By Catherine Ryan Howard at catherynryanhoward.com:
If you haven’t already heard, there was a bit of an incident at the Harrogate Crime Festival last week. During a panel discussion called Wanted for Murder: The E-book (for anyone surprised at what happened, shouldn’t that title have been your first clue?) bestselling crime writers Mark Billingham and Laura Lippman, seated in the audience, got into a bit of a heated debate with the panelists, one of whom was mega-selling cheap e-book author Stephen Leather.
There were accusations that authors who sold their e-books cheaply were devaluing books in general by selling theirs for less than “half the price of a cup of tea.”
Now personally I think that it’s very easy to say books are being devalued by cheap e-books when you’re a New York Times bestselling author (if you’re a nobody with no credibility, e.g. me, you have to sell your books cheaply in order to win readers), and the only people adversely affected by this—if anyone is—are the Six-Figure Advance Gang who might not be getting such large deals anymore, and actually I’d guess that more authors than ever, both traditionally published and self-published, are earning money from their writing in this new publishing world, and earning more of it, and anyway why are we all worried when it’sextremely unlikely that the purchaser of every 99c Stephen Leather release is buying them instead of the one £25 Michael Connelly hardback he used to buy before? Can’t we see that it’s far more likely he either never bought that £25 hardback, or he’s still buying it too?
Read the full story at catherynryanhoward.com.
See also Mark Billingham Goes Hell for Leather at welovethisbook.com.
What do you think? Are ebooks priced too low? Let us know in the comments below.