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Cool article, Sean.

Downward pressure on digital pricing continues unabated.

I just started 'Free' and will follow that up with the Gladwell rebuttal.

See you soon.

Kirsten Mellor

I think a free v. paid list is inevitable and probably welcome to both consumers and authors/publishers. As a huge Kindler, I don't want to wade through piles of trashy supermarket novels to get to new or quality releases. That being said, there is no reason not to utilize the same methods as other book marketing rankings to differentiate offering. Kindle is just medium; it's a platform after all, it affects content not one iota.

But you underestimate what the "stodgy publishers/authors" do and do not understand about their own business. Speaking as one of them ;-) there are lots of other reasons that publishers chose to utilize the free model or not with Kindle, most of which you don't mention and I think the ones you do are actually the least compelling business reasons why it is done in the premium houses, and apply really only to somewhat niche publisher and/or low end imprints at the big houses. All the titles you mention are either mass market paperbacks or Harlequin-type series. (What ARE you reading these days dude?!) But actually not sure who you are calling a "mainstream publisher" either, are you talking about the money or are you talking about volume - two very different things in book publishing? (Probably unfortuately actually...)
Anyway, happy to connect you with our digital publishing VP and see if there is interest in a pitch for consulting! ;-) Best, K

Kirsten Mellor

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113836134
Tina Brown and others talks about ebooks and publishing models going forward - some interesting, some - not so much...

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