Apple iPad bestselling e-book prices could still be $10 or less

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
While the announcement of the iPad convinced numerous publishers to strong-arm Amazon into allowing them to sell e-books for the Kindle for more than $9.99, a new report says not every new bestseller on the iPad will carry a premium price.



According to The New York Times, while the recent dispute between Amazon and publishers has made headlines, it may not tell the whole story. Sources told the newspaper that ongoing negotiations with Apple have allowed for higher prices, but only as an option.



What Apple has allegedly offered that Amazon previously did not was a degree of flexibility for publishers to price their newest titles. While most iPad new bestsellers would sell between $12.99 and $14.99, those prices would reportedly represent a price ceiling, sources said.



"Apple inserted provisions requiring publishers to discount e-book prices on best sellers ? so that $12.99-to-$14.99 range was merely a ceiling; prices for some titles could be lower, even as low as Amazon?s $9.99," the report said.



"Essentially, Apple wants the flexibility to offer lower prices for the hottest books, those on one of the New York Times best-seller lists, which are heavily discounted in bookstores and on rival retail sites. So, for example, a book that started at $14.99 would drop to $12.99 or less once it hit the best-seller lists."



It also noted that hardcover editions priced below the usual $26 in print could be priced "much lower" than $12.99, even if they were not a bestseller.



It is Apple's entrance into the e-book market, with its new iBooks application and accompanying iBookstore, that has caused a new rift between publishers and Amazon. Following Macmillan's lead, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins have both announced their intent to ink new deals with more flexible price structuring with Amazon.



Based on their content deals with Apple, publishers could offer new hardcover bestsellers for between $12.99 and $14.99 on the iPad's iBookstore.



Publishers have been successful in forcing a reluctant Amazon into agreeing to higher prices for new hardcover bestsellers. While books are currently priced at $9.99 on the Kindle, most are expected to rise to between $12.99 and $14.99 by the time the iPad launches in March.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Either way, $10 - $15 is reasonable for an ebook. If you don't agree, don't buy it!
  • Reply 2 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Yeah, and "some" songs on iTunes are $0.69c, but try and find them.



    Books should be priced between $0 and $9.99. With best sellers @ $9.99, and new releases @ $9.99 at publishers discretion. At these sorts of prices it could get addictive reading and buying books on the iPad, at the sort of prices I'm hearing it sounds like a gimmick. Publishers say they are trying to preserve the value of books, but I think they are trying to gauge how stupid people are. If someone pays $14.99 for a digital book I think they take it lying down.



    People need to resists this as long as they can, publishers will listen if they do. Digital files are not the same as real books, and cost a lot less to produce and distribute, they need to have a different strategy. If they only make $3 per book (+$2 to the writer) they'd probably "end up" make more money they they do now in the long run. They'd rather preserve value than make money--idiots. And not only would they end up likely making more money, but they'd get a lot more people reading in the process. The whole thing lacks vision.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Yeah, and "some" songs on iTunes are $0.69c, but try and find them.



    Books should be priced between $0 and $9.99. With best sellers @ $9.99, and new releases @ $9.99 at publishers discretion. At these sorts of prices it could get addictive reading and buying books on the iPad, at the sort of prices I'm hearing it sounds like a gimmick. Publishers say they are trying to preserve the value of books, but I think they are trying to gauge how stupid people are. If someone pays $14.99 for a digital book I think they take it lying down.



    People need to resists this as long as they can, publishers will listen if they do. Digital files are not the same as real books, and cost a lot less to produce and distribute, they need to have a different strategy. If they only make $3 per book (+$2 to the writer) they'd probably "end up" make more money they they do now in the long run. They'd rather preserve value than make money--idiots. And not only would they end up likely making more money, but they'd get a lot more people reading in the process. The whole thing lacks vision.



    Knock it off. This b.s. lashing out against publishers is childish and whiny. $0 - $9? Are you sick or something? The books cost $25 in the store. I don't care if its printed on paper, digital text on a screen, or if a stork crapped it onto papyrus.



    It's A Book. I really can't stand underserving ***** like yourself. You really don't deserve the space you're afforded here.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    I want everything for free and if it's not free I'll steal it - nothing has any value.



    I also work for free.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Just as long as they don't expect to charge us more than $2 for public domain classics (which are free using apps like Stanza), I don't care if they charge $50 for new release hardbacks.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Knock it off.



    Make me. Look at Tonton's comment on public domain classics (that's why they have should a right sell a book for a $0 if they want, it's to allow the flexibility anywhere up to $9.99. You're the one living in la la land. I don't care if your local shop, and stores in general rip you off. These are digital files, not paper books: $0 - $9.99 end of discussion.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Hopefully within a year all titles will be at $4.99 and the sales will be off the charts!!! How much does it cost to digitize a book? No shipping, printing or material costs to the publisher.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Look at Tonton's comment on public domain classics



    It's silly because there is absolutely no evidence that Apple will block Stanza, the Kindle, or any other app like it from the iPad - including the thousands of existing books that are already distributed as applications.



    This whole thing about pricing is a tempest in a teapot - people will either buy or they won't. The market will decide.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Either way, $10 - $15 is reasonable for an ebook. If you don't agree, don't buy it!



    This does seem to be Apple's attitude lately. You will use AT&T, you won't use flash. If you don't love it then leave it. And you seem to agree with a corporation telling you what to do.



    By the way, you guys sure do like to fight. This topic is off to a roaring start.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kevin Winsness View Post


    Hopefully within a year all titles will be at $4.99 and the sales will be off the charts!!! How much does it cost to digitize a book? No shipping, printing or material costs to the publisher.



    Maybe these companies want to make the same huge profit margins as Apple do? If you're happy to support Apple and their massive profit margins, you can't complain about any other company wanting to do the same. We all know Apple's costs are peanuts in comparison to how much they charge, so there's no point trying to work out how much it is to digitise a book, as the price charged will be based on the price the market will bear, not what you think it should be sold for.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post


    I want everything for free and if it's not free I'll steal it - nothing has any value.



    I also work for free.



    Just because you have those values doesn't mean others do as well
  • Reply 12 of 22
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Either way, $10 - $15 is reasonable for an ebook. If you don't agree, don't buy it!



    What about books that have been paperback for years and are under $5? I think there is a case for much cheaper and much more expensive books, especially when it comes to books of a technical nature.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Knock it off. This b.s. lashing out against publishers is childish and whiny. $0 - $9? Are you sick or something? The books cost $25 in the store. I don't care if its printed on paper, digital text on a screen, or if a stork crapped it onto papyrus.



    It's A Book. I really can't stand underserving ***** like yourself. You really don't deserve the space you're afforded here.



    1) Who pays list price for a book?



    2) An e-book is very specifically not a book.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    "Digital files are not the same as real books, and cost a lot less to produce and distribute, they need to have a different strategy."



    ...the only place you clearly save money is in printing and shipping. the text itself still has to be edited (multiple times) - you could argue that they need to edit it just the same but for a printed book, but it's suprising how much ebook publishing costs. I saw a piece from an author who broke down the cost.. you only "save" about 10-15% if you publish electronically (only)



    before anyone bashes or praises amazon/apple for this pricing brouhaha.. you sholuld read this:



    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog...outsiders.html



    this about sums it up.. if you were an author - would you agree to these terms now that Kindle isn't the only game in town?



    Just before Apple announced the iPad and the agency deal for ebooks, Amazon pre-empted by announcing an option for publishing ebooks in which they would graciously reduce their cut from 70% to 30%, "same as Apple". From a distance this looks competitive, but the devil is in the small print; to get the 30% rate, you have to agree that Amazon is a publisher, license your rights to Amazon to publish through the Kindle platform, guarantee that you will not allow other ebook editions to sell for less than the Kindle price, and let Amazon set that price, with a ceiling of $9.99. In other words, Amazon choose how much to pay you, while using your books to undercut any possible rivals (including the paper editions you still sell). It shouldn't surprise anyone that the major publishers don't think very highly of this offer ...
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kevin Winsness View Post


    Hopefully within a year all titles will be at $4.99 and the sales will be off the charts!!! How much does it cost to digitize a book? No shipping, printing or material costs to the publisher.



    A digitized book costs about the same to produce as a printed book does before it is printed. Most of the process is pretty much the same if you are going to PDF without interactive features. If you add in interaction, even as simple as hyperlinks in an index or TOC, then you start adding cost to the digital product, the more interaction the more cost. There are also accessibility concerns that a digital product has, and in some cases must meet by law, which can add a significant cost to the product as well.



    If your product is going to be HTML/XML based there could be additional costs for programing in the conversion. If you are going to have a flexible layout for various screen sizes or orientations and platforms this could add to the design and troubleshooting costs as well.



    Bottom line is that it should cost less as long as the interactive content is kept to a minimum, but some of the savings realized from print and distribution will be eliminated.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Yeah, and "some" songs on iTunes are $0.69c, but try and find them.



    well go back and look at the original announcements. it was 'labels will be able to charge 69 cents' not that they would.



    flexibility is the issue in this game. Amazon told the publishers that ebooks would be more than 9.99. Apple said 'we'll let you go up to $14.99 IF YOU WANT'. of course the publishers like Apple's way more.



    mind you, this is just general market titles. you can bet that text books etc will go higher. if Apple won't allow it on their ibookstore the companies will go indie with another app, which is why all the talk of Scrollmotion.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    well go back and look at the original announcements. it was 'labels will be able to charge 69 cents' not that they would.



    You deserve an internet slap.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Hopefully, Apple will carry more $9.99 books than it's initially planning on carrying. I was excited about having a Ipad and entering the ebook world, until I heard that they were going to cost $13-15. By the time you spend $400-800 on the ipad, you're going to have to buy a lot of books at the $13-15 price to make your investment more cost effective than buying the books in hardback or paperback form, or just checking them out from the library to see if they're worth the money to buy them so that you can re-read them again and again. That's what I've been doing this whole time, checking books out of the library to try them out. If I think I'll read them again, then I've been buying them.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Yeah, and "some" songs on iTunes are $0.69c, but try and find them.



    Books should be priced between $0 and $9.99. With best sellers @ $9.99, and new releases @ $9.99 at publishers discretion. At these sorts of prices it could get addictive reading and buying books on the iPad, at the sort of prices I'm hearing it sounds like a gimmick. Publishers say they are trying to preserve the value of books, but I think they are trying to gauge how stupid people are. If someone pays $14.99 for a digital book I think they take it lying down.



    People need to resists this as long as they can, publishers will listen if they do. Digital files are not the same as real books, and cost a lot less to produce and distribute, they need to have a different strategy. If they only make $3 per book (+$2 to the writer) they'd probably "end up" make more money they they do now in the long run. They'd rather preserve value than make money--idiots. And not only would they end up likely making more money, but they'd get a lot more people reading in the process. The whole thing lacks vision.



    I agree the ebooks should be very cheap and $13-15 isn't cheap enough for me. I wanted to get into the ebook world because I have so many books already that I built shelves in the garage, but you have to invest in the Ipad and then buy the books at the $13-15 price on top of it. If you buy only hardback books, you're saving at least $10 and if you buy enough ebooks, you'll eventually break even on your investment in the Ipad.



    However, if you wait for the books to come out in paperback for $8-15, you'll never make back your money back on the Ipad. That's the situation that I'm facing, and I'm seriously considering not buying an Ipad now. It would still be more cost effective for me to buy a paperback copy of the book, and build another plywood shelf in the garage, which are two other concerns rolling around in the back of my mind.



    Finally, I haven't heard anything about a backup for your Ipad if it crashes or becomes broken. I've also not heard about being able to transfer the books to another reader if you don't want to buy an Ipad when it comes time to replace the device.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bruisersmom View Post


    I agree the ebooks should be very cheap and $13-15 isn't cheap enough for me. I wanted to get into the ebook world because I have so many books already that I built shelves in the garage, but you have to invest in the Ipad and then buy the books at the $13-15 price on top of it. If you buy only hardback books, you're saving at least $10 and if you buy enough ebooks, you'll eventually break even on your investment in the Ipad.



    However, if you wait for the books to come out in paperback for $8-15, you'll never make back your money back on the Ipad. That's the situation that I'm facing, and I'm seriously considering not buying an Ipad now. It would still be more cost effective for me to buy a paperback copy of the book, and build another plywood shelf in the garage, which are two other concerns rolling around in the back of my mind.



    Finally, I haven't heard anything about a backup for your Ipad if it crashes or becomes broken. I've also not heard about being able to transfer the books to another reader if you don't want to buy an Ipad when it comes time to replace the device.



    If you buy an iPad just to read ebooks, you're doing it wrong. Get a dedicated ereader that probably does a better just of reading books for less money.



    Not everything has a monetary value anyway. One of the biggest advantages I see in ebooks is that you don't have to build shelves in your garage to store them. The space savings are far more important to me than any monetary savings (or loss).
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