Saw a tweet today about a Federal US Judge approving a settlement in the eBook pricing battle, between Amazon and Harper Collins, Hachette and Simon and Schuster. Apple, Penguin and Macmillan refused to settle. vhttp://www.writerswrite.com/blog/90720121
It brings up a question we’ve often asked, namely how to set eBook prices? To an author, trying to make a living, and with books that can easily take a year, it seems entirely reasonable an individual should spend say $4.99 for something that in comparison to a movie can in potential bring many more hours of interest or entertainment.
But then there is a purely business question of whether dropping prices to a dollar, say, would please readers, especially younger ones, but also majorly increase sales. When the relationship between the “Publisher” and author is not so complex, as at Phoenix, it does not need complex royalty structures, that themselves support the needed administration of big publishers and many jobs there, so naturally raising prices, and needing some protection of those prices too. Here there is much more possible flexibility, but big publishers are not all evil villains, fixing markets. The villain might well be seen as Amazon, doing everything to blast into the “Online platform market” and gloating over news that bookshops like Borders, hubs of human contact, had to declare bancruptcy. Publishers are only evil villains when they abuse their authors and break their own contracts (Um, Abrams, though in my knowledge out of a very specific case there.)
But we’d love to hear what you think of Phoenix prices, or if you think it would lead to much bigger sales to significantly drop prices. Perhaps there are tens of thousands of readers out there straining in the slips to read, if the price was right, or perhaps electronic readers really do disturb human sleep patterns and we can all get back to bookshops and conventional publishing! Oh happy days.