Self-published novels make up a third of best-seller list

One-third of the books in the New York Times top 21 ebook fiction best sellers this week (Sep 8) are self-published, with boxed-set collections of books by different authors setting a high-selling trend.

In second place, behind The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty (Amy Einhorn/Putnam), is Wicked Firsts, a boxed set of six romances themed on first loves and first times by Elisabeth Naughton, Alexandra Ivy, Cynthia Eden, Laura Wright, Katie Reus, Joan Swan. The set is published by the Indie Six.

We then have the usual crowd of Lee Child, Rowling/Galbraith and James Patterson before the next self-pubber in sixth place: Unlocked, by Maya Cross (Maya Cross). This is the third book in the Australian writer’s enormously successful Alpha Group trilogy, following Locked and Lockout.

At No 10 we have Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken. (Rachel Van Dyken.) This contemporary romance looks like being a breakthrough book for an author who is already very successful. Ruin was published in mid-August and already has an astonishing total of nearly 500 reviews on Amazon, a testament to the power of beta readers.

In 13th place and another third book in a trilogy is Dust by Hugh Howey. (Hugh Howey.) This is the conclusion to the Silo Saga, a massively best-selling series about survival in a dystopian world that began with Wool.

The science fiction trilogy has sold millions and Howey has famously turned down lucrative offers from traditional publishers to continue to self-publish his ebooks. Dust is priced highly for an ebook at $13.24, above the paperback price of $12.32.

Fourteenth place sees Freefall by Tess Oliver (Tess Oliver). A tattoo artist finds his life disrupted when the pin-up model he is obsessed with walks into his shop. A new adult contemporary romance by a prolific author.

Twentieth spot is taken by another boxed set. Loving the CEO, by Noelle Adams, Judy Angelo, Samantha Chase and Stacey Joy Netzel (Stacey Joy Netzel.) A bundle of five romance novels running to a total of over 1,000 pages featuring business tycoons and their women.

I thought I’d make the top 20 the top 21 to include Locked by Maya Cross (Maya Cross) as this is the first book in the trilogy by the sixth-placed author and makes self-published exactly one-third of the leading 21.

I believe this could be a high point in the number of self-pub ebooks in the NYT list, although in recent weeks there have been five self-published in the top 20. The popularity of boxed sets by different authors shows that self-published writers are linking up together to produce low-priced compendiums that bring them a high profile and further sales on their other books.