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Why Do Some Self-Published Authors Care How Hachette Prices Its Books? | Digital Book World

One of the most confusing things to me about the Amazon-Hachette contract dispute saga is why do so many indie authors want so passionately for Hachette, a competitor, to lower its prices?

Isn’t it against their self-interest?

Don’t indie authors, who generally price their books lower than traditionally published books are priced, benefit from a positive price comparison?

Publishing expert and Digital Book World 2015 conference chairman Mike Shatzkin argues as much in this 2011 post about agency pricing:

If big publishers reduced their prices sharply, the key marketing distinction that fostered the discovery of such writers as Amanda Hocking and John Locke would be eliminated. On the comment stream of a blogpost I read on this subject (can’t find it so can’t link it), one person posted a string of suggestions for major publisher survival strategies that included “cut all your prices to $2.99.” Why? Because it would eliminate all the competition from the self-published riff-raff that is using price as a marketing tool. So not only would the publishers and branded authors make less money, the aspirants would find their path to success cut off as well.

(This suggestion actually makes the point that self-publishers who scream “big publishers are stupid and they should cut their prices like us” should be very careful what they wish for.)

 

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Why Do Some Self-Published Authors Care How Hachette Prices Its Books?.

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