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Report: E-book Prices Fell in 2011; Boomers Don’t Buy the Most Books

Publishers Weekly

Published in Publishers Weekly.

Despite the contention by the Department of Justice that collusion between five major publishers and Apple led to higher e-book prices, a new report from Bowker shows that e-book prices fell across all major categories between 2010 and 2011. The average price of a fiction e-book in 2011 was $5.24, down from $5.69 in 2010. In nonfiction, the decline was more dramatic, with the average price falling from $9.04 to $6.47. In the juvenile segment, the average e-book price dropped to $4.47 in 2011 from $4.88, the report found.

With the downward pressure applied by e-books, the average purchase price of all books fell in 2011. In the year, the average purchase price fell in three of the four quarters, compared to 2010, with the steepest decline occurring in the third quarter, when the average purchase price fell 43 cents to $12.62. In the first quarter, the average purchase price was down to $11.76 from $12.20. There were small shifts in the second and fourth quarters, with prices up 3 cents in the second quarter and down 2 cents in the final period, compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.

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