Breaking News: Water Is Wet

Raising prices does not increase ebook sales

September 14, 2015

Amazon box

In yet another shocking display of the obvious, Tim Worstall reports on the consequences of Big Five price negotiations with Amazon. Brave publishers stood up to the mega-retailer, by gum, and succeeded in raising the consumer price of ebooks.

The result? Sales have fallen. Worstall notes that three big publishers that signed new deals with Amazon—Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster—saw their ebook revenues drop in the last reporting period.

Who could have foreseen it? Other than, well, everybody. Raising the price almost always means fewer sales. Lowering the price means more sales. The real question is why publishers believe that imposing fiscal barriers on promoting new books benefits either readers or authors.