Go Read This | E-book price war “absurd” | theBookseller.com

You have to wonder how long this can go on for and who is going to lose. The sense I get is it sure won’t be Amazon, but it VERY WELL may be the Publishers!

However, another senior publisher attacked the pricing strategies of W H Smith and Amazon. He said: “It’s absolutely absurd to devalue our product but I’m not surprised because our industry is populated by nincompoops.”

He said Amazon’s move could make the agency model less attractive to publishers. He said: “In this instance, on the wholesale model, publishers are fine because it is retailers taking the pain. If we say a book is £10 and you get 40% discount, we get £6. If the retailer chooses to sell it for £2, we’re still all right.”

A review of e-book prices undertaken by The Bookseller shows that Amazon and WHS are offering the lowest prices. Kindle and WHS e-books are also significantly cheaper than their counterparts on Apple’s iBookstore, where prices are set by the publisher.

via E-book price war “absurd” | theBookseller.com.

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6 comments

  1. Yeah, because, you know, these eBook things sell in a vacuum so they warrant eejitastic pricing. They don’t have to compete against 99-cent music, $2.00 video rentals, or $3.00 GAMES. *snort*

    1. I’m with you Mike to a certaine xtent.
      I’d put two qualifiers on it

      1) At their current level of cost structure publishers will NOT survive a rapid transition to low pricing of this nature.

      2) there are $70 games out there and $10 movie tickets, I expect there to be expensive books too.

      Eoin

      1. Say what you will, Eoin, but there are far more people out there who watch movies and play games than read books. And high prices will not encourage people to read. It will encourage them to watch or play. Why does publishing keep forgetting the revolution of the cheap mass market paperback? eBooks are NOT hardcovers, not premium packages. They are paperbacks, period.

      2. Mike,

        I don’t disagree at all with what you’ve said. Not even slightly. I’ve long said that people who think books are a mass medium totally over-estimates book readership and radically underestimate the popularity of other forms of entertainment.

        BUT even within the general point I still expect there to be limited numbers of expensive ebooks.

  2. I’m in for the expensive books, at least potentially. I’ll willingly pay more for better production values in print (because, as you say, print is not a mass medium product); in fact, I’ll pay more for duplicate copies if they’re done nicely enough. So I’d expect to do the same for eb00ks, although that does not mean that I’d pay for author interviews, reading group questions and all that nonsense. It’s got to be real added value.

    1. I love nice editions in print and I’m inclined to pay for them too!
      Not sure though, beyond some fairly basic features how this plays out for plain text ebooks which I see as pretty much utilitarian!
      On the other hand, fancy apps ….

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