Like myself, many of you may have received an email about a credit given to your for eBooks you purchased that were deemed over-priced. A recent lawsuit against Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, known as Macmillan (“Macmillan”), Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (“Penguin”), Hachette Book Group, Inc. (“Hachette”), HarperCollins Publishers LLC (“HarperCollins”) and Simon & Schuster, Inc. and Simon & Schuster Digital Sales, Inc. (“Simon & Schuster”) claimed the publishers conspired to fix and raise retail prices of E-books.
I read this and thought, "Well of course they did. Publishers have always fixed prices of books, why should eBooks be any different?" But the problem wasn't so much the fixing of the price as it was the price itself. You may have noticed eBook prices as high as $13.99 for bestselling authors. For sanity's sake, the paperback of that book cost the same. So of course, I balked at the price, and chose not to buy. As an author I'm a huge supporter of paying a fair price for a book because I know how much work authors put into them. But, when there is no overhead, no printing cost, and low distribution costs on eBooks, lower prices are warranted. I've made it a practice to never buy an eBook for the same price that I could get a paperback of the same novel.
On one hand I don't agree with the lawsuit. It seems as though there could have been a better way to get publishers to agree on a reasonable ceiling for eBook prices based off their length, distribution, and such. On the other, some of the prices were getting out of hand and pushing eBooks out of reach of many. After all, we don't want eBooks to go the way of movies and become so ridiculously over priced that people stop spending the money on them. Where do you weigh in on the pricing of eBooks?