Mike Shatzkin suggests publishers should lower ebook prices

Yesterday, I discussed Hugh Howey’s contention that big publishing is doomed. It was a little surprising to notice, a few hours later, that publishing-industry insider Mike Shatzkin seems to agree with him.

Shatzkin doesn’t share Howey’s gloomy outlook that publishing is doomed, but he does call out some of the same trends and counterproductive behaviors that Howey noticed. He touches on the way adult coloring books are one of the big things keeping publishers’ bottom lines from plummetting all the way (which he did point out several months ago). He also notes that agency pricing is not an inconsiderable part of the problem.

The issue Shatzkin sees is that Amazon doesn’t need agency publishers’ ebooks to be cheap in order to offer bargains to its shoppers; it has tens of thousands of its own, and of other publishers who don’t price via agency. But instead of bringing their prices back down…

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