Monday, June 18, 2012

Publishers are undercutting their own arguments for agency pricing with discounting

The An American Editor blog looks at a new trend: Big 6 publishers deeply discounting selected eBook titles. One example is Zoe Ferraris' City of Veils, published by Little, Brown, which was put on sale by the publisher at $2.99. The first book in Ferraris' series, Finding Nouf, has a list price of $13.95 and is being discounted to $11.16. Another example is Matthew Dunn's Spycatcher, normally sold by HarperCollins for $9.99 but discounted with an excerpt of Dunn's new book Sentinel for $0.99.

The $2.99 price point is catching on, even with the Big 6 publishers. The An American Editor blog points out that publishers are thoroughly undercutting their arguments for why they need agency pricing in order to "protect the value of print books" when they sell new eBooks for $2.99, or for that matter, backlist titles for $0.99. With these discount prices, they're setting consumer expectations for how much fiction eBooks should sell for, and they're doing much more damage to themselves than Amazon's $9.99 pricing policy ever did.
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