Here's an interesting article from Entertainment Weekly.
It seems Amazon, WalMart and Target are offering the latest hardcover releases from "the crown jewels of the industry" - giants the likes of Stephen King and James Patterson - for a mere $9, on books with a retail cover price of $35.
Good for the consumers? Absolutely. Good for the publishing industry? Well, that's the part being hotly contested.
Publishers aren't taking a loss on these sales. Retailers are. It is Amazon, WalMart and Target who are losing money on these mega-cut price points. So does this hurt anyone?
There are those who say yes - it hurts smaller booksellers. And there are those who say smaller booksellers don't draw the majority of their business from the sale of mega-blockbuster novels. So who's right? Will these so-called price wars mean the death of book sales?
By the way ... publishing has been dying ever since the industry started. Every year there are new death knells for the publishing industry sounded across the land. Paperbacks were supposed to kill publishing. Mega-bestsellers were supposed to kill publishing. Ebooks were supposed to kill publishing. Now WalMart and Amazon are holding the shiny new executioner's axe. Any day now, it's going to fall.
Any day now. Just like every day for the last two hundred years.
What do YOU think?