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Apple's iPad deal gives Hachette pricing leverage against Amazon

post #1 of 116
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Joining the other publishers who, after striking content deals for Apple's iPad, have looked to increase standard e-book prices beyond $9.99 will be Hachette Book Group, the company announced this week.

While the letter from Hachette CEO David Young did not specifically mention Amazon or changing prices of new books to between $12.99 and $14.99, it did state the company intends to transition e-book sales to an "agency model." That model allows the company serving the content to take a cut -- in Apple's case with the App Store, 30 percent of all sales.

"There are many advantages to the agency model, for our authors, retailers, consumers, and publishers," Young wrote. "It allows Hachette to make pricing decisions that are rational and reflect the value of our authors' works.

"In the long run this will enable Hachette to continue to invest in and nurture authors' careers--from major blockbusters to new voices. Without this investment in our authors, the diversity of books available to consumers will contract, as will the diversity of retailers, and our literary culture will suffer."

Though the terms of the deals Apple has struck for the iPad's iBookstore are officially unknown, it has been widely rumored that publishers will price new hardcover bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99. Publisher Macmillan wanted the ability to set those prices on the Amazon Kindle e-reader, which led to a temporary suspension of sales of the publisher's content from Amazon.

But shortly after, the two companies reached an agreement, with Amazon reluctantly agreeing to sell most hardcover releases between $12.99 and $14.99. Amazon, however, noted that it felt the prices were "needlessly high."

In addition to Macmillan, Hachette is joined by publisher HarperCollins, which also intends to renegotiate its deal with Amazon for e-book prices. News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch said the new prices will be "slightly higher," but in the wake of Apple's iPad agreements, Amazon is finally "ready to sit down" and have discussions.

Hachette CEO Young, in his letter to agents, said the move to an agency model is not a way to make more money on e-books.

"In fact, we make less on each e-book sale under the new model; the author will continue to be fairly compensated and our e-book agents will make money on every digital sale," he said. "We're willing to accept lower return for e-book sales as we control the value of our product--books, and content in general. We're taking the long view on e-book pricing, and this new model helps protect the long term viability of the book marketplace."

All three companies -- HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan -- were specifically highlighted by Apple last week when it introduced its new iBooks application for the iPad. They, along with Penguin and Simon & Schuster, have agreed to content deals with Apple.
post #2 of 116
Who is Hachette Book Group? What sorts of stuff do they publish? Are they big?
post #3 of 116
there was a story yesterday that the winners of this price war are Barnes and Noble and Borders
post #4 of 116
Seems like Apple is forcing the prices up on the consumer to the benefit of publishers and itself. There is no reason people should pay the same or more for electronic content.
post #5 of 116
I feel very strongly that when I purchase downloadable content (be it video, music or in this case books) it should be cheaper than the physical medium.

I do not wish to devalue the content of books or the creativity of music artists as their public statements claim.

The simple fact is that with a physical medium they have to manufacture it, store it, ship it, stock it and sell it through a store who obviously put a mark up on top of the price, based on this why should I pay the same and even occasionally pay more (considering how quickly DVD's etc come down in price) for a downloadable version?!?!?!

I have a large collection of DVD's and Blu Rays (around 400 of them) and a large collection of music on CD which I have imported into iTunes, I pay for my stuff and would happily go digital, but I refuse on principal to be shafted by these pricks, everyone else will make there own choice but until they stop ripping us off I will stick with traditional media.
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post #6 of 116
Why Apple fix music price but not book price? Double standard?
post #7 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Who is Hachette Book Group? What sorts of stuff do they publish? Are they big?

I don't know if they're big, they started in France, the US branch started in 2006, so it's understandable that they aren't well-known in the US. They have roughly 18 imprints in the US, I've only heard of one. I have heard of several of their major authors, take a look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachette_Book_Group_USA

Notable authors:

Ansel Adams, Sherman Alexie, David Baldacci, James Bradley, Marc Brown, Christopher Buckley, Jimmy Buffett, Stephen Colbert, Michael Connelly, Ted Dekker, Nelson DeMille, Emily Dickinson, Malcolm Gladwell, Lisi Harrison, Christopher Hitchens, Mary Ann Hoberman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kiyosaki, Elizabeth Kostova, Nelson Mandela, Patrick McDonnell, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Meyer, Stephenie Meyer, Todd Parr, James Patterson, Mark Penn, David Sedaris, Anita Shreve, Anne Rivers Siddons, Nicholas Sparks, Jon Stewart, Trenton Lee Stewart, David Foster Wallace, and Cecily von Ziegesar.

Some of their authors are dead (Dr. MLK, Ansel Adams), so I guess their estates moved publishing rights to them from some other group.
post #8 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't know if they're big, they started in France,

In France they're real biggies. But all that is just about their NA division.

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post #9 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

In France they're real biggies. But all that is just about their NA division.

Good to know. Yes, that page was about Hachette USA, I should have made that clearer. Hachette USA sprung out of nowhere, I didn't know what to make of them and wasn't surprised if others hadn't heard of them.

I wonder if the current iPad deals are US, rolling out to other countries soon after. Given that these are all international publishers, maybe there will be media available for for non-US buyers, but maybe it's not that easy given how they probably do their accounting and split up publishing rights into regions exactly the way the music and video industries.
post #10 of 116
I'm disappointed that Apple didn't offer anything new to the electronic print. I hope this is just a start, but I was hoping for textbooks, magazines and comic books to be demoed to really show how a colour LCD is a better than E Ink.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Seems like Apple is forcing the prices up on the consumer to the benefit of publishers and itself. There is no reason people should pay the same or more for electronic content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I feel very strongly that when I purchase downloadable content (be it video, music or in this case books) it should be cheaper than the physical medium.

I understand your points but the bottom line is what will the market bare.
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post #11 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by too999 View Post

Why Apple fix music price but not book price? Double standard?

Well, music is no longer fixed. However, it's simply a tactic to gain market share in a new industry. Amazon was beginning to dominate the e-book market since they took a loss on every book sold. Now they're about to get their rear-ends handed to them.
post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Seems like Apple is forcing the prices up on the consumer to the benefit of publishers and itself. There is no reason people should pay the same or more for electronic content.

I found this all funny, first Apple changes the whole music industry by forcing them to sell singles at $0.99 and the argument was if an album cost $x and there y songs then each song is $0.99 which we all know most songs on most albums were garbage but there was no way the music industry would admit to that, so they have no choose than to agree with Apple. Which turned out to be a good things for all of us and Apple.

Now they are doing the opposite strategy, Amazon has basically devalued the whole print industry. They showed people you do not have to pay the higher price. Which you know the publishing industry hates but they were stuck. They made books in hopes they would sell then found they were not selling as they like, struck a deal with Amazon to help clear out the warehouses. However, Amazon applied the same model to ebooks. Now Apple came in and said we can change that all for you, we will let you set your pricing and it will be on a better platform than a Kindle.

Guess what it worked, all these publishers were more than happy to sign a deal with Apple so they can have leverage over Amazon. However this time Apple and the Publisher will benefit not the consumers.

Then again I have Apple stock and I will benefit far more from that than a cost of a book.

So I win anyway.
post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Seems like Apple is forcing the prices up on the consumer to the benefit of publishers and itself. There is no reason people should pay the same or more for electronic content.

Is Apple "forcing" prices up? Or is it that Apple, in competition with Amazon as a driver of digital sales (theoretically for now), just gives the publishers some leverage?

This is how I imagine things played out:
Up to now, if they wanted to sell e-books, publishers had to play by Amazon's rules because of their dominance in the market. If Apple came in and said, "we want you to provide e-books for our new ecosystem for the same price as Amazon," publishers might have responded "Meh. Talk to us when we see how iPad sales are going..." Apple needed to be abe able to announce publishers were enthusiastically on board *before* the iPad came out, so they had to offer something to get the publishers interested. Remember, Apple's model is to make money on hardware sales; their end goal is to sell iPads, not make a killing on media sales commissions.

I suppose, you could fault Apple for the price rise, but I think saying that "Apple is forcing the prices up," implies that Apple *wants* the price higher, which I doubt.
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post #14 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I feel very strongly that when I purchase downloadable content (be it video, music or in this case books) it should be cheaper than the physical medium.

It is cheaper, you can't compare it to the remainders or used price. The prices given so far that I've seen are for ebook versions during the hardcover phase of the release cycle. Amazon's price for a Harry Potter hard cover book is $20 (list: $30). If the ebook is listed at $15, it will be cheaper. We don't know how the ebook will be priced when the paperback is released. If they still list at $15 for when the paperback is released, only then will we know how serious they are.

Quote:
The simple fact is that with a physical medium they have to manufacture it, store it, ship it, stock it and sell it through a store who obviously put a mark up on top of the price, based on this why should I pay the same and even occasionally pay more (considering how quickly DVD's etc come down in price) for a downloadable version?!?!?!

In past discussions, there were multiple links that gave the cost breakdown for publishing a book. The printing & paper is only 10% of the cost. Distribution is 10%. Typical retailer portion is 40%. Apple takes 30% on most media they sell (iTunes store), and that doesn't earn them more than a sliver of net profit. There are still costs with maintaining the electronic store. The best you can hope for here with electronic distribution is a 30% reduction in cost.
post #15 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Seems like Apple is forcing the prices up on the consumer to the benefit of publishers and itself. There is no reason people should pay the same or more for electronic content.

If you read the article, this isn't about the publishers getting more money. The get LESS. And Apple is just getting it's usual 30%. If Apple used the same model as Amazon used, Apple would be LOSING money on each sale. As the publishers said, not a sustainable model and only sets up Amazon for a monopoly on the new market.

The new price should still be less, however if you still don't like it then you can let them know by not purchasing it. They can decide if they can lower the price and still benefit everyone.
post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Good to know. Yes, that page was about Hachette USA, I should have made that clearer. Hachette USA sprung out of nowhere, I didn't know what to make of them and wasn't surprised if others hadn't heard of them.

It was usual buy-out Ã* la mode of those not so old days. Time Warner Book Group was bought by Hachette Livre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I wonder if the current iPad deals are US, rolling out to other countries soon after. Given that these are all international publishers, maybe there will be media available for for non-US buyers, but maybe it's not that easy given how they probably do their accounting and split up publishing rights into regions exactly the way the music and video industries.

No any evidence so far. Not a bit.

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post #17 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

Well, music is no longer fixed. However, it's simply a tactic to gain market share in a new industry. Amazon was beginning to dominate the e-book market since they took a loss on every book sold. Now they're about to get their rear-ends handed to them.

It turns out that the loss is mostly the big name books. For other books, they offered publishers 30% of the total and kept the remaining 70%. This came up on another Mac forum, I think they linked to a story in NYT.
post #18 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I feel very strongly that when I purchase downloadable content (be it video, music or in this case books) it should be cheaper than the physical medium.

Is it my imagination, or don't most new, hardcover books cost much more than $12-$15? I just pulled two hardcover books off my shelf and they said $27.99 and $24.99. Even if I bought them at a discount, they would still have been much more than $15...

Has their been any talk of pricing for paperback titles and old catalogue books?
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post #19 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I have a large collection of DVD's and Blu Rays (around 400 of them) and a large collection of music on CD which I have imported into iTunes, I pay for my stuff and would happily go digital, but I refuse on principal to be shafted by these pricks, everyone else will make there own choice but until they stop ripping us off I will stick with traditional media.

Then you should stick with traditional media. Nobody's arguing with you about your right to do that, I hope. As for me, I don't mind paying the same for digital as opposed to traditional. Sure, the publisher's printing costs and what have you have disappeared with digital, but from my perspective, my storage and schlepping costs have disappeared. I live in a small home with over-flowing bookshelves, so the digital format has an extra, tangible value to me.
post #20 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

It was usual buy-out Ã* la mode of those not so old days. Time Warner Book Group was bought by Hachette Livre.

That makes sense.

Quote:
No any evidence so far. Not a bit.

No evidence which way? I suppose there isn't any evidence either way.

However, given the track record, I expect that non-US markets will be waiting a bit.
post #21 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

Then you should stick with traditional media. Nobody's arguing with you about your right to do that, I hope. As for me, I don't mind paying the same for digital as opposed to traditional. Sure, the publisher's printing costs and what have you have disappeared with digital, but from my perspective, my storage and schlepping costs have disappeared. I live in a small home with over-flowing bookshelves, so the digital format has an extra, tangible value to me.

But you're leaving out one other cost for yourself, having to buy a special reader device when none was required before.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard of (Apple) reader software for the home computer. At least there, you could take advantage of an already-made purchase.
post #22 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

have a large collection of DVD's and Blu Rays (around 400 of them) and a large collection of music on CD which I have imported into iTunes, I pay for my stuff and would happily go digital, but I refuse on principal to be shafted by these pricks, everyone else will make there own choice but until they stop ripping us off I will stick with traditional media.

Hmm. I don't think the margins in publishing are as fat as for the music industry. In fact, I often hear that they are pretty thin. So I understand your feelings, yet I don't really think they are aiming to "rip us off". They are actually taking a smaller amount on ebook sales with this move. They're trying to look long term and make sure that it starts off right.

Ebooks are in a different position than music was in when prices were set at a dollar. The publishers were competing with pirated music then. Ebooks don't have that and they want to keep the value of their traditional media intact. In spite of what Amazon says, physical books still make up the overwhelming bulk of sales right now. They can always lower prices when books have been out a while. And they now have the power to respond directly to the market on a book by book case. So vote with your dollars.
post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

But you're leaving out one other cost for yourself, having to buy a special reader device when none was required before.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard of reader software for the home computer. At least there, you couldn take advantage of an already-made purchase.

Well sure, you have a point. Except that I look at the situation slightly differently. I don't say that I "HAVE to buy an iPad", I say that I "GET to buy an iPad"! The damn thing looks like a lot of fun to me and reading is only of its supported activities I'm looking forward to.
post #24 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

But you're leaving out one other cost for yourself, having to buy a special reader device when none was required before.

Sure, but then you are leaving out other benefits like being able to carry a few weeks worth of reading on vacation for a fraction of the weight and space.
Addtionally, at least with the iPad--not the Kindle so far, there is the added benefit of internet browser, picture viewer, app device, music holder...

Certainly, there are dozens of angles with which to look at the tradeoffs. To each his own...
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post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Is it my imagination, or don't most new, hardcover books cost much more than $12-$15? I just pulled two hardcover books off my shelf and they said $27.99 and $24.99. Even if I bought them at a discount, they would still have been much more than $15...

Has their been any talk of pricing for paperback titles and old catalogue books?

Yeah, the publisher's suggested price (which is the price that is used to determine the price to wholesalers which is generally around half that) is not what most people are comparing it to. They are comparing it to the discounted price which is up the the individual retailers, and some may decide to discount it below cost as a loss leader.

They have said that they want a range of prices with a low end of maybe $5.99. Yet most all the articles are focused on the "new hardcover" price.
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

No evidence which way? I suppose there isn't any evidence either way.
However, given the track record, I expect that non-US markets will be waiting a bit.

Quite so; nothing is known for sure. CEOs are just polling their employees, who own iPhones, on how iPad's gonna sell. Apple is now visibly busy with building NA market. They haven't paid any attention to abroad yet.
In France in particular it may turn out to be difficult. Intellectual and cultural legacy protection legislation is draconic. Google was not allowed to scan books from french libraries for their book service; no movies available in french iTunes store...

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post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I feel very strongly that when I purchase downloadable content (be it video, music or in this case books) it should be cheaper than the physical medium.

I do not wish to devalue the content of books or the creativity of music artists as their public statements claim.

The simple fact is that with a physical medium they have to manufacture it, store it, ship it, stock it and sell it through a store who obviously put a mark up on top of the price, based on this why should I pay the same and even occasionally pay more (considering how quickly DVD's etc come down in price) for a downloadable version?!?!?!

I have a large collection of DVD's and Blu Rays (around 400 of them) and a large collection of music on CD which I have imported into iTunes, I pay for my stuff and would happily go digital, but I refuse on principal to be shafted by these pricks, everyone else will make there own choice but until they stop ripping us off I will stick with traditional media.

The other annoying thing is prices are historically set by supply and demand. With digital versions, there is no limit on supply, so prices are based solely on demand. The market will self-correct. Let them gouge us now (I'm not buying), and learn later.
post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

But you're leaving out one other cost for yourself, having to buy a special reader device when none was required before.

That doesn't seem to be a long term issue if there is convenience and added usability associated with the product. There are many personal and professional examples, going at least back to accounting software in the 80s.

Quote:
Speaking of which, I haven't heard of reader software for the home computer. At least there, you couldn take advantage of an already-made purchase.

Kindle for Windows is available. Kindle for Mac is coming
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post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In past discussions, there were multiple links that gave the cost breakdown for publishing a book. The printing & paper is only 10% of the cost. Distribution is 10%. Typical retailer portion is 40%.

I wish it were right. Only 10% for printing and paper???
first of all, it always depends on how many copies they print from that book.
I just know magazine printing where this cost of printing and paper, especially the paper is the biggest part of all costs.
post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

But you're leaving out one other cost for yourself, having to buy a special reader device when none was required before.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard of reader software for the home computer. At least there, you couldn take advantage of an already-made purchase.

All the major players have software available for your computer. Kindle is available for PC Stanza is available for PC and Mac, as is B&N's eReader. adobe has Digital Editions... there are numerous options.
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Sure, but then you are leaving out other benefits like being able to carry a few weeks worth of reading on vacation for a fraction of the weight and space.
Addtionally, at least with the iPad--not the Kindle so far, there is the added benefit of internet browser, picture viewer, app device, music holder...

Certainly, there are dozens of angles with which to look at the tradeoffs. To each his own...

if i wanted a vacation book i would buy something in one of the airport stores while waiting for my flight. one or two paperbacks is enough. no need to take 20 books with you.

unless you go on vacation in the US, a lot of the features of the ipad are useless because they will cost you a lot of money in data fees. and most people already have ipods or iphones for music
post #32 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Sure, but then you are leaving out other benefits like being able to carry a few weeks worth of reading on vacation for a fraction of the weight and space.
Addtionally, at least with the iPad--not the Kindle so far, there is the added benefit of internet browser, picture viewer, app device, music holder...

Certainly, there are dozens of angles with which to look at the tradeoffs. To each his own...

That is true, but most advantages were already mentioned. But if you take in the advantages and ignore the disadvantages, then you're likely really just selling yourself on the concept because you want one, and not looking at the bigger picture.

As it is, I want to see the catalog before I consider it for that purpose. I also want to see how the magazines are executed. A lot of times, a magazine subscription sells for about the cost of postage, the actual content is paid for through ads. If they split the difference, then I might be interested in subscriptions. Another thing is sometimes I'd like to print a page, particularly if it's a scale drawing. But the scale model publishers don't seem to have signed up yet. But their articles tend to have a more timeless aspect to it, techniques and project information might be good for a decade or more, depending.
post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

But you're leaving out one other cost for yourself, having to buy a special reader device when none was required before.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard of reader software for the home computer. At least there, you couldn take advantage of an already-made purchase.


i used to have fictionwise on my laptop which synced with my blackberry. and the NY Public Library has a lot of digital books you can borrow to read on mobile devices. last i heard iphone and ipods weren't supported
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

I feel very strongly that when I purchase downloadable content (be it video, music or in this case books) it should be cheaper than the physical medium.

I do not wish to devalue the content of books or the creativity of music artists as their public statements claim.

The simple fact is that with a physical medium they have to manufacture it, store it, ship it, stock it and sell it through a store who obviously put a mark up on top of the price, based on this why should I pay the same and even occasionally pay more (considering how quickly DVD's etc come down in price) for a downloadable version?!?!?!

I agree with all those points!

I would like to add a few of my own:

1) Electronic (downloaded) media is cheaper for the consumer so store, access, manipulate in many of same ways it cheaper for the publisher-- we don't to spend money on expensive transportation, physical space, storage racks...

2) Convenience/instant gratification/unlimited stock-- with digital downloads we can instantly take possesion of (and use) our purchases, at our whim, anywhere, anytime 24/7. Compare this to the cost and time: of jumping into the the car, driving to the store, searching for the book/DVD, discovering that they are out of stock... or waiting days to have your purchase delivered. Electronic purchases are like: Calling in a pizza; hanging up the phone as the doorbell rings; opening the door to the delivery man; getting exactly what you ordered; no extra charge for delivery; no tip for the delivery person. "Convenience" has cost/value that should be considered as part of the equation.

3) For those interested in conserving resources or protecting the planet-- purchasing elctronic media may be a way we can make a small, personal, contribution to these causes.

4) Electronic media is an option that we can use or ignore-- our choice! For whatever reasons! If we so choose, we can invest the time and expense to purchase the physical alternative (often at greater expense). It is our choice.

5) Reportedly, Amazon was setting Eletronic book prices artifically low and taking a loss on every sale. This is unsustainable! Either Amazon would have to raise their prices (sometime) or they would be so successful that they would go bankrupt.

6) Reportedly, Amazon took a 70% cut (publishers/authors got 30%) of an unsustainable business model. This, too, had to change or publishers and authors would find other, more profitable, endeavors. Death of the "publication" with no practical replacement would be a great loss to us all-- creators and consumers, alike.

7) Comparing Amazon book pricing to iTunes (original) song pricing (99 cents) is a different issue. Music was being ripped off with no compensation to the "eviil record companies" (or the artists). Apple created a marketplasce where people could purchase legitimate media at an acceptable price! Apple did not use artifically low prices or loss-leaders. Apple broke even (or slight profit) and made money on computers and iPods. This was, and is, a sustainable business model.


Finally, when you consider the entire electronic/physical media ecosystem, everyone benifits from options at reasonable and fair(er) prices. I, for one, appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the options and choose for myself.

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post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macadamias View Post

Yeah, the publisher's suggested price (which is the price that is used to determine the price to wholesalers which is generally around half that) is not what most people are comparing it to. They are comparing it to the discounted price which is up the the individual retailers, and some may decide to discount it below cost as a loss leader.

They have said that they want a range of prices with a low end of maybe $5.99. Yet most all the articles are focused on the "new hardcover" price.

Exactly. I have never read anywhere that the digital equivalent of a title will cost the same a physical copy, on the contrary. In the end prices for products need to cover the expenses. Are book publishers ripping us off? I have never heard this until now. If the iTunes deal allows publishing houses to nurture new talent and publish a greater variety of books the price increase is probably a good thing.

I'm not sure how this compares to the music trade - they are very different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm disappointed that Apple didn't offer anything new to the electronic print. I hope this is just a start, but I was hoping for textbooks, magazines and comic books to be demoed to really show how a colour LCD is a better than E Ink

I suspect this is a work in progress and by launch there will have been many announcements. My guess is that there is a bit of scramble going on behind the scenes for content providers to be represented. I get the sense that now that the hype has died down the potential of the iPad is becoming more apparent. I think content providers may be realizing the marketing value of a 'product on the iPad' announcement. I'm guessing, of course.
post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Seems like Apple is forcing the prices up on the consumer to the benefit of publishers and itself. There is no reason people should pay the same or more for electronic content.

I agree totally. I've been considering buying an ebook reader recently. The iPad was in the running until now. Kindle here I come. Screw you Mr. Jobs.
post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm disappointed that Apple didn't offer anything new to the electronic print. I hope this is just a start, but I was hoping for textbooks, magazines and comic books to be demoed to really show how a colour LCD is a better than E Ink.

I agree. I thought the 'Pad would be innovative and offer something better than what is currently available.
post #38 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I agree with all those points!

I would like to add a few of my own:

1) Electronic (downloaded) media is cheaper for the consumer so store, access, manipulate in many of same ways it cheaper for the publisher-- we don't to spend money on expensive transportation, physical space, storage racks...

2) Convenience/instant gratification/unlimited stock-- with digital downloads we can instantly take possesion of (and use) our purchases, at our whim, anywhere, anytime 24/7. Compare this to the cost and time: of jumping into the the car, driving to the store, searching for the book/DVD, discovering that they are out of stock... or waiting days to have your purchase delivered. Electronic purchases are like: Calling in a pizza; hanging up the phone as the doorbell rings; opening the door to the delivery man; getting exactly what you ordered; no extra charge for delivery; no tip for the delivery person. "Convenience" has cost/value that should be considered as part of the equation.

3) For those interested in conserving resources or protecting the planet-- purchasing elctronic media may be a way we can make a small, personal, contribution to these causes.

4) Electronic media is an option that we can use or ignore-- our choice! For whatever reasons! If we so choose, we can invest the time and expense to purchase the physical alternative (often at greater expense). It is our choice.

5) Reportedly, Amazon was setting Eletronic book prices artifically low and taking a loss on every sale. This is unsustainable! Either Amazon would have to raise their prices (sometime) or they would be so successful that they would go bankrupt.

6) Reportedly, Amazon took a 70% cut (publishers/authors got 30%) of an unsustainable business model. This, too, had to change or publishers and authors would find other, more profitable, endeavors. Death of the "publication" with no practical replacement would be a great loss to us all-- creators and consumers, alike.

7) Comparing Amazon book pricing to iTunes (original) song pricing (99 cents) is a different issue. Music was being ripped off with no compensation to the "eviil record companies" (or the artists). Apple created a marketplasce where people could purchase legitimate media at an acceptable price! Apple did not use artifically low prices or loss-leaders. Apple broke even (or slight profit) and made money on computers and iPods. This was, and is, a sustainable business model.


Finally, when you consider the entire electronic/physical media ecosystem, everyone benifits from options at reasonable and fair(er) prices. I, for one, appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the options and choose for myself.
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Quite. I am repeating myself but can anyone point to evidence of price parity between digital downloads and physical books?
post #39 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In past discussions, there were multiple links that gave the cost breakdown for publishing a book. The printing & paper is only 10% of the cost. Distribution is 10%. Typical retailer portion is 40%. Apple takes 30% on most media they sell (iTunes store), and that doesn't earn them more than a sliver of net profit. There are still costs with maintaining the electronic store. The best you can hope for here with electronic distribution is a 30% reduction in cost.

I see what you're saying but there's something I think you are leaving out of the digital-migration equation.

I'n the world of hardcopy there is a finite amount of space for stocking books and having them available for distribution. At any given time there must be a certain percentage of titles that are simply not available any longer. Getting a book from the 'no longer in print' category to active distribution is no small feat I presume, since a new spark of interest must be a present driving the new found demand for an older title. (Authors death perhaps?)

With digital distribution no book ever gets moved to 'out of print' and instead can remain an active title forever. Sure from the publishers perspective I'm sure active promotion of any given book will decrease over time (just as it does now) but if someone wants said book even 20 years after it was published it could still be purchased.

'Super-Sales' - Book stores often have certain books 'heavily discounted' over the published price... Often this is due to the book not selling as well as was forecasted and since the books have already been printed and shipped its better to blow them out at fire sale prices just so they get off the retailers shelves since nobody wants crates of books being returned to the publisher. With digital this problem all but disappears. Which is good and bad, good because you have ZERO additional risk when offering a (digital) book for sale or running a 2nd print run (no such thing in digital) on the other hand bargain shoppers who often get lured into buying multiple books due to first being attracted by a 'fire sale' priced title will no longer be part of the customer base unless publishers periodically offer 'deals of the week' on various titles.
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post #40 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

if i wanted a vacation book i would buy something in one of the airport stores while waiting for my flight. one or two paperbacks is enough. no need to take 20 books with you.

unless you go on vacation in the US, a lot of the features of the ipad are useless because they will cost you a lot of money in data fees. and most people already have ipods or iphones for music

It's been a while since I traveled, but AIR, Airport stores charged a premium for the convenience of last-minute purchases and had a very limited selection.

With a reader like a Kindle or iPad, I have [relatively] unlimited selection at a [relatively] fair market price.

With 2-3 business trips per month, I could easily recover the cost of the reader in a few months... and have what I want when I want it!

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