Friday, September 25, 2015

Economy: E-Books - How The Publishers Ruined Their Own Business

(Drivebycuriosity) - E-book sales are tanking, reports Fortune Magazine  (fortune). In the first five months of 2015, publishers’ revenues from e-books sales fell 10% to $610.8 million, writes the magazine.

I am not surprised. tried to sell e-books cheaper, way cheaper than printed books. Many e-books were priced at $9 and below. But the majority of the publishers want to keep high prices and to sell e-books for the same price as printed books, even that virtual books has much less costs.

Last year Hachette, Macmillan and other publishers started a war (books), supported by New York Times, Atlantic Magazine, "The New Yorker" and other media (economy). The publishers won the war. Now the publishers set the price for books sold on Amazon, not the online company. The result are higher prices for e-books.

Recently I noticed that a Chinese author won this year`s Hugo Award, the Oscar for Science Fiction. I tried to by the book, "The Tree-Body Problem" by Cixin Liu online,  but in the moment of writing the e-books costs $12,99, more than the (printed) paperback version ($12,29  amazon). The kindle price is set by the publisher Macmillan.

Thank you Macmillan, you can keep the book. I don´t pay more for an e-book just because you say so. It is clear that the consumers responded to price hike as they always do - they reduced their purchases. Most customer have just a limited budget and expenses for books are competing with expenses for movies, traveling and other purposes.

The publishers won a pyrrhic victory. Now they control the e-book prices, but their sales are shrinking. Readers are losers as well, they have to pay more and they read less.

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