The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead - The New York Times

The saga continues, as publishers fight Amazon for higher digital prices.  The New York Times reports that digital sales are down, and print is "far from dead."  (Did anyone really think it was dying?)  The cause, of course, is higher digital prices, as demanded by major publishers.  Books are not a luxury market -- and in non-luxury consumer markets, when prices rise, market share drops.

Lo and behold, the rational consumer decided that digital is not such a fantastic deal -- especially when popular titles are pricier in digital than print.  But the bigger story here (if you probe the issue further) is that total revenues for major publishers are down.  So, yes, they are protecting the business model, but not generating future growth.  Instead of nurturing a new digital market, they're ceding it to Amazon (with its proliferation of indies and its subscription plans.)  It's no surprise that the percent of digital sales for the big publishers is flat. They designed it that way.

As I have written in this blog, I believe that a digital copy isn't worth as much as a print copy.  It's an inferior platform compared to print-- especially in nonfiction, where I may want maps or pictures.  It should be priced lower, because it offers less value.  Period.

And if, I am looking to save money, I can easily opt for a cheap used copy.  It's just a click away.

The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead - The New York Times
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