While Ebook and Ereader sales have shown enormous growth in the past few years, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle, the Nook Tablet, smaller companies like Kobo and more, the entire industry is coming under threat from price competition between content providers.
Some of the best selling authors now have digital books on sale for as little as 20p. One such title quoted by The Guardian, is James Herbert’s newly released bestseller Ash, priced at £18.99 for the hardback version. To give that a bit of context, the digital copy sells for almost 99 per cent less than the only available hard copy version. Herbert is still happy though. Amazon takes the hit, passing on the full cost of the novel to the author (minus his agent’s and publisher’s take).
But he’s worried long term. Herbert believes that this will begin to set a precedent that 20p is all a book is worth. Promotions like these could also massively hurt new writers or ones that are relatively unknown. Herbert is a big name, he’s going to sell a lot of copies. If you saw an author you didn’t recognise in what is essentially the digital version of a bargain bin, you probably wouldn’t take much notice.
Authors aren’t the only ones worried. Sony, despite taking part in the price drops has staff that are wary of the situation. Peter Shea, general manager at Sony Digital Reading Services, said that he wanted it made clear that this was a promotion, not the new price of Ebooks.
KitGuru Says: As someone trying to become an author, news like this is a little disheartening. What do you guys think? Are books worth more than 20p? Less? Nothing? Let us know below.