Gazing into her crystal ball, Laura Hazard Owen makes some predictions for the coming year in this post from paidContent.org.
- As Amazon deepens it commitment to publishing its own titles, Laura says it will need to deal with its “bookstore distribution problem.” She predicts Amazon will strike a deal with Barnes and Noble of all people. But Laura suspects that B & N will somehow get the short end of the stick. “Amazon will try to find a way to use Barnes & Noble stores as showrooms while still directing buyers to Amazon.com”
- The ebook pricing debate will shift to a focus on pricing based on quality rather than adhere to a uniform $9.99 or less. Laura quotes author John Scalzi that books “have variable price points! Based on release dates, consumer interest and format, among many other factors!” He seems to think that this should apply to ebooks as well. Laura agrees adding that she hopes “we’ll see traditional publishers keep the prices of hot, new, conversation-changing, no-substitute e-books relatively high,” while at the same time keep experimenting “with discounts or semi-permanently-low prices on books that have clear substitutes, that are old or that have become less obviously relevant…”
- Laura also thinks that “we will see one big-six publisher test an e-book subscription program within one of its imprints or one of its categories. She admits there will be challenges in developing such subscription models but there will also be “huge benefits.”