Saturday, March 10

The Justice Department and Agency Pricing

The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books .... [1]
-- The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2012, by Thomas Catan & Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg.
The US publishers in question are:

When I read this I started hearing Chris Isaak's song, "Baby I did a bad bad thing." I know, I'm strange.

What could this mean for writers? Well, for starters, lower prices for books.

The real question is: would cheaper books be good, or bad, for writers? I don't think there's a clear cut answer. If I was published by one of the publishers in the above list -- and keep in mind that these are amoung the biggest publishers in North America -- I would be worried that I would find it harder to get my books accepted and that I would earn less for the books that were. On the other hand, if I was published by an epublisher like Samhain, I don't see how this would affect me.

Last year at a writer's conference I had the pleasure of dining with one of the editors at Samhain. She mentioned that, unlike many other publishers, Samhain has been experiencing growth. In fact, a few months ago, she had been an editor at another well-known publisher, one who was known for print books, and one who was currently in a financial slump.

I think that the future is bright, and will remain so, for people -- writers included -- who are willing and able to embrace change and work with the old ways of doing things while accepting the new.

Thanks for reading!

1. The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2012, by Thomas Catan & Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

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