Pricing Strategies for Digital Books: Issues and Directions for Research
P. K. Kannan (University of Maryland, USA), Eva Guterres (University of Maryland, USA) and Barbara Kline Pope (National Academy of Press, USA)
Copyright: © 2001
While the World Wide Web has impacted many industries significantly, none of them have been affected as dramatically as the publishing industry. The ability to deliver electronic content online and to distribute it in various forms instantaneously using the Web have opened up technological possibilities and consumer expectations that have left the industry grappling for new business models. Most of those running publishing businesses have finally come to a consensus about the importance of the Web to the future of the industry and are embracing the new technologies but with little guidance on how to best use the medium. They are aware of the pressing need to adapt to the much speedier efficiencies, strategies, and requirements of the digital channel while balancing them with non-digital strategies that continue to work but are looking for some guidance on how to move forward. In this chapter, we first describe some of the key trends and challenges faced by book publishers with the emergence of the digital arena. We then focus on the issue of pricing electronic books distributed online, especially in conjunction with books distributed through traditional channels. We outline some of the possible strategies that book publishers could adopt and examine the pros and cons of the different strategies in light of the features of the product marketed and consumer segments targeted.