I recently read an article relating to book publishing which stated that for the first time, Amazon Kindle eBook sales surpassed the sales of Amazon printed books. In essence, readers are now buying more ebooks from Amazon than all hardcovers and paperbacks combined. And since Amazon is by far the largest book seller in the world, this is a significant statistic. To me it marks an inflection point in publishing that I knew was bound to happen, I just didn’t know when. But the future is definitely NOW.
One of my favorite authors is Wilbur Smith, who writes historical dynasty adventure novels based on characters throughout the history of Southern Africa. He really brings Africa and its struggles to life. Anyway, after a quick troll through Amazon, here is what I discovered about pricing:
Help me understand the logic here? Other than greed, of course. With eBooks, there are zero distribution costs, zero shipping costs, zero inventory costs, zero warehousing, no costs for prominent shelf space, zero costs for paper and printing. I could go on but you get the picture. We are talking about electronic bytes here, whose costs to deliver is minimal. And it’s not Amazon setting the pricing in most cases, it’s the publishers.
In another very recent article, a court has orders several large publishing houses to reimburse Amazon customers who bought “overpriced” eBooks. I guess someone is beginning to complain and force the issue of this greedy practice.
Here is a case of greed and protectionism overriding good business practices. A tireless critic of traditional publishing and a visionary about the digital revolution is Seth Godin and if you want to learn more about the tidal wave of changes impacting the traditional publishing industry and their poorly advised protectionist responses, read a few of his blogs.
One thing is for certain, the power of people voting with their feet, and dollars, has the power to change those who resist change.
Tight Lines . . .
John R Childress