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Apple wants to price hardcover bestsellers $13-$15 on tablet - WSJ

post #1 of 156
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Book publishers are said to be in 11th hour negotiations with Apple to provide books for its forthcoming tablet, with new hardcover bestsellers priced at $12.99 and $14.99.

A new report Tuesday evening from The Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple and book publishers are looking to hammer out a deal that would offer standard pricing with Apple taking a 30 percent cut of sales. The variable pricing structure would also allow some books to be priced at $9.99.

Specifically named in "serious negotiations" with Apple late Tuesday was HarperCollins, which was stated by the Journal weeks ago to have had talks with the hardware maker.

The report notes that Apple's approach is different from Amazon, which has focused on giving "bargain-basement prices" for books. Apple would rather charge a higher premium for its content, sources told the Journal. It said the tablet will create a major battle between Apple and Amazon over how books are priced and distributed.

It also said that while Apple would recommend prices of $12.99 and $14.99 for new bestsellers, publishers would be able to establish their own prices and "re-set the rules" with the tablet.

Book publishers have apparently been kept in the dark as to the exact specifics of Apple's device. That has left some of them reluctant to make deals before learning all of the details.

The report noted that many executives expect to have more clarity after Wednesday's presentation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1 p.m. Eastern.

"While some of the largest publishers may not be up on stage Wednesday," the report said, "their books could appear on the device when it is shipped in March.

However, Amazon allegedly takes a loss on e-books that sell for $9.99. The company loses about $4.50 on each sale in order to maintain its dominant position in the market.

While publishers would get $14.50 for a typical bestselling e-book from Amazon, Apple's model -- with the Cupertino, Calif., company taking a 30 percent cut -- would leave publishers with just $10.49.

"But there is nevertheless a strong draw: In adopting the Apple model, the balance of power would shift at least partly back to publishers, which regain control of pricing," the report said. "In setting higher prices, they could provide a level playing field for all e-book retailers. The potential for publishers is that the device may generate greater volume for e-book sales."

One publish executive surmised that book companies will be left with a choice to embrace Apple's device and hope it attracts more people to e-books, or stick with Amazon's model which offers greater revenue.

AppleInsider will have live coverage of Apple's product unveiling from San Francisco Wednesday. Be sure to visit live.appleinsider.com for up-to-the-minute updates from inside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
post #2 of 156
fixed.
post #3 of 156
What? Higher prices for content? You've got to be kidding me! If Apple does that I don't think I'll buy... and many millions will continue to buy books elsewhere. No doubt Amazon would be putting its Kindle Store on the tablet, so if Apple does that, I believe they're toast when competing with Amazon.
post #4 of 156
Quote:
..publishers would be able to establish their own prices and "re-set the rules" with the tablet

So I guess we really should be calling the new Apple device a iReader Wallet Bleeder
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post #5 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

So I guess we really should be calling the new Apple device a iReader Wallet Bleeder

Well this is for the e-new, hard cover versions after all. When the e-paper pack versions come out Apple will charge less
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post #6 of 156
Absolutely ridiculous pricing.

The publishers will be saving a ton without printing and distribution, and they're hoarding the 'savings'.

Stickin' with the real books. At least those I can pass on to others when I'm done.

Prices will come down eventually if e-reading really takes off and there is more competition from B&N, Amazon, etc.
post #7 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

What? Higher prices for content?

it's really not that high. actual hardcovers are 3 times that retail with discounts for perhaps the first two weeks.

the publishers have an investment in prepayment to the author and then often share the remaining profit with the author once that recovery is made. So it's not like it's all just money in the bank.

Once a solid market exists we'll likely get down to something like $10 for a 'new release' and $5 for 'backlist' with perhaps free first chapters being offered by publishers for some titles, especially newer authors.

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post #8 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

What? Higher prices for content? You've got to be kidding me! If Apple does that I don't think I'll buy... and many millions will continue to buy books elsewhere. No doubt Amazon would be putting its Kindle Store on the tablet, so if Apple does that, I believe they're toast when competing with Amazon.

I don't know how long that would last if Amazon really is losing money on every sale. I think people should pursue whatever deal they can get while it lasts, but I don't think it's going to go on indefinitely.
post #9 of 156
Too expensive for books, especially considering there's no transport and the books don't coming from a forest > factory. And I don't want to hear anyone taking Apple's side on this one. $15 for a digital book isn't right. Blame the publishers? Doesn't matter. Whom you blame doesn't change the price.

NOW I AM CONVINCED IT WILL HAVE AN OLED DISPLAY. CAUSE BY GOLLY READING BOOKS ON LED LCD PANELS WILL ABSOLUTELY RUIN YOUR EYES.

"ABSOLUTELY RUIN YOUR EYES"

The MacBook Air (which I own) and the new iMac both have LED LCD and they tired your eyes after a while. This is simply not the way reading books was meant to be. Paper books are where its at. Best reading technology ever!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Well this is for the e-new, hard cover versions after all. When the e-paper pack versions come out Apple will charge less


If your done e-reading something, can one then sell the content to a e-used bookstore?

Perhaps dig old e-books out of the Trash and sell them to a used e-book store to make a little beer money?
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post #11 of 156
Hopefully charging more means we will get more. Interactive features? Besides, they are hardcover eBooks so they are worth more... those softcover eBooks fall apart at the spine.

Actually, it would be nice if it were just an open market. Let independents in and everything. AppStore model for books.
post #12 of 156
This. Is. Hilarious. I'll be quite happy with a next-gen MBP and iPhone. Thank you.
post #13 of 156
If this is true, what is Apple smoking. #1, I buy most of my books paperback at $7 dollars or so most of the time, odd that I pay $15 a book but regardless those books (especially hardcovers) can be resold. I already have question about the $10 at Kindle, Nook etc... Especially when you can't transfer the book to a friend when your done etc..

Also this is kinda funny in regards to this statement from Steve Jobs: “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.” -http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/01/steve-jobs-peop/#ixzz0dm2jKoeY

So I guess by raising the prices you are gonna get more book sales? I'm sorry that statement was a total Steve Ballmer, not Steve Jobs thing to say.

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post #14 of 156
If this is true, piracy is going to be a HUGE problem. Obviously, the thing is going to have to be able to handle pdf's etc...Good luck to the publishers trying to rape everyone that much
post #15 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Hopefully charging more means we will get more. Interactive features?

What on earth are you talking about. When I read a Raymond Carver book I don't ask: "yeah, but where's the cool animations?" Books are for reading, end of.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 156
I'm picturing this as a great Magazine and Newspaper device... I'm picturing turning the page to a fully interactive Ad or commerical... then flipping to the next page to read the rest of US WEEKLY or SPORTS ILLUSTRATED...

This is going to be futuristic in how your interact with a digital magazine...
post #17 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

What on earth are you talking about. When I read a Raymond Carver book I don't ask: "yeah, but where's the cool animations?" Books are for reading, end of.

Duh. You know: the deleted scenes, the making ofs, author's commentary, plot cards, author's cut, alternative endings. All the value add stuff.
post #18 of 156
Yeah, let's raise the prices, hurt their eyes with an LED LCD, and give them some games and web browser--that'll get them reading Dan Brown and Dickens!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 156
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Originally Posted by digitlnoize View Post

If this is true, piracy is going to be a HUGE problem. Obviously, the thing is going to have to be able to handle pdf's etc...Good luck to the publishers trying to rape everyone that much

I don't know what you read but the story indicates Apple has been pushing this and not necessarily the publishers.
post #20 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Duh. You know: the deleted scenes, the making ofs, author's commentary, plot cards, author's cut, alternative endings. All the value add stuff.

Yeah right. You say value add, I say extra stuff to drain your wallet for that means.
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post #21 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

If your done e-reading something, can one then sell the content to a e-used bookstore?

Perhaps dig old e-books out of the Trash and sell them to a used e-book store to make a little beer money?

That's the thing, you can resell packaged media (CD, DVD, books). The electronic versions of each broke that model. And it required a more expensive player device. It always felt like a cost-shift, the way I figure it, the media industry seems to makes a bigger net profit and the user has to buy more expensive equipment to use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateKylie View Post

If this is true, what is Apple smoking. #1, I but most of my books paperback at $7 dollars or so most of the time, odd that I pay $15 a book but regardless those books (especially hardcovers) can be resold. I already have question about the $10 at Kindle, Nook etc... Especially when you can't transfer the book to a friend when your done etc..

The thing is, when it's released at the same time as the hard covers, there won't be a paperback available for a while. There might be a cost reduction when the paperback comes out. Now, if they still keep the same price despite the paperback, then they're smoking something.

Quote:
Also this is kinda funny in regards to this statement from Steve Jobs: It doesnt matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people dont read anymore, he said. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people dont read anymore. -http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/01/steve-jobs-peop/#ixzz0dm2jKoeY

So I guess by raising the prices you are gonna get more book sales? I'm sorry that statement was a total Steve Ballmer, not Steve Jobs thing to say.

Yeah, I thought that was total BS. I recall that the book industry was something like the size of the music and movie industries combined, at least in 2008. But you can't compare the cost of a download release during the hardcover release phase against the softcover price.
post #22 of 156
The success all comes down to what the DRM will let you do. If you can't share e-books then there is no economical reason to buy them. You might have some convienence gains, but that is a niche market for now....
post #23 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Yeah right. You say value add, I say extra stuff to drain your wallet for that means.

Actually, I said joke. Clearly a little too subtle.
post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

it's really not that high. actual hardcovers are 3 times that retail with discounts for perhaps the first two weeks.

the publishers have an investment in prepayment to the author and then often share the remaining profit with the author once that recovery is made. So it's not like it's all just money in the bank.

Once a solid market exists we'll likely get down to something like $10 for a 'new release' and $5 for 'backlist' with perhaps free first chapters being offered by publishers for some titles, especially newer authors.

BS... Reprinting these "books" (read - downloading from an online source) costs almost nothing. Whereas printing a hardcopy and distributing it to resale outlets is a completely different matter. The book is already in electronic form before it goes to the printing press. In fact, it comes from the author that way. Comparing costs of eBooks to actual books is a false argument.

Overhead costs on eBooks is nothing. The going rate for eBoooks could simply be determined by how much the consumer is willing to spend. Instead you you will spend as much as Apple and the publisher decide you should spend.

But, many Apple Fan Boys are willing to drink the cool-aide when it comes to Apple crap, so they'll pay whatever price Apple demands and defend their obligation to do so. (Spare me your flames readers.)

This post could easily be charged $.99 by Apple if Apple saw fit, but I'll give it to you for free.
post #25 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Actually, I said joke. Clearly a little too subtle.

First I laughed, but you know being on this forum sometimes I see these comments and people are serious. It was a good one. Don't forget the directors comments, and video of where they "shot" the book

Only now do I see: "deleted scenes", my mistake.
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post #26 of 156
can you donate e-books to the library for the tax deduction?
post #27 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitlnoize View Post

If this is true, piracy is going to be a HUGE problem. Obviously, the thing is going to have to be able to handle pdf's etc...Good luck to the publishers trying to rape everyone that much


Jail breaking the iPad Touch is going to be widespread, as soon as people learn they can't transfer their content to someone else.

DVD John will make a appearance, the New Pirate Bay will have a e-book division and FBI warnings will appear on the first page of every new e-book.

It's going to be glorious!! ARRRRHHH!!
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post #28 of 156
I would not want to read a book on an LCD or OLED. eInk is the only option for reading books.
post #29 of 156
Yeah, sure Amazon loses $4.50 on every $9.99 sale... compared to selling the same book at $14.49!

Don't talk advertising-speak to us. If Apple coerces books to the higher price, you can call their latest creation the iToast.
post #30 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

I would not want to read a book on an LCD or OLED. eInk is the only option for reading books.

Or paper ink.
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post #31 of 156
Why the ".99" bs?? What is this, 1990?

Are we still all really so stupid that "12.99" seems closer to $12, not $13?
post #32 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

First I laughed, but you know being on this forum sometimes I see these comments and people are serious. It was a good one. Don't forget the directors comments, and video of where they "shot" the book

Only now do I see: "deleted scenes", my mistake.

If anyone could sell an author's cut as a special feature to a book, it would be Apple.
post #33 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

it's really not that high. actual hardcovers are 3 times that retail with discounts for perhaps the first two weeks.

the publishers have an investment in prepayment to the author and then often share the remaining profit with the author once that recovery is made. So it's not like it's all just money in the bank.

Once a solid market exists we'll likely get down to something like $10 for a 'new release' and $5 for 'backlist' with perhaps free first chapters being offered by publishers for some titles, especially newer authors.

The only problem with that hypothesis is that quite a lot of books never hit the hardcover phase, they just go straight to softcover. Most of the books that I happen to have were never available in hardcover. Somehow that is a profitable industry. I think it's more of a matter of what the market will bear, particularly for big name authors.
post #34 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

... The going rate for eBoooks could simply be determined by how much the consumer is willing to spend. Instead you you will spend as much as Apple and the publisher decide you should spend...

So, by your own admission, whatever Apple decides to charge, consumers will pay? So wouldn't that be the "going rate" for eBooks, simply because that is what customers will pay? You've just said that this price is fair because consumers will pay it.

I'm sure Steve is going to sleep a lot sounder tonight knowing that Sofabutt supports his vision.
post #35 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by quamb View Post

Why the ".99" bs?? What is this, 1990?

Are we still all really so stupid that "12.99" seems closer to $12, not $13?

Psychology. It's not just about the conscious mind.

See also:
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201001015
post #36 of 156
Geez people...the estimates are that printing costs only 10% of the cost of a book. Here's the breakdown:

Author – Creation. 8-15% Royalties.
Publisher – Being the Curator, Polishing, Manufacturing, Marketing. 45-55% (includes Author’s Royalties). Note that Printing accounts for just 10% of the book price.
Distributor – 10%.
Retailers – 40%.

http://ireaderreview.com/2009/05/03/...ok-publishing/

That article also lists the cost estimates from other sites like Bookfinder:

Book Retail Price: $27.95.
Retailer (discount, staffing, rent, etc.) – $12.58. That’s 45%.
Author Royalties – $4.19. Exactly 15%.
Wholesaler – $2.80. Exactly 10%.
Pre-production (Publisher) - $3.55. That’s 12.7%.
Printing (Publisher) – $2.83. Translates to 10.125%.
Marketing (Publisher) – $2. That’s approximately 7.15%.

Don't like these numbers? Google up some alternatives and we can discuss.

Geez. Amazon is taking a loss and forcing publishers to also eat a lower profits to push sales and burn Sony and the other ebook sites. Apple simply is allowing publishers to charge what they think is fair. DON'T expect Amazon to be able to force publishers into a $9.99 deal if the tablet takes off.

Being a e-book reader is probably the LEAST of the capabilities the tablet has. As in "nice to have for the few that read but otherwise no one else cares". It's simply not a make or break feature.

I'll buy one if it's good at games and electronic media. I read ebooks but frankly if I wasn't willing to lug around a Kindle vs my iPhone I won't be willing to lug around the tablet JUST for reading.

It better be damn compelling for something else because the ebook market is freaking tiny.
post #37 of 156
With my Kindle I pay ZERO for the 3g Sprint network to deliver books for usually 9.99 or less. Apple is going to require me to spend big bucks for a data plan and then charge more for book then Amazon does. Bad deal.
post #38 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

...Overhead costs on eBooks is nothing. The going rate for eBoooks could simply be determined by how much the consumer is willing to spend. Instead you you will spend as much as Apple and the publisher decide you should spend...


Wonder how long it will take for Apple to undermine the middle men publishers who are taking the huge cut of the price?

How soon will it be that online services act just like publishers (like CD Baby does for music) and get independent content on the App Store/iTunes for a small percentage of the selling price?


It's like the music/iTunes/iPod thing all over again. No wonder Steve is happy, that old pirate!
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post #39 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

If your done e-reading something, can one then sell the content to a e-used bookstore?

Perhaps dig old e-books out of the Trash and sell them to a used e-book store to make a little beer money?

I know you meant that as a joke, but this is a long established standard of right of first sale, and I bet you'll see the difficult in doing this as the primary reason all the publishers are jumping on the bandwagon.

No more libraries, no more resale. I love Apple, but I'm sad to see this happening.
post #40 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Book publishers are said to be in 11th hour negotiations with Apple to provide books for its forthcoming tablet, with new hardcover bestsellers priced at $12.99 and $14.99....

These are really bad prices. Also, most of what was said in the article about how much they make on them is BS. They are just doing that typical thing where they figure in every cent the spend for secretarial help to show that the "cost" of manufacturing the book to them is some ridiculous amount, and how they are really not making money at all.

In reality, the author gets a pittance for each work sold (digital or otherwise), and once the contract is signed, the digital rights go to the publisher. The actual "cost" of making a digital book is practically zero, so there is no way that a book selling for even $9.99, for which the author is getting ten cents, is not in reality making the publishers a fortune.

Even the actual real world costs of producing paper and print books, is nickels and dimes compared to the retail cost to the consumer. It's been that way for years. The "costs" you are paying for when you pay for a book are the parties, the fancy offices, the wining and dining of prospective clients, and trips to exotic locals for all concerned.

And I'm not even joking or exaggerating that much. Publishers margins are absolutely huge (they make Apple's look tiny in comparison), and the industry in general is wasteful and poorly run.
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