Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Big publishers’ ebook revenue falls following Amazon pricing deals

In the US, sales of Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster ebooks through Amazon have fallen since the publishers signed new distribution deals, which included provisions for them to set the prices of their titles, reports the Wall Street Journal. The publishers have each reported declining ebook revenue in their latest reporting periods, following deals with Amazon that reportedly gave the publishers ‘control over most of its pricing but offered incentives to sell at lower prices’. Simon & Schuster signed in October 2014, followed by Hachette in November and HarperCollins in April this year. A similar Amazon distribution deal with Penguin Random House also came into effect on 1 September. Industry-researcher Codex Group found that titles in the Kindle bookstore from the ‘big five’ publishers cost on average US$10.81 (A$15.66), while all other ebooks had an average price of US$4.95 (A$7.17). The Association of American Publishers’ found in its StatShot report, which collects data from 1200 US publishers, that ebook revenue for adult, YA and children’s titles fell 10.4% to $583m (A$844.38) in the first five months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, with the industry debating to what extent the sales drop is attributed to a ‘crop of lacklustre new titles’ or higher prices resulting from the Amazon deals.


Category: International news