aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Thomas Nelson’s CEO speaks out about the book price wars

A lot of publishers are wringing their hands about the book price wars that are going on. Target, Wal-Mart, and Amazon are basically in a race to the bottom, pricing some high-profile new hard covers at prices where they will lose $3.50 to $8.50 for each one they sell. Presumably they are using them as loss leaders, hoping that the difference will be made up in blenders or shoes. Independent bookstores, of course, that don’t have that option.

The price war comes after Amazon has been pricing many of their ebooks for the Kindle at $9.99, again a loss leader, this one designed to get folks to buy Kindles.

Thomas Nelson is actually thinking of taking some steps to combat this worrisome trend. I hope other publishers join them, because if not, consumers are going to expect to buy hardcover books for less than $10, authors are going to make only pennies per book, and I’m going to have to go back to a day job. [Full disclosure: Nelson is one of my publishers.]

Some of his suggestions including delaying the release of e-books, and establishing a minimum price for new books. You can read his blog post here.

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