Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I knew once all the brick and mortar book stores were on the downswing, that the great pricing on Kindle, Nook, etc. would begin their rise. As I’ve checked pricing for e-books, Kindle editions, and Nook offerings on many of the bestselling authors, I noticed the prices of novels you could have purchased as a softbound book or ‘hardcover on sale’ in the past would be less than the no-book (e-book format) price now. One of Larry McMurtry’s novels had a Kindle price tag of $16.99 and another was listed for $11.99. Granted, there are many bargains out there, but my fears about climbing no-book prices are becoming ever more noticeable.
There are a number of ups and downs I see to this trend. One downtrend will be POD offerings. An on-line publisher offering e-book format novels for what used to be new paperback pricing will naturally have to raise the price on POD paperback and hardbound copies. Soon, this will translate to what happened long ago in video rentals when Blockbuster wiped out the small video outlets. When they were the only game in town the pricing escalated until they killed the goose that laid the golden egg and were wiped out themselves. I realize this new and exciting instant gratification era of e-books is here to stay with all the iPad and other phone tablet gizmos incorporating e-book availability along with first run movies. I wonder if small book stores may eventually make a comeback though, offering an up to date selection of comic books and graphic novels which are tough to enjoy on a Kindle, along with new and used books, including POD’s and audio books of some selections.
Some price escalation I’m sure has to do with the bestselling authors seizing an opportunity to make more than was ever possible on even a large print run hardbound offering. Until market resistance slows sales I don’t see the escalating e-book pricing coming down any time in the near future. One exception to this is the ‘novel series’. I’ve noticed some popular series authors offering their first in series books for next to nothing, thereby gaining sales from new readers jumping on board – and of course full price for the rest of their series run from the readers deciding to purchase later editions. Another exception as always are the unknown new authors and their offerings, many of which can be purchased at very reasonable prices.
It’s an exciting and scary time in the publishing industry and it’s going to stay that way for quite a while. :)