Hi-Def Digest reports Barnes and Noble is dropping the price of its Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook with models starting at $149.
Digital Book World posted on the impact Agency Pricing is having on the eBook market and naively wonders if it is suppressing sales. It certainly is slowing sales for the digital titles of publishers who are greedily jacking their prices up. Who is going to buy an eBook if you can order the paperback or hard cover for close to the same price?
And it is certainly injecting new life into eBook Piracy. Google any book title and you won’t have to click through many pages before the pirated versions appear.
The group least affected by publishers forcing Agency Pricing on the market are Indie authors. (At least, those who have not signed away their options to Amazon Kindle Unlimited.)
Indie authors tend to set fair prices for their digital titles, and many have reported a leveling off of the drop in sales caused by Kindle Unlimited and the threat of Agency Pricing. Still others have marked a modest rise in sales.
We’ve said it since day one at eBook Rumors: No DRM + Fair Prices = eBook sales, Market growth, and Piracy Reduction.
Do they think that consumers cannot tell when they are being manipulated?
According to Slate, Amazon has lost another battle, this time to HarperCollins that has won the right to overprice its eBooks again. HarperCollins joins the unique club of big publishers that also won the fight with Amazon—Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan. You might remember this bunch being found guilty for conspiring with Apple to “fix” prices on eBooks.
Remember? It’s slightly more than a year since these publishers finished settling out of court before the U.S. Justice Department anti-trust lawsuit judgment landed on Apple. These companies settled out of court and repaid millions and millions of dollars that had been bilked out of consumers with the Agency Model.
Somehow these publishers can now fix prices again, and Amazon is avoiding blame by adding a disclaimer to overpriced HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan eBook titles: “This price was set by the publisher.”
It makes you wonder if there was any point to the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit.
Despite the setback for consumers, it may still be an opportunity for Indie authors. Those that haven’t ransomed their options to Kindle Unlimited are able to price their eBooks fairly. (Indies invented fair eBook pricing, anyway.)