Random House eBook Price Hike Round Up

Normally I would be all fired up and writing a post of my own on this, but right now I just feel defeated. So here’s the break down.

What Random House said

  • Titles available in print as new hardcovers: $65- $85
  • Titles available for several months, or generally timed to paperback release: $25-$50
  • New children’s titles available in print as hardcovers: $35-$85
  • Older children’s titles and children’s paperbacks: $25-$45

What it looked like in reality (new prices went into effect on Thursday)

  • Eisenhower in War and Peace $40 Wednesday, $120 on Thursday (print version a little over $20 (it retails at $40).
  • Blessings by Anna Quindlen – $15 on Wednesday, $45 on Thursday

Read More:


  1. […] move, and react by focusing ebook spending only on bestsellers. Bobbi Newman has put together a round up of posts about the Random House prices, including Library Renewal board member David Lee King’s excellent breakdown of the ramifications […]


  2. James S. · ·

    I’m not going to get upset about this.

    I’m just not going to buy any Random House titles.

    Simple solution. I’ll speak with my wallet.

    I have no problems explaining the situation with my patrons and there are plenty of smaller publishers who will be getting my money instead.


    1. How will you explain to your patrons that you don’t have the popular books they want?


  3. I think the tiered pricing model for ebooks makes sense but this is a painful leap in comparison to individual consumer pricing. Why does it have to be so extreme? What formula did they use to arrive at pricing? Can we believe that there is some thought behind this, or is it just wild profit grab?

    I can’t believe that Random, which has traditionally been such a good friend to libraries would crap out this way. The longtime Random House library marketing director recently retired. I wonder what she thinks about this new policy.

    I can’t help wondering if publishers like Random will eventually raise ebook prices for individual buyers after hooking them with “cheap” ebook files.

    Thank you for the commentary and round up of links.


    1. Alida
      I’m not sure what to make of it. Someone said the price hike is due to fear and the problems surrounding ebooks. I can’t help but think if that were true prices would have been raised for consumers too, but they weren’t because Random knew they’d stop paying. Unfortunately libraries are stuck between a rock and a hard place so Random House knew they could but the squeeze on them and that libraries would like pay up.


  4. Um. I’m not a librarian so maybe this is against the rules. Why can’t the books be bought at a bookstore?


    1. we can buy print books in the bookstore but not ebooks.


      1. Oh. If I had read the article more closely I would have seen that print books are cheaper.

        Those ebook prices are ridiculous! It looks like librarians are going to have to cut other things to be able to offer Random House ebooks to customers. Is it really worth it?

        Maybe the situation can be explained to customers. As a regular user of my local library, I understand why you can afford to buy only a select amount of Random House titles. Money is tight everywhere.


  5. […] Hatchet, and not more than 26 times from HarperCollins, and probably not many books from Random House. What we can do, what maybe we should do, is spend their tax money wisely, and I am no longer […]


  6. I’s like to offer another link to add: http://www.readingreality.net/2012/03/every-silver-lining-has-a-cloud/

    Not only are libraries going to be hurt by this, but so will mid-list authors. The budget rearrangement to get the bestseller list books is going to have to come from somewhere.


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