Harlequin CEO: Pricing a Big Problem in Publishing Today

shutterstock_145923332Harlequin has seen revenues decline steadily over the past several years but the company’s leadership is confident that 2014 will be a stabilizing year for the company.

There are several challenges Harlequin and others face in the publishing market today. One, Craig Swinwood, Harlequin’s CEO, argues is that of pricing.

Harlequin does a swift business in mass-market paperbacks, a category that Swinwood says has declined 50% in five years. When big online book retailers discount new hardcover books to the same levels as what a back-list mass-market paperback costs, it creates an unfavorable comparison that eats into paperback sales.

It also devalues what books are worth, according to Swinwood.


To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!

The rest of the day’s top news:

Harlequin’s Challenges and Opportunities (Forbes)
At first, digital publishing was a boon to Harlequin; now it may be hurting the company more than it’s helping. That could all turn around in 2014.

HMH’s Record-Breaking Year (DBW)
Trade sales at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt broke all records in 2013, hitting $171 million. The company as a whole brought in nearly $1.4 billion.

Tips and Tools for Ebook Developers (DBW)
Turning source files into a high-quality ebook often isn’t a straightforward, linear process. In this webcast from Digital Book World, attendees will be guided through a variety of challenges ebook developers encounter – and their solutions.

Dissecting Amazon’s Killer App (Marketwatch)
What is it that has set Amazon apart from the rest? Well, one thing is Whispersync and all its many wonders.

Kobo Says “No” (Quill and Quire)
Canadian ebook retailer Kobo has filed a brief opposing the ebook price fixing settlement in Canada, saying it will damage its ability to compete.

3M Adds E-Audiobooks to Cloud Library (DBW)
Libraries will now be able to purchase digital audio books from the 3M library ebook platform.

Mobile the Next Frontier for Ebooks? (Pub Perspectives)
Imagine reading a book on your smartwatch. That could be part of the publishing industry’s future. And you thought keeping your form factors straight was a challenge today.

Book Blog Platform Integrates With Kindle (DBW)
Now users of BookLikes, a book-focused blogging platform, can keep their followers appraised of their reading progress and other information about their Kindle reading.

Follett Invests in Assessment (DBW)
Educational materials and distribution company Follett, which has distribution deals with many major trade publishers for print and ebooks, has invested in an educational assessment technology start-up.

Comic Security Breach (PW)
Ebook comic vendor Comixology has been hacked and users are being told to change their password.

3 thoughts on “Harlequin CEO: Pricing a Big Problem in Publishing Today

  1. Pingback: Faber Factory Harlequin CEO: Pricing a Big Problem in Publishing Today - Faber Factory

  2. Pingback: Pricing News Daily > 3/13/14 : Pricing News

  3. Pingback: This Week in Pricing > 3/15/14 : Pricing News


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *