Publishers be E-Damned!

First Harper Collins changed their contracts so that if libraries bought their e-books, they had to buy a 2nd copy after the book was downloaded 26 times. Then Random House decided that libraries must pay 300% more for their e-books than previous prices.

But today was the kicker. announced that J.K. Rowling’s new novel, The Casual Vacancy, an adult novel about a small English village and the effect of a man’s death on the village would be released on Sept. 27.  Little Brown is the publisher and the list price will be $35…($21 if you pre-order it through Amazon), and$19.99 for the Kindle e-version!

Can we say “Price Gouging?”

The average list price for printed best sellers is currently $28 and $13 for e-versions so this represents a 25% raise in price for what is sure to be a mega-seller in print, but a 46% hike for the e-version over other best sellers! And please explain to me why digital versions of books should ever cost this much. It is not like the publishers spend a lot in printing fees, storage or shipping costs like they do for the printed versions.  Once they develop the digital version they use virtually the same marketing, cover art and author contracts, so why the exorbitant prices? I’m sure most authors don’t get this extra money. It is simply GREED on the part of publishers.

This week the Dept of Justice lauched an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple and 6 publishers regarding their collusion in price fixing of digital books

Little Brown belongs to Hachette one of the six publishers in that lawsuit which has already made an accommodation.

Attention, Department of Justice :  Heads up!


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