May 17 2010
A couple things about pricing. First, there may be some legal hurdles for the Agency model in the UK because if Apple is having some say about pricing then agreements between Apple and a group of publishers could be seen as collusion. There is, however, the possibility that because competition is strong for digital retailing that even a collusive agreement could get a pass. (I don’t see much difference in the US v. UK law as explained in the Bookseller article).
In print pricing news, Anchor will be releasing the mass market version of Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol in October for $9.99. It’s noted that the mass market is a premium version so I don’t know if that means it’s the Venti sized mass market or regular sized mass market with special paper or something. At $7.99, we aren’t too far away from a $9.99 price point for mass markets. I think romance readers would revolt but the once a month reader? Maybe not.
Another journalist suggests that print hardcover prices might increase due to the decreasing ebook prices, particularly for those that are of high quality. I agree with a lot in this post, but most specifically that I will pay more for a high quality hardcover. I bought an illustrated version of The Secret Garden and spent weeks reading it with my daughter. I paid almost $30 for that book (no coupon, purchased in bookstore) and didn’t regret a penny of it. I wanted to buy more books like it for my tot and I to read, but I couldn’t find any of that quality.
Ebook Specials and Freebies:
Hachette is doing its specials again. Two books are available at $1.99.
Samhain is giving away Elle Kennedy’s Heat of Passion for FREE until May 28th at the nook and Kindle stores.
Harlequin has a site wide buy one, get one free sale (referred to as a BOGO). This begins May 26th and runs until May 31. For a limited time, enjoy a BOGO sale at eHarlequin! For every book you buy, you'll get a 2ndbook FREE with coupon code BOGO43D! Expires May 31, 2010, 11:59 p.m. EDT. Lowest-priced books are free.
Tessa Dare posts the details on the sales of her werestag novella. Despite the under 1K sales numbers, Dare is happy with her experiment but cautions that it might not be for every author.
Amazon is removing the free books from the best seller list. Sarah Weinman of Daily Finance explains why this is both good and bad. The good is that readers, authors, and publishers get to see what people are really buying. The bad is that the trend of digital book pricing is already moving downward despite agency pricing and that a paid list might only serve to put more pressure on reducing prices.
One of my favorite literary blogs is the one by Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. The agents of the literary management group run the blog and their posts are always interesting even if they rarely intersect with the romance world. Recently, agent Jessica posted on an article in Atlantic where an author contemplates the reasons behind the success of Twilight, High School Musical, and Taylor Swift. Jessica asks the commenters to engage in “a little trend analysis. What does it say that vampire books are huge? ….It's tricky to make these sweeping statements about what we're reading and why, but formulating wild generalizations is part of the fun.”