01-28-2011 07:39 PM
The problem with saying Amazon is taking a loss is that no one knows that for certain. There was and is speculation that they were taking a loss on some books and making it up elsewhere, but no one knows that for sure. I've seen the articles and even read some of Amazon's earnings report. Problem is, they don't give out profit/loss in sections. So it's speculation that they *might* have taken losses on ebooks.
Yes, agreed, my costs are lower--and I pass those savings on to readers. Yes, some readers don't want to buy books for 99 cents, 1 or 3 dollars. That's okay! The great thing is that there are lots of readers, lots of books and many price points.
I've seen publishers play with prices and some sell more when they lower the price--some don't. It's very true. Is it seasonal? Good press coverage that moves some and not others? If only we knew the answers.
I think the great thing is that people have choices--and so do publishers. With the ability to change prices quickly, it's easier to experiment and find the sweet spot. For readers, there are lots of sales--and if a particular reader absolutely wants lendability--well, they can find that too.