As mentioned in a previous posting, in March, Barnes & Noble acquired Fictionwise, owner of the popular eReader.com e-book store, with plans to incorporate the company into its digital strategy. This week, the company announced that it has revised the pricing structure of the e-books on eReader.com to compete with Amazon. Currently, Amazon’s e-books sell for $9.99 and now on eReader.com, all new e-books including New York Times Bestsellers will sell for $9.95 and no e-book will sell for more than $12.95.
An interesting article from Fast Company discusses how this proves that Amazon is defining the cost of e-books just as Apple defined the price for digital music. Large companies like Barnes & Noble can afford to lower their prices and take a loss initially but smaller competitors will have a tougher time. The article notes, “Thus, B&N’s concession to Amazon’s pricing structure could mark the beginning of a brave new world in e-books, one ruled by the dictates of Amazon. Once readers have it in their heads that an e-book is worth ten bucks and no more, everyone from publishers to writers to competitors like B&N are going to have to bend to that price. It would seem that paradigm shift is already underway.”