Remember how Amazon was forced to allow a few certain publishers to set their own e-book prices? Not everyone is going to accept e-book price hikes easily. But you can always count on Apple to challenge the publishers and keep the prices low for its customers. Considering what Apple has done with music files on iTunes, you can certainly expect the company to do its best to keep the prices low and make the reading experience on the iPad as convenient as possible. In fact Apple seems to be working towards forcing publishers to drop their prices once their books hit the bestsellers list.
According to NY Times (and this is just a rumor at this point), Apple looks at $14.99 as more of a ceiling rather than a floor for e-book prices. Since Apple gets only 30 percent of each sale, publishers will get enough cut of their sales to be satisfied with their deal with Apple:
Apple inserted provisions requiring publishers to discount e-book prices on best sellers â€” so that $12.99-to-$14.99 range was merely a ceiling; prices for some titles could be lower, even as low as Amazonâ€™s $9.99. Essentially, Apple wants the flexibility to offer lower prices for the hottest books, those on one of the New York Times best-seller lists, which are heavily discounted in bookstores and on rival retail sites.
Amazon has been aggressive with its pricing by promising to sell most of its e-books for $9.99. That plan is starting to backfire on the company in some ways. Worst of all, many of us have always wanted Amazon to drop its prices to $6.99 or below. Amazon doesn’t allow you to resell its e-books nor does it let you lend it to a friend. Maybe adding a feature similar to Nook’s Lend Me would help Amazon justify higher e-book prices in the future. But the company is now put on notice that Apple is serious about its challenge in the e-book industry. If Amazon prices go up too high, Apple will be there to capitalize.
Your take: in your opinion, what’s the fair ceiling price for e-books?Â $14.99, $9.99, or a lower price?