Book pricing datapoints of the day
When a big new book comes out, the publisher has two choices. It can allow Amazon to sell the Kindle edition at a much lower price than the hardback, increasing the number of copies sold but possibly cannibalizing hardback sales. Alternatively, it can force Amazon to charge a high price for the Kindle edition, garnering a passive-aggressive note on the website saying “This price was set by the publisher.”
The result looks something like this. All the Devils are Here, published by Penguin Portfolio, is $16.99 on the Kindle; Decision Points, published by Crown, is $9.99. And in return for allowing Amazon to subsidize the Kindle price, it seems that Crown has agreed not to sell the book in Apple’s iBook store:
|All the Devils are Here||Decision Points|
|Amazon sales rank||7||1|
|Kindle sales rank||16||1|
And here’s the tag cloud for the Kindle edition of All the Devils are Here:
It’s easy to overstate how representative the vocal protestors are, but it’s certainly clear that e-book buyers are price-sensitive. Has an e-book priced at more than $10 ever made it to the top of the Kindle bestseller list?