Taking a stand against the cut-rate $9.99 pricing in the fast-growing e-book market, two prominent publishers will start delaying release of e-books until four months after hardcovers come out. "The right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback," Simon & Schuster tells the Wall Street Journal, and Hachette is following suit.
The Simon & Schuster move will affect 35 expected top sellers coming in early 2010, including Karl Rove's memoir Courage and Consequence and Don DeLillo's novel Point Omega. While publishers hope to keep hardcover sales—and prices—up, observers warn the step could backfire. "Authors get the most publicity at launch and need to strike while the iron is hot," an Amazon spokesman says. "If readers can't get their preferred format at that moment, they may buy a different book or just not buy a book at all." (Read more e-book stories.)