As an interesting result of Harper -Collins discontinuing the use of the “agency model” for e-book pricing on Amazon, the newly released Dodger, by Terry Pratchett, is being sold for $9.99 despite having a $17.99 list price, whereas J.K. Rowling’s new (non-Potter) release The Casual Vacancy currently has a pre-order price (release date is 2012/09/27) of $17.99, with the dreaded “This price was set by the publisher” message; indicating that Hachette Book Group is still using the agency model and therefore not allowing Amazon to discount the retail price.
I’m therefore happy that as a big fan of Sir Terry I’m able to get a new release at a “reasonable” price (admittedly a very subjective opinion), but disappointed that my many friends who are Harry Potter fanatics either have to shell out almost twice as much for Ms. Rowling’s latest, or wait until the price drops (presumably either whenever the paperback is release, or if/when Hachette decides — or is forced — to abandon the agency model pricing). A potential down-side I see for Rowling and Hachette is that since this latest novel is a foray into a new, non-Potter and apparently non-YA subject, many fans may be waiting for reviews before considering shelling out $17.99; and if the reviews turn out to be not so hot, well….
2012-09-28: From this article, it may be that you J.K. Rowling fans will not have to wait for the paperback release in order to get a better price on the e-book version. If the author is correct, Hachette may be switching back to a “normal” retail model within the next month or so, allowing Amazon and other retailers to sell it at whatever price point they choose.