Simon and Schuster has reached an agreement with Amazon to return to agency pricing, according to a report from Digital Book World. The deal is to go into effect January 1, 2015 and is said to apply to both print and e-books. According to the rumored term s, “Amazon’s prerogative to discount the publisher’s ebooks is sharply limited.” There is no word if this will have any effect on the negotiations between Amazon and Hachette.
Personally, I think this is very disappointing news. As someone who buys a lot of e-books, I still think that most of the Big Publishing House e-books are priced too high, especially many backlist books. I boycott any e-books priced over $9.99 and have had to leave several series unfinished because of pricing issues. I also reject e-books that are priced as high as their paper versions. IMHO, this is not a move that is good for consumers.
I do predict that this will be good for the subscription services, however, especially if publishers try to return to the $12.99 to $14.99 price points. That monthly fee for Scribd or Oyster or Kindle Unlimited probably just got more attractive.
It is also probably good news for indie authors, at least in the short term. I am not convinced that books are necessarily interchangeable. I think I am somewhat of an anomaly because I am willing to abandon a series based on price or principle.
How do you feel about the news?