Amazon France c.e.o. warns against high e-book prices

<p>Prices of e-books should be at least 30% to 40% lower than those for print versions, according to Amazon France chief executive Xavier Garambois. &quot;If not, the market won&#39;t take off,&quot; he warned in an interview with Buzz M&eacute;dia Orange-Le Figaro.</p><p>A bill for publishers to fix e-book prices is now on its way through the French parliament, which means &quot;the question (of who sets prices) will be settled. But we will continue to ask them (publishers) to lower significantly the prices of digital books compared to those of physical books,&quot; Garambois added.</p><p>He acknowledged that the company had slashed e-book prices in the US to launch the market, with the result that it was &quot;switching very clearly&quot; over from print to digital. This was also due to the extensive variety of titles and devices available, he said. American publishers have been scanning their catalogues for five to six years, so that 750,000 titles are available on the Kindle. The advance is much less significant elsewhere, and probably cannot even be quantified in percentage terms in France. The market here &quot;is just at the beginning,&quot; he said.</p><p>Declining to give figures, he said that the company has sold three times more Kindles in the first nine months of this year than in the same period of last year. But he noted that when Hachette Livres said recently that some of its leading authors had sold 1 million e-books in the US, 80% of them were on the Amazon reader.</p><p>He also confirmed that the company does not want to turn the Kindle into a multimedia device. &quot;We want it to remain a reader,&quot; with plans to offer newspapers and magazines as well as books as soon as possible in the country.</p>