I used to worry that the digital developments that seemed to be moving so fast in the US would outpace Ireland and the UK and result in UK and Irish publishers losing out.
It now seems to me that in fact the opposite is the case. The maturing of the ebook market in the US gave UK retailers forewarning and they decided not to just let Amazon waltz in and take their territory from them.
They spent money to develop ebook delivery platforms and while they may not have the range of devices that they have in the US, they can fight on price and so they are.
That said, the readers bonanza that the book prices being reporting today represents will be the lower profits of Booksellers later this year and the margin pressure on publishers this Autumn. but it’s also a sign that ebooks really are a big deal this side of the water too!
If publishers are able to resist the margin pressure in the face of this price war, they should end up doing well out of the ebook price war. Of course, if they can’t that’s a whole different ballgame.
All of that goes just for the UK, by my estimation neither Publishers or Booksellers in Ireland are ready for the ebook to any great degree.
When Amazon launched its UK Kindle store, Steve Kessel, senior vice president of Amazon Kindle, told The Bookseller the prices would be the lowest in the market. However, WHS is selling the Lampard memoir cheaper than Amazon.co.uk, which has it on sale at £4.86. It does beat WHS on the other titles mentioned above. The Pacific is on sale on the Kindle for £9.44 and McGiffin’s memoir for £7.97.
PS: I’ve finally succumbed and added Ebooks as a category rather than just a tag!