"Finding a book used to mean scouring the shelves at a bookstore, asking a bookseller for guidance or relying on recommendations from friends.
But bookstores are dwindling, leaving publishers with a deep worry about the future of the business: with fewer brick-and-mortar options, how will readers discover books?
One-day discounts are part of the answer. Promotions like the Kindle Daily Deal from Amazon and the Nook Daily Find from Barnes & Noble have produced extraordinary sales bumps for e-books, the kind that usually happen as a result of glowing book reviews or an author’s prominent television appearances."
Another important factor (not noted in the NYT article) is that traditional publishers now regard independent publishers as more serious competition than they did a few years ago. Indie publishers usually price fiction lower than their Big Six counterparts.
This drives prices down overall for readers. No, the price of the latest Dan Brown thriller, Inferno, is not going to be impacted by the pricing schemes of independent publishers and self-publishers. But for an older title like Dennis Lehane's Gone, Baby Gone (mentioned in the above article), the pressure to lower the price of the ebook is definitely a factor.