Jessica from Racy Romance Reviews put out a call for readers to list their top 16 romances books in honor of Kathleen Winsor, the author of the very first historical romance, Forever Amber. Forever Amber was roundly criticized for its sexual content at the Massachusetts Attorney General requested that it be banned. Many readers around the ‘net have participated and Jessica is trying to round them up at her blog. DA didn’t participate, but not because we don’t think this is a great idea, but because we’ve been planning our own list thing since August and we will be unveiling it in December.
Wal-Mart started a price war with Amazon over the cost of hardcovers. To combat the $9.99 ebook price, Wal-mart decided to slash the price of hardcovers of its top 20 pre-order books (including J.D. Robb’s Kindred in Death) to $9.00 and will be reducing a total of 200 hardcover titles to $9.00 for the holiday season. Amazon price matched that thus throwing publishers whose entire business model rests on making money off of hardcovers into a tizzy.
The race to the bottom of the pricing game presents a serious problem as illuminated by this Gizmodo piece about App prices for the iPhone. There is significant downward pressure on software developers to charge less and less for a piece of software, no matter its functionality. The question for the app developer is whether it can generate sufficient volume sales to make up for the lower price. For publishers, ebooks signal a downward spiral of prices that benefit the reader in the short term. In the long term, however, does that mean quality authors leave the literature space or does the new ebook market which removes the middlemen create opportunity? Probably a little of both.
I’m sure that there is other news but I’m tapped out for today. I’m feeling rather lackadaisical today. If you have some news tip or interesting link, share it with us in the comments!