the Heart of the Jedi Amazon run 6 months later
Today marks six months since Heart of The Jedi was taken off of Amazon. In my previous coverage of this I tracked the sales data for it and estimated that during the run about 4400 copies were sold. I have also since it has been taken down, tracking the ebay sales of it on the secondary market. Originally this was to provide anyone who missed the original run and still wanted a copy a buyers guide. There were many people listing it at extremely high prices and I wanted a source for people to know they aren't getting ripped off. But in updating that document I have in a sense now tracked 6 months worth of Amazon sales and I have to say there are some interesting things here that I'd like to share with you all. All these numbers have come by searching for completed listings and include the sales of all English speaking versions of the ebay website. However first I must address the elephant in the room in that there was a user that was creating their own copies using the 2016 Lulu files and posting them on ebay. As an update the person who originally made those files for people to self publish did get in contact with them and that ebay user has ceased listing the fake copies. But that still leaves by my count, 25 copies of fake Heart of the Jedi Amazon run editions that were sold in the intervening time, and probably more as ebay data only goes back 90 days. I have this created two sheets to the spreadsheet I use to track this, one for all sales and one for only the Amazon editions. I will use figures from both in this article and will label which graphs and charts are counting the illegitimate copies or not.
So first up a quick rundown of the mean and median prices. I broke these down into overall, to track all sales as well as sales in the last two and one month to reflect how the market for the book second hand was changing. That resulted in the following.
(Left Amazon only, Right All)
Although these figures are showing 105 and 130 sales respectively the numbers aren't including 5 sales. This is because there were 5 listings where the best offer was taken. This means the listing person put it up for one price but someone offered to buy it at a lower price and the seller accepted. because ebay does not disclose what price was agreed upon it only shows the list price. Thus I do not include them in these figures as we don't know what was actually paid for the book. If you are curious these were the prices they were initially listed at.
But this actually brings me to the next set of graphs that show a similar trend. That being the prices starting out high and getting cheaper over time. You can see this in the overall, two month and one month tables but the graph shows a much better picture of what is happening and why.
Generally speaking there was a huge rush of sales in the beginning as people panicked to buy copies. This is when we saw the large prices north of $300. However within a month that initial hype died down and the price fell to around half that and is even getting lower. While simultaneously the number of copies sold is also becoming more sporadic. You may have noticed a trendline in these graphs that goes all over the place. This is the 10 item rolling average, which is the average price of the previous 10 sales at that point. It was the best trend line to fit the data and works quite well at showing what the apparent market price seems to be based on other recent sales. We see in both it approaching the $100 range, though the graph with the illegitimate copies has of course much lower rolling averages due to these copies not selling for nearly as much. Despite the seeming lack of new sold listings the demand appears to be about the same, at least by going off of how many people are bidding on these books when one does come up.
While not a one to one comparison to how many people are competing the number of bids cane show a bit of that picture. These are just counting those listings that were auctions as those are the only ones that have bids. But in both you can see that outside of a few fairly competitive bidding wars most of the time the bids fell within the 1-15 range, indicating not as many people are probably competing for these listings. The chart with the illegitimate copies appears to have the bids on a decline though that is I think due to the lower starting price of the fake copies leading to more competitive bidding wars and once the user stopped putting them up those competitive bidding wars also stopped.
One of the first things I added was a histogram to show the distribution of what prices were most common. This was initially to show what was the market price back when the sales were still happing fairly rapidly. However as time went on the rolling averages became more accurate to what the current market price was but I thought I'd include these anyway as it does give a good impression of the most common prices people have spent on these books since it got taken down.
The main thing this demonstrates is the effect the fake copies had in lowering the price. Which does make sense as those auctions started lower, and there were technically unlimited copies as he was just making more. I guess it is both expected and good that people at least weren't paying more for the fakes than the real thing but it is still unfortunate that the fakes got out regardless.
Finally I also tracked the listings that failed to sell. This chart is long and can be viewed in the sheet link above, but was intended to be used to show what prices were way above the market price. But a funny thing that happened was that one person repeatedly put up a copy at the same price for months while not getting any sales.
Unfortunately someone did end up buying it on the 20th of September but it was funny none the less to see every two weeks another failed auction and the person just putting it up again for the same price every time. So that's all the stuff I wanted to share. There is more in the google sheet that I didn't have time for that you can see. All in all 105 legitimate copies of the Amazon edition have been sold on ebay in the past 6 months, roughly 2.3% of all copies that were from that run assuming none were resold and about 17.5 a month or just over 1 every two days. Though that rate has dropped significantly since July. I might be back with the 1 year numbers if they are interesting but I can't confirm that yet. I will be continuing to update the sheet though so you can check that link out well after this to see if anything has changed yourself. And remember if you just want to read the story you can always do so for free here.
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