NEW YORK — The book price wars are no longer just for pre-orders.Amazon.com was offering hardcovers of John Grisham‘s Ford County and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna for just $9 on Tuesday, the official release date for both books. Hardcovers generally have a list price of $24 or higher.
In mid-October, Walmart.com announced dramatic discounts for pre-orders of Ford County, Sarah Palin‘s Going Rogue and other popular November publications. Wal-Mart.com initially charged $9 for the books, a price quickly matched by Amazon.com, then dropped to $8.98 by Wal-Mart.com.
Authors, publishers and rival booksellers worry that cutting the price so low will harm competition and force down the cost of books overall, leading to a reduction in author advances.
Great news for book buyers, just in time for the holidays. Will these new prices really drive authors out of the book business and give us less to read?