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Here’s a snippet from The Vook Blog:

Everyone from the DOJ to Amazon.com is weighing in on the best way to price an eBook. It seems like a good time to bring up our eBook pricing whitepaper again; especially in light of us commenting in an MSNBC article on the DOJ investigation. Beyond the struggles between the big players, we wanted to highlight what we’ve learned publishing digital content and help you understand some ways you can think about pricing an ebook — or even just buying one.

It’s all about the algorithm
Digital retailers have invested millions of dollars in developing algorithms for optimal pricing on their products — with one goal in mind — to maximize revenue. This can benefit of the retailer, the publisher and, in most cases, the consumer. In our whitepaper on pricing, you can see how these algorithms work. Depending on factors like the category and discoverability of a given title, a higher or lower price may get you to that sweet spot.

(Via The Vook Blog.)


  1. I really have a hard time seeing how algorithms developed by retailers to maximize profits can possibly benefit me as a reader.

    In contrast, I have developed Binko’s algorithm of maximum reading value that focuses on obtaining access to free and cheap ebooks from libraries, promotions and small publishers.

    I used to buy a few $10 ebooks through Amazon.

    But I haven’t purchased a single ebook for more than $5 since the big publishers imposed their Agency price model, otherwise known as the algorithm of publisher collusion to screw over the digital reader.

  2. No one beats me when it comes to frugality, not even the Binko Barnes who posted before me. I do virtually all my shopping at thrift stores. I get almost all my reading from the public library. My car is over 30 years old.

    But I’d never make the sorts of rules he makes. I wouldn’t deprive myself of a delightful read just because an ebook costs more than $5. When the Kindle version of The Lord of the Rings dropped to $9.95 on Amazon, I grabbed it even though I have several print copies. It is worth that. And I have no trouble imagining a book coming along that’s worth paying several times as much. Being a good deal hinges on what you get for what you pay and not what you pay.

    And keep in mind that that supposed evil “agency model” has become so attractive to self-published authors that what has become for many of them their distribution engine of choice, Smashwords, shifted to using it. Treating is as a Big = Bad matter is missing the point. Lots of small guys have decided that the agency model is better than letting Amazon create a monopoly, after which it would have kicked everyone around from authors to buyers.

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