Remember how Apple’s e-book prices were going to be several dollars more expensive than Amazon’s? Alexander Vaughn at AppAdvice has gotten a sneak preview of the iBooks store, including a screenshot that depicts pricing on some of the books. Vaughn notes:
Anyway, at the moment, out of the 32 eBooks featured in the New York Time’s Bestsellers section, 27, including the entire top 10 are priced at $9.99.
And of the five that are higher, even the highest of them is $12.99—about $4 more than the Kindle version.
Of course, this isn’t entirely a surprise, given what the New York Times’s anonymous sources said last month about the pricing negotiations. But this marks the first concrete proof that Apple is going head-to-head with Amazon on best-sellers.
And given that Amazon’s pricing contract requires that it not be undersold, presumably Amazon will continue to get to charge the same amount for bestsellers even under the Big Five’s agency pricing model.
So, it appears that all the publishers have really accomplished with Apple’s pricing model is to reduce the amount of money they’ll be getting for each $9.99 bestseller from the half-of-retail wholesale cost down to 70% of $9.99. But at least they’re in control of pricing now.
As the old joke goes, they’ll be losing money on every sale now—but maybe they can make it up in volume?