And The eBook Prices Came A Tumbling Down

money going up in smokeWhen I started looking for some new iOS programming books for my Kindle last week, it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. The last time I had engaged in such a search, I was frustrated by the high cost of these books even in digital format. This time I was in for a surprise. Lower prices!

In the aftermath of the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) settlement between three of the major eBook publishers and retailers, I had expected that eventually eBook prices would come down. But I wasn’t expecting it to happen so fast. Nevertheless, Ars reports that eBook prices are already falling. As part of the DoJ settlement, publishers HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, agreed to abandon the agency model in which eBook prices were set by the publisher, giving that power back to the retailer.

While Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Google Books have already started selling some eBooks below list price, no such luck at the Apple iBookstore yet. Apple is among the holdouts, publishers Macmillan and Penguin, determined to meet the DoJ charges in court next year. I can only hope that they will come to their senses and realize that lower eBook prices for the consumer can only grow the market for eBooks and other digital goods. While it means the inevitable decline of the hardcover printed book, major publishers still have back catalogs of thousands upon thousands of books waiting to find new readers and new life as eBooks.

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