Orbit to offer $1 ebooks

This is a press release I came across that I feel is worth mentioning. eBooks have now been around for nearly 40 years (betcha didn’t know that). The first eBooks were made available by the venerable Project Gutenberg. Their eBooks were simple text files made available via a donation of resources by Xerox.

Project Gutenberg has helped ensure that millions of science fiction fans around the world have access to classic science fiction novels that have fallen into the public domain. Of course, a fair number of Web entrepreneurs have monetized the eBooks but you can still download them ad-free from Gutenberg.

Now, Orbit has partnered with some major eBook publishers to help boost interest in eBooks. The eBook industry has taken it on the chin over the past decade. Some eBooks have sold very well, but most of the best sellers were (in the early years, at least) published through independent imprint firms that were not tracked by Publishers Weekly and other trade news sources. So for a long time eBook sales were underestimated and underreported in the media due to lack of adequate data.

I think it’s safe to say more eBooks are being sold now, although many publishers (or self-publishers) have taken to monetizing their eBooks by inserting advertisements in them.

So, with all that ado, here is the press release from Orbit.

Orbit – in partnership with a number of major ebook vendors – has launched a promotion offering one ebook for sale each month at the introductory price of $1.00. At the end of the promotional month the cost of the ebook returns to its standard price and a new book will be offered at the discount. Details of the promotion are at http://www.onedollarorbit.com

The promotion will include The Way of Shadows by debut author Brent Weeks, Empress by Karen Miller, as well as classics of science fiction such as Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks.

VP and Publisher of Orbit Tim Holman said: “We believe that this promotion will give readers a great opportunity to discover new writers. Most of our consumer marketing has an online focus, and the digital marketplace offers the perfect platform for price-promotion initiatives such as this. It will be very exciting to see how effective it is. The range of titles chosen for the promotion includes a mix of frontlist and backlist, from both new and established authors, and we will be monitoring the performance of every title very closely.”

A list of titles that will be available at the discount price can be found at http://www.onedollarorbit.com

Launched in the US in 2007, Orbit is the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint at Hachette Book Group.


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