HarperCollins ceo, Victoria Barnsley, says that the 7% drop in the retail value of paperback fiction this year is “almost entirely” dut to the sale of ebooks, even though the combined sale of ebooks and print books has increased.

In an article in The Bookseller she says:

“The signs are that consumers expect e-books to be priced considerably lower than physical books. There’s no easier way to drive an e-book up the charts than by massive price reductions,” she said. Whereas in a bricks and mortar environment other factors, like the look and feel of books and recommendations from booksellers, can influence choice, most of these factors are stripped away in an online environment, Barnsley argued. “So, not surprisingly, brand and price become the deciding factors.”

At what level the price of e-books will stabilise, the consumer will decide, she added. “And only then will we know if there is a viable e-book business.”