Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Publisher's Lunch sends along the latest from the Online Book Price Wars.
Target Joins Price War as Sears Offers A Twist, and BN Prepares Nook
Target joined the pre-order bestseller price war, though in more limited fashion. They're matching Walmart.com's $8.99 offer with free shipping included, but on just six November pre-order titles. Boulder Bookstore buyer Arsen Kashkashian has suggested via Twitter that fellow indies cancel their publisher pre-orders on these deep-discounted forthcoming titles and take advantage of their competitors' loss leaders. Bookstores will save money, he reasons, while helping Amazon and Walmart.com lose more.

This morning Sears offered their own twist on the discounts. Buy an "eligible book" at tempting discount from Sears.com or their competitors at Target.com, Walmart.com and Amazon.com and e-mail the receipt to Sears and they will give customers a $9 credit at Sears.com for any merchandise "so it's like getting the books for free." SVP for Online at Sears Holdings Imran Jooma, says, "We believe this program will benefit the thousands of customers who buy books every day by putting more money into their pockets." Called Keep America Reading, they are promoting it on the Sears.com home page. Cleverly, while Sears is highlighting the same ten forthcoming November releases as their competitors, from their own site they are listing all the titles for $17.98 (tempting consumers to help the other sites lose money on the book sales and then coem over and buy something else from Sears.com to use the extra credit.)

And Barnes & Noble's afternoon media event suffered another pre-announcement leak--this time from the bookseller itself. An ad in next Sunday's NYT Book Review touts their new ereader, called the Nook, and priced to match Kindle at $259.

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