Wednesday, November 3, 2010

E-Wars: The Opening Gun

Amazon has raised its kindle prices from certain publishers (henceforth known as 'offending publishers.') to where the ebook may actually be more expensive than the print book.  It's not Amazon's fault, here's an excerpt that explains the heart of the difficulty:

"Earlier this week, was forced to accept new commercial terms from big publishers Penguin, Hachette and HarperCollins, who have switched to the "agency model" for their ebooks. On this model it is publishers, not retailers, who set the selling price."

Why would an offending publisher make the electronic edition as, or more, expensive than the print, when it obviously costs less to produce?  Answer: To drive buyers to the print edition.  I see this as a last ditch effort by the offending publishers to  retain the marketplace that they currently dominate and understand.  It will fail.

What will this cause readers to do, especially modern e-savvy readers?  Two things I think.

1. Not buy either edition of the book from the offending publisher.  (See the below protests.)
2. Discover other writers, from other ebook publishers, that they may like just as much or better than the writers they now buy from the offending publishers.


The offending publishers lose.
Writers with the offending publishers lose.
Other publishers gain.
Writers with other publishers gain.
The reading public ultimately gains.
Offending publishers eventually abandon the practice or lose big, maybe close their doors.

I think Darwin wins.

What do you think?

Read the full article here:

No comments:

Post a Comment