By now you’ve surely heard that Apple and several major book publishers have been sued by the U.S. government this week because of their alleged collusion to raise eBook prices, a violation of antitrust laws. It’s really a pretty sordid story (as sordid as it gets when it comes to the topic of eBook pricing).
In a nutshell, a few of the major publishers were unhappy with Amazon (who was dominating the eBook market at the time with the success of the Kindle) setting the average price of eBooks at $9.99, a figure the publishers felt was too low, especially since Amazon was taking a big chunk of the sales for themselves. Apple was aware of the discontent and decided to take advantage of it when they entered the eBook race with the iPad. They secretly conferred with the publishers and together decided to raise the publishers’ cut which drove the rate of eBooks to around $14.99.
Now it seems with the government stepping in for a severe wrist slapping to all parties involved, readers will earn a small victory with reduced eBook prices in the future.
So what do you think? As indie authors, eBook sales are a huge part of our livelihood. And even if you haven’t published an eBook yet, you’ve probably bought and read one on your eReading device of choice.
Here are a few questions we’d like you to answer in the comments:
- Was Apple wrong to raise the price of eBooks?
- How much profit should a publisher keep from an eBook?
- Is it fair for Apple and Amazon to take a big cut from eBook sales?
- As a reader, how much are you willing to pay for an eBook?
- Will this affect the way you price your eBook?
- Do you think Amazon’s average of $9.99 is too high too?
- How can the eBook market be adjusted so the pricing is more fair to everyone?
Jump in the discussion and let us know what you think!