If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Online Book Pricing

In previous posts, I wondered about how Amazon priced my bridge book and followed how Barnes & Noble and Amazon chose to price Catherine Coulter’s Backfire. Since then, we had the e-book pricing suit settlement, after which publishers lost the right to require specific e-book prices. I wondered at the time how that would affect e-book pricing. I thought it would bring prices down (a boon for consumers) and there would be more pricing competition (also a boon for consumers.)

I chose to follow Michael Connelly’s Black Box for five and a half months, which includes six-weeks before the hardcover release.

E-book Pricing

Let’s start with e-book pricing. When I monitored Coulter’s Backfire, both Amazon and B&N carried the e-book at $12.99. The price did not vary from that list price on a single day. The chart below shows some changes in pricing philosophy subsequent to the suit. As I am writing this blog, Backfire is still selling for $12.99. Black Box has varied from a pre-publication high of $14.99 to a few day low of $7.50 and as of this writing rests at $7.99

Figure 1 Black Box E-Book Prices

The two “competitors” acted almost in lock-step as they moved the price of the e-books on a daily basis. The only difference was one day in February when B&N held a $12.74 price a day longer than Amazon. [In fact it could have been more or less than 24 hours, since I only checked prices on a daily basis, usually first thing in the morning.]

Hardback Pricing

Pricing on the hardback edition has been a bit more volatile. Amazon has priced the book as low or lower than B&N, with the interesting exception of a few days in February when Amazon appears to be chasing B&N down and not quite catching them.

Notice that the pre-publication price was considerably higher than the price once the book was available. Apparently the retailers have determined that an author’s fans will pay more to be first in line. Since the words don’t change and I have more books to read than time to read, I’ll not be caught paying pre-listing prices.

Figure 2 Black Box Hard Cover Pricing

For the better part of a month, B&N has priced the hard cover edition at $15.21 and Amazon at $15.22 – so rush on over to B&N and get that $.01 savings.

Paperback Pricing

The paperback edition came out about a month after the hardback release.
Figure 3 Black Box Paperback Prices

Other than the dope-smoking episode B&N engaged in the second week of February, which was a relapse of their initial pricing decision, the two have danced a dance of “can you top this?” It appears B&N has taken the lead and Amazon has been the follower.

In my blog Whither Barnes & Noble I predicted the demise of B&N unless they changed their focus. Based on this sample of one, they have not. In the blog I suggested B&N should become THE place for readers to learn about books and authors. Had B&N followed the logic of my blog, they would have been the one buying Goodreads. Instead Amazon has snapped them up. I see nothing from Barnes & Noble to change my prediction of their demise.

And based on this limited sample of one e-book, pricing in e-books is still not being done in the same competitive way hardcover and paperbacks are. Simply look at the pricing volatility for paperbacks and hardcovers compared to the stability of e-books.

I’ve seen this same thing with the pricing of my novel Bad Policy. It’s been available less than a month, but the paperback price fluctuates frequently and the e-book pricing is constant. As Smoky Robinson sang, “My mother told me, you better shop around.”

~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

When it comes to books, I don't shop around. If I can get a book through the library, I do. If I want an ebook, I have a Kindle, and although I know I could buy another format through Smashwords or another vendor, I have one-click buying at Amazon, which is soooo easy. For a few pennies difference, I don't bother.

That being said, if an author posts that a book I want to read has been discounted or momentarily free, I go right in and buy it to save the money. Between those give-aways and my library reading (ebook borrowing too), I figure I've save enough not to comparison shop every time I want a book. My time is valuable too.

Gloria Alden said...

I don't comparison shop,either. Well,if I need a book for one of my book clubs, I check with a local used book store first, then the two libraries I use. If I can't get them in either place, or I know it's a book I'll love and want to keep, I order from Amazon. I would shop at a brick and mortar store if they had one closer. There is a Books a Million store, but there selection isn't all that great in my opinion.

Marilynn Larew said...

There may be a reason why B&N is not doing so well. I usually buy at Amazon, but I have some gift cards, so I began trying to spend them.

Every time I put a book in my basket, the number came up 2 instead of 1 on the checkout page. There is no link to click to change that. I tried various books o various days, and the problem persisted.

I called the help desk, and the young man didn't seem to understand the problem. I sent an email and got a number to call. There it stands. I have the gift cards and not the time to deal with the problem.

I've always found the B&N website hard to navigate anyway, so it's back to Amazon while I figure this out.