According to an informative, stats-heavy blog post at Smashwords.com, yes. Or at least, the price of e-books have been falling on their website. According to the blog post, the average price of an e-book has “dropped 25% from $4.55 in October 2010 to $3.41 today.” This is based on their own statistics, and doesn’t apply to e-book pricing on Amazon, Apple iBooks, B&N Nook, etc. Could this be an indication of a nationwide trend?
Smashwords makes it very easy for self-published authors to publish their e-books on a variety of devices through the company’s website. They have excellent e-book publishing guidelines, and a fantastic conversion system that can turn a .doc document into many different types of e-book formats. For these reasons, self-published authors flock to Smashwords. I wonder if the decline in the average price of a Smashwords e-book has to do with the fact that self-published authors are price-slashing in order to compete in a market that’s making it increasingly easy for anyone to become published. The 25% decline could be indicative of a race to the bottom. It would be really interesting to see Kindle’s statistics from the same period, since Amazon has also made it very easy for anyone to self-publish a book on their e-reader.
Anyway, read the blog post at Smashwords. It’s totally worth it, and very informative.