Apple iBook Bestsellers to be Priced at $9.99?

AppAdvice claims to have gotten a sneak-peak at the iPad iBookstore and says the prices for bestsellers aren't nearly as high as we expected -- in fact they mostly match the $9.99 loss-leading price Amazon pioneered with its Kindle.

  1. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang By Chelsea Handler – $9.99
  2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – $9.99
  3. The Silent Sea by Clive Cussier & Jack Du Brul – $9.99
  4. Missing (under negotiation?)
  5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith – $9.99

27 of the top 32 hit the $9.99 price point. This type of negative price pressure brought on by competition between Apple and Amazon is why Random House is, according to theFinancial Times, staying away from iBooks for now. Though the New York Times says independent distributor Perseus Books Group has signed right up with Apple despite pressure from Amazon.

In talks with publishers, Apple has said it would not let other retailers sell any book for a lower price than the price in its new iBookstore. Several of the larger publishers are seeking to renegotiate agreements with Amazon and other e-book retailers to mirror the deals with Apple.

Given what's happened with the "race to the bottom" for video game prices on the iPhone, it's likely going to be tricky to catch that sweet spot between competitive and cannibalistic. I guess we'll see what happens come iPad launch on April 3.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple iBook Bestsellers to be Priced at $9.99?


So Apple's deals say publishers set the price and Apple keeps 30%, but publisher's can't sell elsewhere at a lower price. Amazon's deals say Amazon sets the price . . . What keeps Amazon from dropping prices and forcing Apple into the red? The fact that they have to answer to the publishers - and Apple's $40billion in cash. Upshot? Amazon's screwed.

I hadn't realized how expensive books were. Even $9.99 for an ebook seems a little high. No wonder so many people flock to places like Half Priced Books (second hand books, so the authors aren't getting squat anyway)
I'm still more excited about the potential for textbooks on the iPad.

C'mon, seriously Dave Ferrandino (dave01568)? We got a jokster over here. Anyway, seriously though, I can't wait for the iPad. I will be using it primarily as a reading device for graduate studies. Can't wait to have full electronic color diagrams along with my readings as well as a significantly lighter daily backpack.

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