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Higher E-Book Prices Turn Out to Not Be Popular with Consumers

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg writing for the Wall Street Journal:

“When the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies.”

The world’s largest publishers were forced to turn to Amazon after the US government successfully sued Apple for conspiring to inflate e-book prices by establishing “agency model” pricing for the iBook Store.  Amazon, got by without at second glance.

Let’s see how things are going:

“The new business model for e-books is having a significant impact on what [the big] publishers report,” said one publishing executive. “There’s no question that publishers’ net receipts have gone down.” 

On Thursday morning, there wasn’t a single title priced at $9.99 among the top 20 titles on the company’s Kindle best-seller list. Last summer, Amazon offered the digital edition of James Patterson’s thriller “Invisible” for the bargain price of $8.99. Mr. Patterson’s newest tale of suspense, “Alert,” went on sale Aug. 3 on Amazon for $14.99, a price set by Hachette, Mr. Patterson’s publisher. The unit sales for Mr. Patterson’s e-books weren’t available.

Sounds like there’s trouble in paradise.

[Via The Wall Street Journal…]