First a few facts about the Danish book business.
From 1837 until 2001 all Danish book prices were fixed. The publishers determined the price, and books could only be sold through bookshops.
In 2001 the book branch was forced to give up this monopoly and leave the centralised price system over some years. Since January 2011 all book prices have been free.
But now that a global recession and a steady trickle of ebooks threaten the business, eight of nine bookshops (chains, I assume) want fixed prices again – at least for a period of five to six months after publication.
And to let you know what kind of prices we can expect, let me tell you that with the current free prices, one of the brandnew crime novels that is on my wish list costs from $ 36 to $ 55.
The latest Jussi Adler-Olsen police procedural (from 2010): prices range from $ 18 to $ 55.
My reaction to the survey: they can do as they wish, even if we have two stable incomes in this family, we cannot afford to buy more than a few of the Danish books we want to read anyway.
What do you think: is their strategy smart or should they seek other ways to survive?
Link to the Danish article which inspired this blog post.
An earlier blogpost about two Danish writers´ attitude to ebooks, Danish writers refute the ebook.