Despite being given the ability through a settlement signed by Macmillan and the U.S. Justice Department to discount titles from the major publisher, retailers haven’t yet taken the opportunity, according to a report from Publishers Lunch, which looked at a selection of some of the top selling Macmillan ebooks.
A quick look at the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List confirms that as recently as last week, Macmillan titles weren’t being discounted beyond the 10% that its relatively new retailer contracts allow.
In the absence of discounting Macmillan titles, the average price of a best-selling ebook continues to drop. This week, it hit a new low of $7.56 after a few weeks of hovering just above $8.00. It had seemed as if ebook prices had stabilized somewhat. A successful promotion of a series of Hachette titles (The Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl) wherein their prices were dropped to $2.99 is the main reason for the price drop this week.
How low will ebook prices go? Currently, the only Macmillan title among the top-25 best-selling ebooks is The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, priced at $9.99. If it were discounted 30% to $6.99, the average price of a best-selling ebook would drop to $7.44.