Bestselling ebooks by authors including Jeffrey Archer and James Herbert are being sold for just 20p from Sony and Amazon’s digital stores, prompting concerns from writers that the “relentless downward pressure on book prices” could lead to industry ruin, reports Alison Flood in The Guardian.
It’s a very interesting and thought-provoking piece, which puts you in mind of the irresistible force of gravity. Ultimately, everything reaches bottom.
Peter Shea, general manager for Sony Digital Reading Services, says:
‘Unlike with physical books, some publishers do not allow their ebooks to be sold at discounted prices. As a result, at Reader Store we aim to provide excellent prices to our customers where we can with a selection of ebooks priced as low as 20p while others are only available at full list price. Of course, the publishers and authors of the ebooks we choose to sell for 20p still receive their full payment for each book we sell. We have found these publishers and authors enthusiastic when informing them of our pricing for their books.’
Hmmm. I’m not sure ‘enthusiastic’ really covers it. Not sure where this will end. Actually, small publishers like us, with very low overheads, are probably going to be OK. [Said with fingers tightly crossed.] I think some of the bigger players might be thinned out, though.
Mind you, in the meantime eBook sales are up 188%.
If you don’t know anything about physics, but wish you did, Professor Julius Sumner Miller is brilliant. Here he is, almost Harry Enfield-like, on the centre of gravity (‘Consider – a stick. A metre stick. If it were a good stick, as I would like to have it, it would have to be uniform, homogeneous, and isotropic. Those are wonderful words to know the meanings of.’):
Warren Miller knows a fair bit about gravity, too: