Book Sales Are Down — So Publishers Need to Raise Their Prices

… or at least that’s what the CEO of HarperCollins believes.

I think these are pretty revealing comments, on two points:

1) Apparently the prestigious university programs from which so many publishing industry figures graduate don’t include a course on basic business principles. Sales are down, so you need to raise prices to make up for the lost revenue? Yeah, like that’s worked for so many industries; and

2) This is the CEO of one of the biggest publishing houses essentially saying she believes her company should abandon the mass market and jump into the luxury goods trade. Not only does the Devil wear Prada, supposedly she’ll also carry around the latest HarperCollins title as a fashion accessory. What exactly is HC going to do to make its books more “beautiful?” Slather them with rhinestones?

Of course, people heavy into e-publishing are encouraging her: “Oh, yes; please do increase your prices. Anything you can do to make our ebooks even more competitive will be greatly appreciated.” If the traditional publishers actually do want to fly this suicide mission, I imagine most epubbers will be happy to hold their coats for them.

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