With all the focus on the ongoing Apple-DOJ trial, it may have gotten lost this week that the average price of a best-selling ebook spiked to almost $9.00. That’s higher than at any point in 2013 and a rise of about $2.00 from last week – easily the biggest increase we’ve seen since we started observing ebook prices in August of 2012.
While the reasons for the spike are simple to explain, what might happen next all depends on your point of view when it comes to the publishing industry. (See the reasons for the spike here.)
If you think that self-publishing being a serious contender to traditional publishing houses is a passing phase, then expect the relatively higher prices to continue. If you think the opposite, don’t get too comfy at $9.00 for ebook best-sellers.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Are Ebooks Worse for Your Kids Than Print Books? (DBW)
Two recent surveys and the press reaction around them suggest that this may be the case. Meanwhile, there has been little academic study into the issue. Related: For Reading and Learning, Kids Prefer Ebooks to Print Books.
DOJ/Apple: Apple Claims 20% of U.S. Ebook Market (paidContent)
In recently adding Apple to the DBW Ebook Best-Seller List, we have done a tremendous amount of research about Apple’s U.S. market share among publishers, retailers and observers. While we can’t say due to nondisclosure agreements what we believe Apple’s market share to be, we can safely say that there no retailer actually knows its own market share. Think about it.
DOJ/Apple: Did Steve Jobs Lose the Case for Apple? (Fortune)
All week, Apple’s lawyers have been arguing that the company didn’t force publishers force Amazon to go on agency pricing. Publisher witnesses have corroborated this line of thinking. Unfortunately, an email from former Apple chief Steve Jobs basically says that the company can’t compete with Amazon unless it does just that. When Apple’s lawyer points out that the email was never sent, Judge Denise Cote had that stricken from the record.
Mobile, Data, Content Key to Digital Future (DBW)
Delivering unique content through mobile devices and applications and then measuring how audiences buy and engage with that content is how the successful publishers of the future will run vibrant businesses.
Amazon First in Japan, Apple Second (Pub Perspectives)
An online survey shows that Amazon leads Japan in ebook sales and that Apple is second. Kobo, which has put a priority on the country due to its ownership (Rakuten, the “Amazon of Japan,” owns Kobo), is reportedly fifth: Related: Kobo CEO – Japan a Priority.
Pulitzer: Enhanced Ebook Giveaway (DBW)
The Pulitzer Center, the nonprofit that administers the Pulitzer prize, is giving away two of its award-winning enhanced ebooks to encourage good reporting and good digital enhancement execution.
Another Social Books Play (DBW)
The online shopping social start-up Slice has launched Slice Bookshelf, which it hopes will compete with Goodreads and others in this crowded field.
UK: ‘Authors Must Be Paid Fairly for Ebook Library Loans’ (Guardian)
A prominent UK author calls for authors to be compensated “fairly” every time a patron checks out an ebook from a library. Good luck with that.
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