- Posted by Johanna on December 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
Simon & Schuster, concerned that customers are choosing $10 ebooks over more expensive hardcovers, has decided to delay the release of electronic versions by four months after the print release date.
This strikes me as dumb. There’s no certainty that readers, some of whom are eager to try out their new Kindles or Nooks, will simply pay more for a format they find inferior. People will new toys will read what’s available for them. It’s also likely that, by the time they’ve waited four months, they’re no longer interested in purchasing your book; they’ve forgotten about it. I won’t even mention that, of the major media, books are the easiest to copy digitally.
When will publishers learn that trying to force customers to act contrary to their interests in order to benefit publishers is not a smart strategy? Note that “publishers currently receive the same wholesale price for an e-book that they receive for a print book”. They’re not losing any money by being more customer-friendly. They’re just afraid of the future, especially if it includes more format and price flexibility. I find $10 much too much to pay for an electronic copy, anyway, but that’s why I don’t have a dedicated e-reader device. (My cellphone displays epubs just fine, though.)
HarperCollins, meanwhile, has decided that they won’t delay books; they’ll just raise prices. “We are planning to introduce some of these titles, simultaneous with the hardcover, as enhanced e-books to be priced more in line with the hardcover.” At least, they’re also experimenting the other way as well: “we will be testing very low-price and free e-books to gauge consumer appetite for a variety of digital price points and formats.”