Skip to main content

Top-selling e-book prices take a hit from big competitors


STAMFORD, Conn. In July 2008, the top 25 titles on Amazon's bestseller list for the four weeks averaged $9.25 and the top 25 in June averaged $8.04 after decreasing fairly steadily during the interim. For Sony, after starting at $10.13 in July 2008 then increasing to $11.68 in November thanks to a few well selling bundles, the average price of the top 25 fell to $9.97 in June, according to a study by Simba Information.

"There's a lot of pressure to sell titles at a loss, or at least better than the other guy, in order to lure new customers," said Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information. "But if the competition gets so fierce it leads to a race-to-the-bottom, no one will win, not even consumers."

Sony recently added about 500,000 free public domain e-books to its library, a move that pushed the company's selection far beyond Amazon's. That was replicated by Barnes & Noble's announcement earlier this month when it opened its new e-book store. These and other companies continue to experiment with their user interface, loyalty programs, and other means to get a competitive edge in this complicated marketplace.

According to "Trade E-Book Publishing 2009," about 8% of the U.S. adult population purchased at least one e-book during 2008; a figure undoubtedly on the rise. The report also determined the most popular devices on which e-book users consume their books and includes demographic data of buyers.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds