Ebook Pricing Roller Coaster 

rising pricesAfter two straight weeks of gain from an all-time low, are ebook prices on the rise again?
 
A brief history: In the summer and fall of 2012, the average price of a best-selling ebook peaked at just below $12.00. The beginning of retailer discounting of big-six ebook titles and of the holiday discounting period put ebook prices on a tailspin until Jan. 2013, when prices seemed to stabilize around $8.00. The average hit a low two weeks ago at $7.40; it’s at $8.26 this week.
 
While it might seem that prices could be on the rise, the numbers indicate that they are still in a period of stability. Besides, there are some factors that could actually press them lower:
 
1. Amazon Publishing, self-published authors and big publishers selling back-list books have all had success in the $3.00 to $7.99 price range. Expect that to continue.
 
2. Three of the six largest publishers are still, by-and-large, pricing their own titles, usually above $10 when it comes to best-sellers. That’s set to change.
 
Read much more, including graphs visualizing the trends.
 


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The rest of the day’s top news:
 
Kobo Selling E-Readers Direct (DBW)

Kobo is finally selling its e-readers and tablets directly to consumers through its websites in the U.S. and Canada. Previously, you had to buy them elsewhere.

Amazon, Publishers Move to Dismiss Lawsuit (PW)
Amazon and six of the largest U.S. publishers are moving to have a lawsuit filed by three independent booksellers alleging anti-competitive practices dismissed.

‘Smart’ Books? (DBW)
A new line of “smart books” with embedded QR codes that link to hundreds of pieces of video and interactive content. QR codes are great for publishers because they are trackable; problem is, most people don’t like using them.
 
New Singapore-Based Ebook Retailer (Techgoondu)
Singapore-based StarHub has launched an Android and iOS ebook retail app called Booktique. It only has 400,000 books right now but StarHub is working on adding titles from 18 local publishers.
 
Unglue.it Picks up Big Challenge (DBW)
Academic publisher De Gruyter will make 100 titles available through the Unglue.it platform – as soon as they’re “unglued.” For any single title to be “unglued” (that is, made available worldwide, free), folks will have to cough up a collective $2,100.
 
Why I Dumped Goodreads (Wild Digital Content)
Sick of hearing about Goodreads yet? We aren’t, either. Here’s a polemic discussing why one prominent book technologist abandoned Goodreads soon after the Amazon acquisition.
 
Bibliocrunch Teams up With Wattpad and MediaBistro (DBW)
Bibliocrunch has two new partnerships – one with Wattpad and the other with MediaBistro – that should burnish its reputation with authors.
 
What Do You Want to Learn? (DBW)
We’ve recently launched DBW U, the newest online learning destination for book publishing professionals. We have a great set of courses in development but we want to hear from you: What do you want to learn?

Cautious or Lazy? (Catherine Decaffeinated)
Some authors aren’t interested in blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And that’s fine for some authors; not for others. The question is, if an author refuses to build an online platform, are they being cautious or lazy?

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Image Credit: price image via Shutterstock 
 

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