Fun coincidence here. My friend Richard A. visited earlier this week and in the course of talking about everything under the sun we were talking for a moment about something that we both enjoy, which is quality audiobooks. Rick strongly recommended that I give a listen to Barbara Rosenblat's readings of some of Elizabeth Peters' series of Amelia Peabody novels, which he said, perhaps not in so many words, are the very apotheosis of excellence in the spoken word.
And I will.
But meanwhile, so soon after our conversation, I couldn't help but notice that there are two Elizabeth Peters ebooks from that self-same Amelia Peabody series racing up the ebook bestseller lists today after being priced at $1.99 each, apparently not by Apple or Amazon but by imprints of their agency model publisher, Hachette. No idea how long these prices will last, but given that they have been priced at $1.99 in both the Kindle and iBooks stores, one must assume that the pricing is no accident. Here they are (I'm using the links to the Kindle Store, since the iBooks Store does not allow for such conveniences:
So, if you don't have these books on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch yet, and you've ever wanted to give Elizabeth Peters a read, now's the time. And one more reason why you might want to try these at $1.99, if you are an advocate of affordable ebook pricing:
When an agency model publisher fixes a low price for a backlist title like these, the publishing is putting itself in a position to learn a great deal about pricing, sales, and profitability in the ebook world. Based on my own experiences and those of other authors, I believe that the ideal ebook price for many backlist titles is in the $2.99 to $4.99 range, and that most such titles, if they are quality books with a little bit of marketing effort behind them are likely to sell roughly twice as many copies if they are reduced from $9.99 to $4.99 or roughly three times as many if they are reduced from $9.99 to $2.99. If Hachette and other publishers find out that such formulas apply to their backlist titles, it could be a powerful incentive for them to lower prices wherever possible.