Can Low E-book Prices Combat Piracy?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka


By Edward Nawotka

In today’s feature story Sergey Anuriev, CEO of, notes that part of the reason his company keeps prices for e-books as low is they do is in order to give his company an opportunity to compete with pirates. He noted that when the company began, e-book prices were at at 15% of print costs, but have slowly escalated, with the eventual goal of pricing e-books at 75% to 100% of the print price.

The implication is that low prices are a gateway to wean customers away from “free” content — or pirated content — to “paid-for” books.

US-based publishers have aggressively used services like Attributor to combat piracy; in other, less wealthy markets where publishers don’t have access to these costly policing services, fear of piracy has left publishers reticent to adopt digital publishing.

Will’s strategy work? Is is particular to Russia or could it be implemented elsewhere in the world?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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.