Summary:

This weekly feature examines certain ebooks’ paths to bestseller-dom, and highlights bestselling titles on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists that are selling more copies in digital than in print. Featured this week: R.L. Mathewson’s “Playing for Keeps” and “Perfection.”

playing for keeps

In the past, we’ve seen the power of an Amazon promotion to drive ebooks up the charts, but in R.L. Mathewson’s case, it was Apple’s iBookstore that helped her break through.

Playing for Keeps and Perfection by R.L. Mathewson (self-published)

Romance author R.L. Mathewson has written eight paranormal and contemporary romance novels. This week, the first two books in her “Neighbors from Hell” series are on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

What the books are about: In both romances, the main characters discover that their neighbors aren’t so bad after all.

How the books hit the lists: Frequent readers of this column know that Amazon promotions often lead directly to ebooks becoming bestsellers, but in this case R.L. Mathewson received a boost from a different source: Apple. As digital self-publishing platform and e-bookstore Smashwords notes, Mathewson is being featured as a “breakout author” in the iBookstore’s romance section, with “promotional bricks” for her books elsewhere in the iBookstore. Playing for Keeps is #10 on Apple’s ebook bestseller list. The books is also climbing the Kindle charts, with Playing for Keeps at #123 and Perfection at #126.

What’s next: Mathewson is releasing a third book in the “Neighbors from Hell” series this fall and simultaneously launching a charity campaign for wounded soldiers, “Checkmate for Charity.”

All of Mathewson’s books are $0.99 now, but she’ll be raising her prices to $2.99 over the next couple of weeks. “I held the cost down at a dollar for as long as I could, but once things took off I started to get swamped with more responsibility,” she tells me. “I had to hire a full time PA and a part time PA to run my charity program, help with Facebook, emails, proof reading, etc. It was a hard decision and one that I discussed with some of my readers at my Facebook page. Some people suggested that $2.99 was still too low, but I’d like to keep the books as affordable as possible. For those that cannot afford the price hike we will be doing what we can on an individual basic based upon need.”

Playing for Keeps on … Amazon Kindle | Apple | Barnes & Noble Nook | Google  | Kobo | Sony

Perfection on … Amazon Kindle | Apple | Barnes & Noble Nook | Google | Kobo | Sony

New York Times bestseller list, week of 8/12/12

Here are the titles in the top 35 that appear on the e-book bestseller list, but not on the print bestseller list (click the link to expand the chart).

USA Today bestseller list, week of 8/2/12

USA Today includes all formats and genres in one list and notes which format of a book sold best. Here are the titles in the top 35 where e-books outsold print (click the link to expand the chart).

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