Global Trade Talk: Frankfurt Survey on E-book Pricing; BN’s Nook; Dan Brown Sales in Germany

In Feature Articles, Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

nookBy Siobhan O’Leary and Edward Nawotka

At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Buchreport asked several agents and publishers for their thoughts on e-book pricing. Joachim Jessen of the Schlück Agency noted that “e-book prices in Germany are too high”, while New York agent Andrew Wylie said that publishers should not bend to the expectations of the public or the trade. While Andrea Tenorth, production manager of Lübbe, finds paperback prices to be a realistic fit for e-books. Robert Gottlieb of Trident Media said that he thinks the cheaper e-book version of a print book should be released four to six months after the print edition is published.

US retailer Barnes & Noble picked what might be the worst possible name yet for a new e-reader: the “nook.” Why they didn’t just call it the BNook is worth asking…it would certainly have offered a better branding opportunity. That said, the device looks like it will finally give the Kindle some real competition. The key innovation is its ability to “lend” selected ebooks with another owner of a “nook” and other mobile digital devices for up to 14 days. The new “nook” is priced the same as a Kindle, at $259, and begins shipping in November.

Sales for the German edition of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol have not disappointed German publisher Lübbe, according to BuchMarkt. In the first week alone, 241,782 copies were sold in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The audio book also met expectations, selling 8,200 copies. Meanwhile, the English-language editions have sold a total of 75,620 copies. At the same time, Borsenblatt reports supermarket chain Edeka was caught offering a promotion for The Lost Symbol in its store circulars and received a warning from authorities to end the promotion, which violates Germany’s fixed book price system. The chain offered customers bonus points on their customer cards — which could be redeemed for discounts on future purchases — for purchasing the book at its retail price of 26 Euros.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.