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The Kindle Store still has the best prices in the post agency market

The developer behind Inkmesh apparently had a break in his day job. He just ran another ebook price survey similar to the one he ran back in November 2009. FYI: Inkmesh is an ebook search engine. It's the best way to find out which ebookstore has a given title, and more importantly which store has the best price.

First, a little background. The survey only covers titles that were available in all 5 major stores (Kindle, B&N, Kobo, Borders, Sony). This gave a sample set of 16,931 titles.

The following chart shows the number of titles for which each retailer had the lowest price (among the 16,931 titles in the survey). A lower score means that a store had the best price less often than a store with a higher score.

Note: if 2 stores had a titles at the same low price they each got the point.

He added a footnote of other statistics he found interesting:

As we found with our previous analysis, there were only 1270 (7.5%) ebooks that were free amongst these top selling ebooks. Thus, contrary to popular belief most of the top selling ebooks are actually not free.

Along with Amazon, and B&N, BooksOnBoard and Kobo put up a strong showing by beating Sony and Borders in terms of ebook pricing. Another interesting fact was that unlike before when Amazon had lowest price for 74% of the ebooks, this time the number dropped to 48%. A possibility could be that some smaller ebook vendors are yet not following the agency model and pricing their ebooks more aggressively than Amazon. A deeper analysis would be the subject of another blog.

In summary: when it comes to ebook pricing, Amazon is still the best, but B&N is close on heels. Sony is much better than before, but still far behind and needs to tighten up it’s pricing to start making a big impact. Borders is coming up, and Kobo had a surprisingly good showing. The landscape will continue to change as both newer and more established ebook vendors continue to lure readers to their sites.

Inkmesh blog

About Nate Hoffelder (11115 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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