When the publishers jacked up the prices a couple years ago on bestsellers and other popular e-books for the Kindle, they suddenly lost some appeal. $9.99 or less for New York Times bestsellers sounded like a deal. $11.99-14.99? Not so much.
However, the rising prices have opened up several other free and inexpensive alternatives. There are a ton of low priced Kindle books out there. There are also free Kindle book lists and Kindle Library lending. If you have time to sort through the lists, you will find some good stories mixed in.
The high prices on the big names also gave self published authors a boost. Kindle Direct Publishing allows anyone to publish a book. Some very successful independent authors have rivaled the big name authors with numbers of books sold. I remember the days when getting published was a feat accomplished only by a select few who had what it takes to get the attention of the major publishing houses.
There are still a lot of people who weigh the ability to share print editions, and are more willing to pay a higher cost for them. There’s something about being able to pass a book around between friends and family members that can’t be recreated with a Kindle. Now that the Kindle is in the hands of mainstream consumers, there is a much bigger group to share books with via the Kindle lending program. So, I can definitely see a future of e-book sharing that can rival the print book sharing idea.
So, I think it is only a matter of time before we start seeing lower prices on even the huge bestsellers. In the end, it really is a consumer’s market. In this economy, consumers are looking for the best bargains.
They won’t be able to compete otherwise. Will all of these independent authors who got the chance to shine lose their visibility if this occurs? That will be an interesting trend to watch.