Three Ebook Pricing Predictions

Now that HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster have all signed new agreements with their ebook retail partners (in that order), it’s time for the price experimentation to begin.
So far, it’s been mostly downward, with Amazon discounting and others following suit. Due to the nature of the new agreements, it’s likely that each of the retailers will be able to creatively out-maneuver one another here and there throughout the year. Here are three predictions of how it will play out (read explanations and more here):
1. Amazon will not be the lowest priced retailer for every book.
2. For some ebooks, discounts will not result in enough increase in unit sales to justify the discount. (More.)
3. High-priced ebooks will continue to dominate the ebook best-seller list.
Read explanations and much more here.

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The rest of the day’s top news: 
Who Is Watching Your Kids? (DBW)
Apps, apparently. According to a report by the New York Times, many kids apps are recording private data about your children – even when they say they’re not. In this editorial, DBW editorial director Jeremy Greenfield recommends that the children’s publishing industry get behind efforts to rewrite the rules about kids and digital privacy.

E-Reader Market Collapsing? (The Next Web)
In 2012, worldwide e-reader shipments are expected to be 14.9 million, down 36% from their peak in 2011 of 23.2 million. E-reader buyers are becoming tablet buyers.
Hearst Back in Books? (PW)
Ever since magazine powerhouse Hearst sold William Morrow to News Corp in 1999, it has been out of the book business. An upcoming release in January puts the company back in with 7YY, an imprint focused on the baby boomer set.

USA Today Publishes First Ebook, USA Tomorrow (DBW)
Joining a long list of non-book-publishing media companies entering the ebook business, USA Today has published USA Tomorrow, an ebook compendium of predictions about the future from noted thinkers. On sale at major retailers now for $1.99.
How Ebooks Could Save Hardcovers (Guardian)
As ebooks replace paperbacks, hardcover titles still have a place in the book world.
Buy Barnes & Noble (Business Insider)
Barnes & Noble is one of ten companies that investment magazine Barron’s recommend you buy stock in this year. Why? The unsatisfying explanation is that the Nook division is losing money and that means the company is building market share that it will turn into profits down the road.
Is Justice Blind? (DBW)
The National Federation of the Blind will be protesting outside Amazon’s Seattle headquarters tomorrow to draw attention to what it says is an injustice in which Amazon plays a central role.
Wiley’s Tough Quarter (DBW)
Revenue was down across the board at Wiley due to tough economic conditions, especially in Europe. The management was candid: “Our results this quarter and through the first half of the year have been disappointing,” said Steve Smith, president and CEO of Wiley, in a statement.
Coker Brain-Dump (Reddit)
Smashwords founder and CEO Mark Coker answered questions from Redditors. One of many interesting tidbits: Romance is the most popular genre on Smashwords.

Book Editors and Social Media (Pub Perspectives)
Should book editors be involved in engaging with readers through social media? Some in publishing see this as an unexploited opportunity. On the other hand, what role would/should editors play in social media?

Earth. From Space. At Night. (Google Earth)
A new layer on Google maps illuminates where on the planet you can get a charge for your iPad when it’s out of batteries. (That’s obviously not this breathtaking map’s purpose, but we wanted to put it in this all-things-ebooks newsletter anyway just to make sure you saw it.)

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