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Apple iPad deal pushes another publisher to renegotiate with Amazon

post #1 of 87
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Days after Macmillan essentially forced Amazon to accept higher prices for its Kindle e-book titles, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., said his publishing company HarperCollins is also in talks to increase titles beyond $9.99.

During his company's earnings call this week, Murdoch revealed that he doesn't like the $9.99 pricing currently employed by Amazon because it devalues books and hurts retailers who sell the hardcover editions. But he noted Apple's content deals for its new iPad allow publishers more flexibility to set prices at a level they believe is fair.

"Apple -- in its agreement with us, which has not been disclosed in detail -- does allow for a variety of slightly higher prices," Murdoch said. "There will be prices very much less than the printed copies of books, but still will not be fixed in a way that Amazon has been doing it."

Now, Murdoch said, Amazon is "ready to sit down" with HarperCollins to renegotiate pricing of books on the Kindle.

The revelation comes after a short-lived standoff over e-book prices between Amazon and Macmillan, during which Amazon temporarily suspended sales of all books from the publisher. A day later, though, Amazon reluctantly conceded and allowed the publisher to raise its prices to between $12.99 and $14.99.

The events were foreshadowed last week by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who told Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal that publishers were going to begin withholding their titles from the Kindle because they were not happy with the pricing structure. Jobs also said the iPad and Kindle would offer "the same" prices on e-books.

Prior to last week's announcement, it was rumored that publishers were in talks with Apple to offer new hardcover bestsellers at prices of $12.99 and $14.99. The terms of the e-book deals Apple has struck with publishers remain unknown.

When Apple introduced the iPad last week, it also unveiled the new iBooks application for reading e-books. The software also includes the iBookstore, which allows users to purchase content that will be displayed on their virtual bookshelf. Apple announced deals with five major book partners, including Macmillan and HarperCollins.
post #2 of 87
Every single publisher will increase their prices too... Amazon bent for one, the rest want that money too... and who can blame them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Days after Macmillan essentially forced Amazon to accept higher prices for its Kindle e-book titles, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., said his publishing company HarperCollins is also in talks to increase titles beyond $9.99.

During his company's earnings call this week, Murdoch revealed that he doesn't like the $9.99 pricing currently employed by Amazon because it devalues books and hurts retailers who sell the hardcover editions. But he noted Apple's content deals for its new iPad allow publishers more flexibility to set prices at a level they believe is fair.

"Apple -- in its agreement with us, which has not been disclosed in detail -- does allow for a variety of slightly higher prices," Murdoch said. "There will be prices very much less than the printed copies of books, but still will not be fixed in a way that Amazon has been doing it."

Now, Murdoch said, Amazon is "ready to sit down" with HarperCollins to renegotiate pricing of books on the Kindle.

The revelation comes after a short-lived standoff over e-book prices between Amazon and Macmillan, during which Amazon temporarily suspended sales of all books from the publisher. A day later, though, Amazon reluctantly conceded and allowed the publisher to raise its prices to between $12.99 and $14.99.

The events were foreshadowed last week by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who told Walt Mossberg of The New York Times that publishers were going to begin withholding their titles from the Kindle because they were not happy with the pricing structure. Jobs also said the iPad and Kindle would offer "the same" prices on e-books.

Prior to last week, it was rumored that publishers were in talks with Apple to offer new hardcover bestsellers at prices of $12.99 and $14.99. The terms of the e-book deals Apple has struck with publishers remain unknown.

When Apple introduced the iPad last week, it also unveiled the new iBooks application for reading e-books. The software also includes the iBookstore, which allows users to purchase content that will be displayed on their virtual bookshelf. Apple announced deals with five major book partners, including Macmillan and HarperCollins.
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post #3 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... raise its prices to between $12.99 and $14.99. ....

There is no way in hell an eBook novel, (best-seller or not), is worth $12.99 or $14.99.

You not only aren't getting the book, you aren't even getting a close facsimile of the book. You are getting a text file and a jpeg of the cover.

Also, as a writer, it's a bad bad day when eBooks become the norm and any bozo can re-stream your text and change the font into comic sans before sending it on for free to all their friends. Books are works of art. The aren't just text.

Hell, there is a thousand times more art in a digital comic than there is in one of these "books." By this measure, the latest digital comic should cost $40.00.
post #4 of 87
This is a load of shit. Not bullshit, but a pain in the ass.

Best sellers should be $9.99. Everything else should be $6.99 for novels, and $4.99 for novellas. Oh, and Rupert Murdoch is a bastard. Not just for this, but generally speaking.
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post #5 of 87
Bah! We all lose!

Amazon should have pulled a Frank Drebin like in Naked Gun 33 and a 1/3;

post #6 of 87
How come forum trolls knew all that before and philanthropes at Amazon didn't

P.S. Kind advice, Amazon. Readers' rating is two stars or lower - the fine on the publisher.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #7 of 87
Nice to see Steve pulling for the customers.... OH wait...
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post #8 of 87
One aspect of production cost comparisons between conventional and e-books which I don't recall being mentioned much so far in these article discussions is the difference between the continuing costs of printing, distributing, warehousing, recycling unsold copies, etc., of conventional books, and the relatively minimal or even non-existent comparable costs of e-books.

It would seem that such savings would allow publishers to at least maintain and perhaps enhance design and content quality to include dynamic/interactive/multimedia content in e-books, all while selling e-books at dramatically lower prices than conventional books.

It will be interesting to see the shift in economics of book production. Will publishers pay adequately for enhanced dynamic content? Will independent/self-publishers have significant publishing opportunities from access to the Apple Bookstore?

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #9 of 87
On the one hand, I don't like paying more than I have to for the written word, on the other hand, I very much want great publishers and newspapers to thrive. For example: I've been reading the NY Times online for free now for a few years. (I paid them their online subscription fee for the brief period where they required that.) So I very much enjoy their product, and I also very much enjoy getting it for free. But I have to be honest with myself and admit that I'm getting too good a deal. It's too good to last.

So yes, I'm a penny-pinching cheapskate who doesn't want to pay anything for this great material, but more importantly, I'm a realist and I want the publishers to thrive. So it's totally okay by me that Apple helps these publishers charge the prices they want to charge. If I don't want to pay it, there's tons of free stuff on the Web. They can charge what they think is fair. Consumers don't need to complain about it -- they can pay the price or go elsewhere.
post #10 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Nice to see Steve pulling for the customers.... OH wait...

To quote our venerable (NOT!) Aussie, Mr Murdoch

“The buck stops with the guy who signs the checks.”

and it appears that our Steve is the signatory

\
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post #11 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post


It would seem that such savings would allow publishers to at least maintain and perhaps enhance design and content quality to include dynamic/interactive/multimedia content in e-books, all while selling e-books at dramatically lower prices than conventional books.

Don't forget that the publishers costs for printed books will go up as the market shifts to eBooks (due to lower volumes and more uncertainty).

I believe that a free market system is best in the long run.

If they are charging too much. no one will buy, which is what they are aiming for right now. They still want to drive people to printed books. The margins might be lower, but the profit is much higher.
post #12 of 87
I still want to know whether we'll be able to read those books bought in the iBookstore on our computer and iPhone. If I'm buying a book, I should have the ability to view it wherever I want. That is the biggest question for me at this point.
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post #13 of 87
Revised Edit
post #14 of 87
Well, the simplest solution is: spend your money elsewhere.

A great deal of trade paperbacks now sell for $12.99 on up, approaching hardcover prices and even in many instances, their form factor. Yet it's difficult to find the mass revolt against that, much less brick-and-mortar bookstores going out of business based solely on "overpriced" hardcover bestsellers.

I don't know anything about how a publisher provides an e-book, although I am fairly confident that it's more involved than a "Save as...." option. By the same token, paying the same price for a physical copy doesn't fit right either, but one can expect the price of physical units to rise with or without e-books. Yet if consumers of e-books (who are not the majority here) really don't like "near-to-same price" scenario, spend your money elsewhere.
post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

You not only aren't getting the book, you aren't even getting a close facsimile of the book. You are getting a text file and a jpeg of the cover.

When you buy a book - do you really pay for the paper? Gosh! I don't!

It's the content, dear Watson! It's the content.

I would not pay a dime for kama sutra (unless original something) no matter how it was delivered, but quite a few bucks for board meeting protocols in Apple, IBM and Amazon.
post #16 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

On the one hand, I don't like paying more than I have to for the written word, on the other hand, I very much want great publishers and newspapers to thrive. For example: I've been reading the NY Times online for free now for a few years. (I paid them their online subscription fee for the brief period where they required that.) So I very much enjoy their product, and I also very much enjoy getting it for free. But I have to be honest with myself and admit that I'm getting too good a deal. It's too good to last.

So yes, I'm a penny-pinching cheapskate who doesn't want to pay anything for this great material, but more importantly, I'm a realist and I want the publishers to thrive. So it's totally okay by me that Apple helps these publishers charge the prices they want to charge. If I don't want to pay it, there's tons of free stuff on the Web. They can charge what they think is fair. Consumers don't need to complain about it -- they can pay the price or go elsewhere.

There is no denying your logic, I'm a capitalist by nature and it is therefore appropriate that I support the 'Industry'
(not necessarily Rupert). We will have to wait and see who reaps the benefits of the new 'Apple pricing plan'
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post #17 of 87
Competition causes prices to go up? Someone call the FTC.
post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post

Competition causes prices to go up? Someone call the FTC.

is that when they break into ..

So the FTC won't let me be
Or let me be me so let me see
They tried to shut me down on MTV
But it feels so empty without me

(edited with artistic merit)
post #19 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Nice to see Steve pulling for the customers.... OH wait...

Why do you think Steve Jobs went out to the publishers and said - you can sell books on the iPad only if you raise prices?

More likely, Steve asked the publishers to include their books on his new iBook Store and they said only if you agree to pricing like this.

Apple needs the publishers (content) to make the iPad a success. They don't need Apple - if all Apple offered was Amazon-like pricing, then the publishers would just stick with Amazon.

What most people miss is that Amazon's near monopoly on e-book sales is ending. They have been abusing that monopoly to set the sale terms in their favour. The publishers, given the option of a second larger seller now have more power.
post #20 of 87
My problem is the 'waste' involved in producing a hardcover book as opposed to the eBook! A lot of us buy a book read it, share it perhaps and put it on a shelf. But think of the toxic ink and glue and all the water wasted to 'bleach' the paper to be white....compared to eBooks. Not to mention the trees!

As soon as the iPad 3g comes out I will convert my AZ Republic daily newspaper my daily WSJ subscription (both paid, btw) all my magazines subscriptions and from then my book purchases will be eBooks via iBook. I don't want my reading material, produced and shipped and recycled using MidEast Oil! or the landfill being filled up with all the magazines that are never sold at the grocery stores.

The publishers getting $15 for an ebook, is akin to paying $18 for a CD 10 years ago. It just seems too much. But I will do it over buying the hard cover version. I remember in college buying expensive text books and really feeling like being taken advantage of bc of the exorbitant pricing. Hopefully that will change too.
post #21 of 87
I am not a fan of fixed pricing. Flexible pricing is a much better idea.

However, I did defend fixed pricing in iTunes. The reason is as follows:

1) Music companies were too slow to react to the internet. By the time iTunes came around, people were more accustomed to downloading music on Napster, than buying it online. iTunes had to change this behavior, and convenience was a major selling point. The fixed pricing helped towards this.

2) People were not used to paying for digital products (before itunes, what other major digital product was sold online? Even software was sold on CDs). iTunes has changed that behavior.

In other words, as far as iTunes and music pricing was concerned, the market was extremely immature, and simplicity and lack of surprises were the order of the day. The combination of book sales on Kindle and the many millions of people who now see value in digital products thanks to iTunes (and other stuff, like iPhone games which have you buy digital gifts, etc) the ebook market is far more mature.
post #22 of 87
If they price them too high they will only increase the pirating, again like the music industry did with $18 CD's...even with iTunes being number one in retail music sales....>90% of all music downloaded is still pirated.

ebooks could be the same. In other words a small population ordering and paying, but most pirating the ebooks!
post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I still want to know whether we'll be able to read those books bought in the iBookstore on our computer and iPhone. If I'm buying a book, I should have the ability to view it wherever I want. That is the biggest question for me at this point.

You want the ability to control the media that you paid for?



*wipes tear*
post #24 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

I am not a fan of fixed pricing. Flexible pricing is a much better idea.

However, I did defend fixed pricing in iTunes. The reason is as follows:

1) Music companies were too slow to react to the internet. By the time iTunes came around, people were more accustomed to downloading music on Napster, than buying it online. iTunes had to change this behavior, and convenience was a major selling point. The fixed pricing helped towards this.

2) People were not used to paying for digital products (before itunes, what other major digital product was sold online? Even software was sold on CDs). iTunes has changed that behavior.

In other words, as far as iTunes and music pricing was concerned, the market was extremely immature, and simplicity and lack of surprises were the order of the day. The combination of book sales on Kindle and the many millions of people who now see value in digital products thanks to iTunes (and other stuff, like iPhone games which have you buy digital gifts, etc) the ebook market is far more mature.

Very well said!
post #25 of 87
These book publishers are greedy. They want to increase the price for a product that has virtually no production cost. I will NEVER buy an e-book that is overpriced, unless it gives me some value add like the dynamic/interactive/content. All these publishers now have to do with ebooks is distribute a digital file over the internet, sans warehousing, sans paper costs, ink costs, etc. etc. They save a ton of money, yet they want to increase the price.

I'll tell you what I will do though. If I buy an ebook digital file. I will make sure to share it with other people. I will be glad to distribute it for free to a friend or two if the opportunity arises. I don't care if it's "illegal."

The publishers would be smarter if they lowered the price to minimize the kind of thing I might do if they raise the price. Believe me. People will do this. Hackers will create cracks for ebooks so they can be read.

The app store model is the perfect model. Make the book relatively inexpensive and you build revenue by high volume rather than gouging a lower volume of people.

Greedy jerk offs out there. As a consumer, we go by the saying, caveat emptor (buyer beware). Well "supplier beware" too. If you try to screw the consumer by greedily raising prices for something that you have to do virtually no work to produce, we will figure out a way to screw you back.

Sorry. It's reality. We're all tired of big business and big corporations screwing people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

One aspect of production cost comparisons between conventional and e-books which I don't recall being mentioned much so far in these article discussions is the difference between the continuing costs of printing, distributing, warehousing, recycling unsold copies, etc., of conventional books, and the relatively minimal or even non-existent comparable costs of e-books.

It would seem that such savings would allow publishers to at least maintain and perhaps enhance design and content quality to include dynamic/interactive/multimedia content in e-books, all while selling e-books at dramatically lower prices than conventional books.

It will be interesting to see the shift in economics of book production. Will publishers pay adequately for enhanced dynamic content? Will independent/self-publishers have significant publishing opportunities from access to the Apple Bookstore?
post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

On the one hand, I don't like paying more than I have to for the written word, on the other hand, I very much want great publishers and newspapers to thrive. For example: I've been reading the NY Times online for free now for a few years. (I paid them their online subscription fee for the brief period where they required that.) So I very much enjoy their product, and I also very much enjoy getting it for free. But I have to be honest with myself and admit that I'm getting too good a deal. It's too good to last.

So yes, I'm a penny-pinching cheapskate who doesn't want to pay anything for this great material, but more importantly, I'm a realist and I want the publishers to thrive. So it's totally okay by me that Apple helps these publishers charge the prices they want to charge. If I don't want to pay it, there's tons of free stuff on the Web. They can charge what they think is fair. Consumers don't need to complain about it -- they can pay the price or go elsewhere.

I agree with you. Like you, I prefer not paying but I do think that people who create a product, be that on the assembly line or in front of a computer, should get paid decently for their work. I know how to jail break my iPhone and get every app for free but I choose not to as most apps are created by small entrepreneurs who do not deserve to get ripped off.

As far a books go, I really don't know the costs involved but 14 dollars for a 300 page novel does not seem too expensive. As long as the digital version costs less than the paper version (deduct printing, distribution, reseller costs) its fair. If you don't like it, go to the store and get the book.
post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithal View Post

What most people miss is that Amazon's near monopoly on e-book sales is ending. They have been abusing that monopoly to set the sale terms in their favour. The publishers, given the option of a second larger seller now have more power.

Yes, and if you screw your suppliers expect them to try to screw you back when the opportunity presents. How Apple has been successful with the music industry is keeping the screwing to a relative minimum AND building an ecosystem where competitors are hard to match.

Amazon messed up by not heavily subsidizing the Kindle as opposed to the books. The REASON they subsidized the books was to dominate the ebook market in a blatantly obvious way...

To Amazon: HA-HA.

I've never been a fan of Kindle or Amazon's ebook strategy.
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

... It will be interesting to see the shift in economics of book production. Will publishers pay adequately for enhanced dynamic content? Will independent/self-publishers have significant publishing opportunities from access to the Apple Bookstore?

To me this is the million dollar question, and one that so far Apple has remained silent on.

The only reason there is such an oligarchy in the publishing industry, and the only reason all the small publishers went out of business during the 90's was distribution and marketing costs. Now we have a situation where there are a small handful of big publishers that own it all and the industry is stifling.

If, as a writer or a small publisher, you could get distribution and marketing through the Apple store for the same 30% cut that Apple takes from developers, then a revolution is about to happen in pricing and in quality and availability of books. If this isn't the case, then Apple just became Amazon and nothing will change.

There are literally tens of thousands of authors out there with excellent books or ideas for books that can't get published simply because they can't get their foot in the door of the publishers.

You can self-publish, but you are then reduced to selling it on your website or out of the trunk of your car at shopping malls. Most of the brick and mortar bookstores are now owned by the publishers and those that are not are surviving on razor thin margins. They can't afford to take self published books on spec.

Lastly, I'd like to say as someone who's spent a significant amount of time in the business, that the production costs for paper and hardback books are wildly overstated also. The cost of book printing dropped through the floor in the early 90's and never rose again. You can get a very high quality book printed in quite large numbers for less than the cost of a new Mac Pro. The problem is getting it distributed, and getting anyone to buy it.

I'm waiting to see what side of the fence Apple comes down on here. Will they help out small publishers and authors? Or will it all be about making the big publishing conglomerates happy?
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

During his company's earnings call this week, Murdoch revealed that he doesn't like the $9.99 pricing currently employed by Amazon because it devalues books

Except an e-Book isn't a book, way to miss the point Rupert. He only wants to line his pockets anyway.

If you had to print, bind and ship the eBooks to stores which sat in a store which had to pay rent and staff then I'd agree, but an eBook doesn't so, by definition, it's cheaper to produce.

Why don't they get that consumers want the cost savings passed on to them?
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

There is no way in hell an eBook novel, (best-seller or not), is worth $12.99 or $14.99.

You not only aren't getting the book, you aren't even getting a close facsimile of the book. You are getting a text file and a jpeg of the cover.

Also, as a writer, it's a bad bad day when eBooks become the norm and any bozo can re-stream your text and change the font into comic sans before sending it on for free to all their friends. Books are works of art. The aren't just text.

Hell, there is a thousand times more art in a digital comic than there is in one of these "books." By this measure, the latest digital comic should cost $40.00.

There isn't an ebook out there that you can't torrent today. Heck, there are many books that aren't ebooks that you can torrent today.

DRM is just stupid and depending on physical medium as DRM is not much more effective than software DRM when it comes to piracy prevention.

The value of the novel is based on time. I've paid for $15 advanced reader copies so I could read a book I've been waiting for before it gets released. Those are sometimes pretty rough in comparison to what gets released since they are unproofed. And heck, if I wanted the final proofed version I'd have to buy that too...but typically I'll wait till it hits $6. So before release = greatest value, release = high value, months/years after release = lower value

Personally, I think Steve will send nastygrams to publishers with bad looking ebooks. And the typography on the iBook app is likely to be far above average for eBooks.
post #31 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by tumme-totte View Post

When you buy a book - do you really pay for the paper? Gosh! I don't!

What I think you meant to say is that you are not buying it for the paper, because you certainly are paying for it. And the majority of consumers do place greater value on a print edition that they can do with what they wish than on such an ephemeral entity as an e-book.

But even if the cost of manufacturing, distributing and recalling a physical volume is only a fraction of the total cost of production, there are still other factors to consider. For instance, a brick and mortar retailer can only stock and display so many books and periodicals at a given instant; the online world has the potential to offer virtually ubiquitous access to any material published. For the publisher this means their wares are never out of stock and can sell all over for as long as there is even the slightest demand. So there is a lot more potential for profit on any work they release.

Now, as Oscar Wilde said, a cynic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. I do not dispute that it would be foolish to assign a certain dollar amount to all creative works of one form all across the board. But given that they incur close to no additional expense after publication for every volume they ship electronically, I would be surprised if publishers did not eventually come to the conclusion that they will reap the greatest revenue the lower they price their virtual inventory.
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post #32 of 87
What about the "Who reads these days, anyway?" argument?

What if the iPad brought about a Harry Potter-like revolution in attracting non-readers to printed media? Wouldn't content providers across the board benefit from that kind of shift in cultural habit?

Isn't that what's really at stake -- Mainstream literacy vs. mainstream apathy (toward books, print media, etc.)

Can the iPad save newspapers and magazines? On a global scale, en masse?
post #33 of 87
Remember, year or two ago, Steve said people don't read anymore, so this should cost most of us nothing

Authors, publishers, and distributors need to make a profit, otherwise you'll have no books, e- or otherwise. One could argue Amazon's pricing was artificially low to try and jump start the industry, and now that Apple may very well "validate" e-books, prices will rise in the near term.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to the concept of more competition leads to lower prices, but this is still a market in its infancy - think more of the price people pay as early adopters for new technology - CD players were, I think, a $1,000 or so, even when there were two or three manufacturers way back in the 80's.

Eventually, more competition will drive prices back down again, especially as companies recoup their initial investment to establish the systems to create, publish, and store their titles electronically.
post #34 of 87
With all due respect to sensible posters and trolls on this topic - I also despise the Murdoch empire.

HOWEVER

The publishers not apple asking people to put their prices up, but to accept variable pricing with a higher charge for new content - this is about publishers who want the right to have variable pricing on their books.

Look at it this way - at the moment, everything is 9.99- new or old.

So why not charge a little more for new titles and less for 'classics' - it makes perfect sense and will probably have the effect of reducing the amount that people spend on digital books, if for instance, classics are 6.99, older titles 9.99 and new releases around the 12.99 mark.

I think the issue here is price fixing. Of course content distributors want to ensure the best, simplest pricing structure for their products (every track 79p). But in a time that we complain about a small number of companies having control, why should Amazon, Apple etc be able to dictate prices to content providers. Variable pricing, within ranges agreed with content distributor and content creator is a good thing.
post #35 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

On the one hand, I don't like paying more than I have to for the written word, on the other hand, I very much want great publishers and newspapers to thrive. For example: I've been reading the NY Times online for free now for a few years. (I paid them their online subscription fee for the brief period where they required that.) So I very much enjoy their product, and I also very much enjoy getting it for free. But I have to be honest with myself and admit that I'm getting too good a deal. It's too good to last.

So yes, I'm a penny-pinching cheapskate who doesn't want to pay anything for this great material, but more importantly, I'm a realist and I want the publishers to thrive. So it's totally okay by me that Apple helps these publishers charge the prices they want to charge. If I don't want to pay it, there's tons of free stuff on the Web. They can charge what they think is fair. Consumers don't need to complain about it -- they can pay the price or go elsewhere.

Very well put. The first sane post in this thread.
post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I still want to know whether we'll be able to read those books bought in the iBookstore on our computer and iPhone. If I'm buying a book, I should have the ability to view it wherever I want. That is the biggest question for me at this point.

I foresee the possibility that, in a few years, digital will be the default, but a company such as Apple or one of the publishers will send you a physical product for, say, an aggregate price of $25-$30, (just as you can order photobooks in iPhoto).

What we are witnessing is the industry uncertainty and turmoil not dissimilar to what digital did to film photos. That took a while to settle down and achieve maturity. This will too.
post #37 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblenio View Post

These book publishers are greedy. They want to increase the price for a product that has virtually no production cost.

Sorry, as someone who works in publish and print, I can assure you that there is minimal additional cost involved in print. You pay for the content creation, editing, proofing, typeset, design. To actual print a book costs about £1, and distribution maybe an extra 20p on top of that, so the extra £2/3 (plus reseller mark up) adds relatively little to your 12.99 price point.

People underestimate the processes involved in bringing content to the public, but at the same time I'm sure you all want to charge a profitable margin for any of your work or time?

Publishers should have the right to set their own base price points, and it only makes sense that this should be variable. You wouldn't pay the same on the high street for a hardback novel as you would for some paperback pulp-fiction. So this should be reflected digitally as we move forward.

This doesn't only mean potential higher prices, it also means lower prices for archive/classic (whatever you want to call it) content.

[Edit - Just in case any one questions my figures, I'm just averaging out production/storage/logistic costs on a run of 10, 000 200page paperbacks in the UK at current exchange rates based on print jobs that have left the office in the last six months, with all costs subject to sales tax as applicable).
post #38 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

You not only aren't getting the book, you aren't even getting a close facsimile of the book. You are getting a text file and a jpeg of the cover.

Publishers are gonna pour tons of money in some mysterious developer to finally have descent reader app on iPad. Eventually, that may be beginning to resemble printed book...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #39 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

I am not a fan of fixed pricing. Flexible pricing is a much better idea.

However, I did defend fixed pricing in iTunes. The reason is as follows:

1) Music companies were too slow to react to the internet. By the time iTunes came around, people were more accustomed to downloading music on Napster, than buying it online. iTunes had to change this behavior, and convenience was a major selling point. The fixed pricing helped towards this.

2) People were not used to paying for digital products (before itunes, what other major digital product was sold online? Even software was sold on CDs). iTunes has changed that behavior.

In other words, as far as iTunes and music pricing was concerned, the market was extremely immature, and simplicity and lack of surprises were the order of the day. The combination of book sales on Kindle and the many millions of people who now see value in digital products thanks to iTunes (and other stuff, like iPhone games which have you buy digital gifts, etc) the ebook market is far more mature.

Terrific insights!
post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

You not only aren't getting the book, you aren't even getting a close facsimile of the book. You are getting a text file and a jpeg of the cover.

Yes, and why you buy music from the iTunes store, you aren't getting a CD, you're just getting the content from the disc and a jpeg of the sleeve art.

What's your point?

A single costs less on iTunes than the physical copy by a couple of dollars, A book will cost less on iBooks than the physical copy by a couple of dollars.

Same difference.
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