Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Are Major Publishers Trying to Force Print? eBook Fixed Pricing Means Higher Prices

Interesting post at the Dear Author blog. Effective today, Random House is instituting agency pricing on eBooks. This means Kindle owners and downloaders won't get a financial break if Amazon wants to cut prices - the price is set by Random House and that's it.

Expect other major publishing houses to follow suit.

So what do readers do when the eBook version costs *more* than a discounted hardback or paperback? Is Random House expecting readers to turn to print? Most folks with eReaders have no desire to turn back to paper.

Will this just drive illegal downloads via torrent? I'm guessing it might.

I'm reading over on the Kindleboards quite a bit these days. A foray into self-publishing via eBook has been on my mind for some time, more for fun than profit. I have some fiction ideas and would love to test them out. Then again, going with a traditional publisher confers legitimacy, yes?

But what if you could be the next Amanda Hocking? Or sell 28,000 copies a month at a $.35-per-book royalty rate?

How many books would you have to sell through Random House to net the same $9,800 Victorine E. Lieske earned as a self-published novelist in February alone? More than 28,000. And at $9.99 how many readers will take a chance on a new novelist? 


Cat S. said...

I'm not sure if Amazon has changed the contract, but this was in there a year ago:

5.3.1 List Price. You will adjust the List Price as required to ensure that, at all times that the Digital Book is available for sale through the Program, the List Price does not exceed the lowest of: (a) the lowest suggested retail price or equivalent price for any digital or physical edition of the Digital Book; (b) the lowest price at which you list or offer any digital or physical edition of the Digital Book on any website or other sales channel

This gives them control over your pricing even off your site. And they are free to make their prices lower than they are on the publisher's website.

That might be a good deal if you purchase books through Amazon, but it's not such a good deal for publishers and authors, who also want to make money.

Susan Landis-Steward said...

Hi, Melanie

Great blog. I had no idea you did this. What agency pricing has done for me is driven me into the loving arms of the indies. If I can find an indie author who writes well and tells a good story for $5 or less, why would I even want to read agency priced books? Yes, there are a few authors I like, but with my Nook, I just get on the library wait list. I'm buying almost exclusively indie books now and reading some great stuff.