Self-published trilogy breaks Roth hold on top spot

A self-published writer has taken over as the No 1 best-selling title in the Kindle store this week, breaking the hold that Veronica Roth has had on the top three places.

The Fixed Trilogy by Laurelin Paige is the top-selling Kindle book, with Roth’s Divergent, Allegiant and Insurgent in second, third and fourth places respectively.

The Paige collection is priced at just $0.99 but it’s a remarkable achievement for Paige as the first film of Roth’s books, Divergent, is packing them in at the cinemas throughout the US.

The trilogy seems to be very much in the Fifty Shades’ vein and Paige has taken over the lead place on Amazon’s Author Rank for Contemporary Romance.

The Kindle bestsellers also include three separate books by Kendra Elliott, once a self-publisher but now with Amazon Montlake.

Another $0.99 self-published trilogy takes ninth place, with Madison Johns’ collection of three Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries. Johns started writing her popular cozy series when she was a carer for senior citizens.

Pricing power prevails in the Kindle UK best-sellers, with six of the top 10 books priced at under £1.

Paige’s trilogy (just 49p) is pushed into second place in the UK by debut novel Fractured by Dani Atkins (59p). Other sub-£1 top-sellers include Broken Dolls by James Carol (59p), Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup (49p), The Villa by Rosanna Ley (56p) and Take Me Home by Daniela Sacerdoti (69p), from Scottish independent publisher Black and White Books.

Checking on this trend the following day, the position had changed so that an incredible eight of the top 10 Kindle best sellers were priced at under £1, with only Roth’s Divergent (£2.50) and  Insurgent (£3.66) bucking the trend and pushing the average price of the top 10 to £1.12.

Excluding the Roth duo, the average price would have been a shockingly low 53p, representing a return to the author of a mere 13p per sale on big publishing’s 25% terms or 16p on self-publishing 30% terms at that price point.

The UK seems to be an incredibly price-sensitive market at present and much more so than the US which has moved on to some extent from reliance on price pressure.