E-Book Sales Decline Due To New Amazon Contracts

I thought this news report would mix well with this week’s Weekly Tea Discussion.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

When the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Amazon.com Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies.

But in the early going, that strategy doesn’t appear to be paying off. Three big publishers that signed new pacts with AmazonLagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, News Corp ’s HarperCollins Publishers and CBS Corp. ’s Simon & Schuster—reported declining e-book revenue in their latest reporting periods.

“The new business model for e-books is having a significant impact on what [the big] publishers report,” said one publishing executive. “There’s no question that publishers’ net receipts have gone down.”

A recent snapshot of e-book prices found that titles in the Kindle bookstore from the five biggest publishers cost, on average, $10.81, while all other 2015 e-books on the site had an average price of $4.95, according to industry researcher Codex Group LLC.

“Since book buyers expect the price of a Kindle e-book to be well under $9, once you get to over $10 consumers start to say, ‘Let me think about that,’” said Codex CEO Peter Hildick-Smith.”

If you noticed by the infograph created by the newspaper, you really see no difference in pricing between an e-book and a hardcover:

This is why my purchasing of ebooks has decreased. There really isn’t that much of a difference. You might as well buy the hard copy.

Publishers fought so hard for the right to set e-book prices. They won but I can’t help but think they ended up being the losers in the situation.

As publishers game out e-book pricing, the stakes are high for authors and agents. “I want my clients’ books to be sold for as high a value as possible, but the important word is sold,” said Richard Pine, an agent at Inkwell Management.”

To read the full article, you can find it here.

9 thoughts on “E-Book Sales Decline Due To New Amazon Contracts

  1. What were they expecting with those prices? If it’s just as cheap to buy a hardcopy of the book, that’s what most people are going to do. I The only time I buy an ebook is when they a LOT cheaper

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Recently, I considered purchasing an e-copy of The Raven Boys (Scholastic) because I ran out of bookshelf space. The Nook book was the same price as the physical copy at $9.99 but the Kindle edition was about $4.99. As appealing as that $4.99 price was, I went with the physical copy because I often flip back and forth through the pages. Also, after reading an article a while back that explained that you don’t actually own the e-book but instead have rights to read it for a time, I feel better owning a physical copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I heard that you don’t really own the e-book, you are just buy the “licensing software” for the e-book, my appreciation for physical books increased. You never have to make that distinction with hard copies. If you but it, you own it.

      Liked by 1 person

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