Monday, December 23, 2013

Ebook prices falling amid market pressures

While browsing on Amazon.com this week, I noticed that a lot of Kindle fiction titles were cheaper than usual.

As it turns out, publishers have in fact been systematically lowering ebook prices since last year:


"Ebook prices have been on a steadily southward trajectory since the summer of 2012 when Digital Book World started tracking them. The average price of a top-25 best-selling ebook peaked in October of 2012 at just under $12 and has lately hovered at about half that."

As the hyperlinked article notes, the low prices are inconsistent, as publishers are employing loss leader strategies:

"The overall price decline trend is likely driven by retailers competing with each other for customers as well as trying to bring readers in the door with loss-leading deals on top books that are paid for when more profitable ebooks are purchased at higher prices."
The title of the Forbes.com article is "When You Can Buy Current,Best-Selling Books For Under $2.00"

The proposition here is hyperbolic and unrealistic, of course. Nevertheless, the price of ebooks will have to decrease over time in order to make them competitive against other forms of entertainment. 

With the exception of academic/professional/technical nonfiction, there should never really be a reason to price an ebook at more than $9.99--and most titles should be about half that.

No comments:

Post a Comment