Suzanne Collins’ THE HUNGER GAMES continues to burn up the charts. The movie based on the first book made an estimated $25-million last night at the midnight showings. The movie also racked up the largest on-line pre-orders ever for a film. It is to be expected since the build up for the movie has been going on for over six months. Plus, more people buy on-line tickets these days.
The three books, THE HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE and MOCKINGJAY (plus the boxed set of the three) have been at the top of the bestsellers lists for months. With THE HUNGER GAMES on Amazon’s top 100 for over 500 days! Amazon is selling each at a 44% discount. B&N is selling the paperbacks at full price and the hardcovers at 40% off. I am sure Costco and Wal-Mart have been selling at a deep discount too.
The eBooks have also dominated the best-sellers lists. In this case, since the publisher Scholastic is a NON-Agency publisher, the retailers control pricing. Amazon is selling the eBooks below cost (more than 50% off). B&N is selling at a discount but still above cost. Actually B&N nook is approximately $2 higher per eBook. To buy all three eBooks together, it is $18.99 on Amazon and $28.29 on B&N. That is a big difference.
The books are also in Amazon’s Lending Library, so anyone that is a Kindle owner and Amazon Prime can check the titles out for free.
Apple is not carrying these books (the biggest titles of the year) because they only sell on an Agency model and Scholastic only sells on a Wholesale model.
This is an example of where Amazon can and will under-price their main competitor. Because they control the pricing and have the resources to take a loss on every sale. They will do so. B&N can not afford to lose on every sale and has chosen to charge a bit more. Apple can not come to terms with the publisher and is missing out selling these books.
But the sales are stronger than ever and it has saved Scholastic’s quarter (they still are losing money overall but it is much, much less).