyers of ebooks are significantly influenced by low prices.

My critique partner is one of those people. She's purchased so many of the lower-priced ebooks in the last couple of days, that her credit card company's fraud department called to make sure her card hadn't been stolen. I guess they thought they had a bargain book thief on their hands?     

Right now the major publishers set their own prices and pay Amazon a commission. The success of Sunshine Deals could influence them to lower prices. Avon might already be convinced. The publisher tweets that it will slash prices on about 60 of its titles.

On Twitter and Facebook, Avon announced its "Summer Sale," with titles available for $1.99 and $2.99. Sophie Jordan's "Wicked Nights with a Lover," (above right) is one of the reduced titles. It is now $2.99.

I love Jordan so, of course, I bought it. In fact, I purchased so many books at Avon's summer sale that Amazon had to remind me that I had already purchased one that I tried to buy.

If this trend of reducing ebook prices continues, I foresee big trouble ahead for me!   


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