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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 155
    fixed.
  • Reply 2 of 155
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 434member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 155
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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
  • Reply 4 of 155
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    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
  • Reply 5 of 155
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 155
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 155
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 155
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 155
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    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?
  • Reply 10 of 155
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 155
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    This. Is. Hilarious. I'll be quite happy with a next-gen MBP and iPhone. Thank you.
  • Reply 12 of 155
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 155
    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
  • Reply 14 of 155
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 155
    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...
  • Reply 16 of 155
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 155
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    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!
  • Reply 18 of 155
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    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



    I don't know what you read but the story indicates Apple has been pushing this and not necessarily the publishers.
  • Reply 19 of 155
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 155
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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 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.



    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.