Byte The Book
The formal part of the evening consisted of discussion by a panel of three speakers – Nicholas Lovell, author of The Curve, Jo Henry of Nielsen Book and George Walkley, Digital Director at Hachette, about ebook pricing models. The panel was chaired by Justine Solomons from Byte the Book. The debate was interesting and vigorous, as the panellists collectively considered ebook pricing issues from many angles. The following conclusions were drawn:
- More pricing and marketing experiments can take place with digital books than with print books, as cover prices can be more fluid.
- Territorial pricing for e-books can be more varied than for print.
- The main threat to publishers is not that of piracy, but the threat of competition driving down price to the point at which publishing as a for-profit activity becomes unsustainable.
- The challenge, therefore, is to devise sustainable ways of creating revenue from content.