Publishers are beginning to do more aggressive e-book price testing. Both Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Storey Publishing have recently announced monthly pricing promotions that set prices for a selection of titles at no higher than $2.99.
HMH’s “e-incentive” pricing program, called Take 5, will begin in May. Under the program, HMH will offer five “thematically-linked” titles to all e-tailers and consumers for $2.99 or less. The five May books are The Namesake, An Unfinished Season, A Soldier of the Great War, The Magician’s Assistant, and Beautiful Boy. According to director of marketing Carla Gray, HMH has promotions lined up through August and will likely extend the offer to include select cookbooks and young adult tiles this fall. E-tailers and consumers can sign up with HMH to receive a newsletter that will announce the titles available for discount each month.
At Storey, the company has launched its own e-book promotion called Storey’s Fresh Picks. Each month, Storey chooses a group of its best e-books in a seasonal theme and, like HMH, offers them for $2.99 or less through all e-tailers. The theme for April is gardening with discounts on: The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb; Vertical Vegetables & Fruit; Don’t Throw It, Grow It!; Starting Seeds; and The Veggie Gardener’s Answer Book. Storey has been running Fresh Picks since the beginning of the year, with themes of Renew in January; Clean Home, Clean Energy in February; and Crafts in March. Upcoming themes include Farming in May and Backyard Projects in June. The company views Fresh Picks as a part of its campaign to grow relationships directly with readers and to be a source of online information. “We have an amazing selection of titles in our e-book library, and readers are going to love the real value and convenience of our Fresh Picks,” says Dan Williams, digital projects manager at Storey.