Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


"Debut Pricing" for ebooks

Hi, and a great Monday filled with happiness to all!

Ebooks are taking more and more share of the printed word. The pricing of ebooks, and when they should be released at lower prices so as not to derail the debut sales of their hard/softcover versions, are two big questions affecting publishers and authors during this transition period.

I am including a discussion of this conundrum below with some creative answers for the industry:

“Debut pricing” for ebooks: a better idea than withholding them
Posted by Mike Shatzkin on August 23, 2009 at 8:49 am

Three weeks ago, the community had a big discussion about the timing of ebook releases which was triggered by Dominique Raccah’s announcement that Sourcebooks would hold back the ebook of Bran Hambric for some period after the hardcover release. The expressed concern was to insulate the $28.95 hardcover from the price competition currently taking place in the ebook space, where Amazon has started working to establish a $9.99 retail price for new commercial titles, forcing to match them.
This post doesn’t quarrel with the suggestion that there’s a problem; it is a quest for a better solution.

Although Amazon has pushed some smaller publishers to a different discount structure, the established commercial houses usually sell ebooks to retailers at about 50% off the publisher’s retail price, about the same terms they have established for print books. But ebooks, title for title, add more margin (i.e. profit) to the publisher at the same net revenue because the books don’t have to be manufactured and shipped and there is also no cost of returns. (They would also generate more margin for the stores than print books if the stores sold them at the same price as the print book, but, as I pointed out in an earlier post, under current practices, they never will.)…Read rest of post @

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