Thursday, April 12, 2012

eBook Pricing, Libraries, and You

At this blog, we will occasionally be posting things about current events we think you might find interesting (also see our Twitter feed for more things like this:!/csplibrary)

Note: any opinions expressed in the following quotes do not necessarily reflect the views of Concordia library's staff.

On scholarly publishers selling books to libraries (and similar institutions) at high prices: “Scholarly publishers have made the trade-off between offering a very low price to a very large market or a very high price to a very small market.” --

On popular e-Book publishers selling e-Books to libraries at high prices: “…despite the obvious ugliness of charging obscene amounts for the purpose of making books available to the public, one can see that the publishers’ backs are against the wall. Any concession at all is to be, if not admired, at least understood as a difficult and possibly disastrous course of action.” --
On popular e-Book publishers selling e-Books to everyone at high[er] prices: “Amazon was using e-book discounting to destroy bookselling, making it uneconomic for physical bookstores to keep their doors open... Two years after the agency model came to bookselling, Amazon is losing its chokehold on the e-book market: its share has fallen from about 90 percent to roughly 60 percent... Brick-and-mortar bookstores are starting to compete through their partnership with Google, so loyal customers can buy e-books from them at the same price as they would from Amazon. Direct-selling authors have also benefited, as Amazon more than doubled its royalty rates in the face of competition... The irony bites hard: our government may be on the verge of killing real competition in order to save the appearance of competition.” --Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild quoted @
In other words, even though eBooks were cheaper two years ago, no one could compete with Amazon’s low pricing, creating a monopoly-like situation.  Apple and others sought to overcome this with their “agency [pricing] model”, and did.   Now the U.S. Department of Justice has sued Apple and others (for more explanation, see  here)
Hat Tip:  (for first two links)