Tim Cooper, commercial director of Harlequin, has spoken out over the inclusion of one of the publisher's titles in Sony's 20p e-book promotion, saying it is "out of his hands". However Cooper denied that content was being devalued by the rock-bottom pricing.
As Amazon matched the 20p price of its competitor, pricing Night Moves by Eden Bradley at less than that of a tabloid newspaper, Cooper commented: “We’re not an agency publisher, and can’t set a price for our books. Although we are have a hybrid model, selling some through agency because we sell through Apple, the rest of our market is wholesale.”
He added: “It’s out of our hands. It is a little bit extreme, but Sony aren’t the only e-book store doing promotions like this to try and grab some of the market share, and I can understand why they are doing it. I think once the market evens out, the pricing will too.”
Cooper said: “This attitude to pricing is not unique to e-book stores. With the Harry Potter books for example, physical retailers were selling the books at cost or below cost just to get people in the store. We don’t want our content to be devalued, but I don’t believe it will be.”
Night Moves is published under the Mills & Boon Spice Briefs series, and was originally released in 2010.
Jeffrey Archer and David Baldacci are now also among the authors with titles priced at 20p by Sony and Amazon.