Price concerns keep Random House content from Apple iPad

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 93
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I fully expect Apple to offer the same gift giving option for books as is now offered for songs and apps, so mommy and daddy will be able to keep their little dependents on a short leash with the textbooks...



    Just what I wanted for my birthday - a "Geography Text Book" gift. Thanks Mommy!
  • Reply 22 of 93
    adamiigsadamiigs Posts: 355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Just what I wanted for my birthday - a "Geography Text Book" gift. Thanks Mommy!







    "The Large Breasted Blonde Swedish Tribe of Northwestern Africa" ... by National Geographic ..





    SCORE!
  • Reply 23 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mikefrompluto View Post


    The iPad and other devices like it spell the end of the line for the big publishing houses and they know it.



    Authors can now self publish and actually sell a book for money on the iBookstore. What use is a publisher?



    Now, this is the funniest thing I've read this morning.
  • Reply 24 of 93
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally626 View Post


    My daughter is looking at publishing a comic book that really needs color. The cost of printing such a book is so high (in color) that it makes it very unlikely it would sell well. $10 a book she might be able to get OK sales, at $30 or $40, which is the current print prices it would be very tough. If she can sell on Apple for $5 and keep $3.50, it would be worth her time to produce the book and have a couple of hard copies made to send in for Copyright registration.



    To copyright something like that all you have to do is send it via registered post in a sealed padded envelope to yourself, which will be signed and dated - and when you receive it you simply don't open it. Thereby making an earlier date for the same content that other people can get a hold of - thus proof it's your work. People use this method for making music too. You only have to pay a small postage fee and you have copyrighted signed and dated content. You're welcome!
  • Reply 25 of 93
    If I had said to my Dad (former CEO), 'Dad, I want to start a business where I cut down a bunch of trees, manufacture/print, store, ship, pickup and destroy unsold books!' He would have said I was 'daft' just put them on the iBook store for the iPad and sell them digitally.



    Kind of like Apps on Apple's iPhone App store! I wonder how that's working out...They just downloaded their third billion and it only took three months!





    Edit: 'Daft' and 'Another harebrained idea' were two of my late fathers' favorite descriptions when describing me!
  • Reply 26 of 93
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,150member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by krreagan View Post


    You cannot teach old dogs new tricks...



    Another old school media company reluctant to embrace new technology and so will at some point become irrelevant.



    Authors won't need the services of the publishers (printing costs, advertising, editing...) in a few years and the companies that cannot adjust will perish.



    KRR



    Yep, and often the bigger they are the more resistant to change. Kodak comes to mind.
  • Reply 27 of 93
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mikefrompluto View Post


    The iPad and other devices like it spell the end of the line for the big publishing houses and they know it.



    Authors can now self publish and actually sell a book for money on the iBookstore. What use is a publisher?



    That comment is either completely stupid or way ahead of its time.
  • Reply 28 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Yep, and often the bigger they are the more resistant to change. Kodak comes to mind.



    Kodak...good analogy!
  • Reply 29 of 93
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,150member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm not so sure I buy Random House's reasoning. This deal is clearly better for them and the market than what Amazon offered.



    Maybe it's longterm concerns about the iBookstore taking too much business, like the iTMS, thereby hurting every area of business involved with printed distribution. Or perhaps the threat Amazon has made to publishers who go for the agency model Apple is offering.



    Maybe they got the 70% and 30% the wrong way around
  • Reply 30 of 93
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    If I had said to my Dad (former CEO), 'Dad, I want to start a business where I cut down a bunch of trees, manufacture/print, store, ship, pickup and destroy unsold books!' He would have said I was 'daft' just put them on the iBook store for the iPad and sell them digitally.



    Yeah cause that paper book business never made any money, did they?
  • Reply 31 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    That comment is either completely stupid or way ahead of its time.



    Very funny! I never met an existentialist who was funny too!
  • Reply 32 of 93
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mikefrompluto View Post


    The iPad and other devices like it spell the end of the line for the big publishing houses and they know it.



    Authors can now self publish and actually sell a book for money on the iBookstore. What use is a publisher?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    I'm sure it will work out that way for some, but publishers provide other valuable services besides just taking a cut (ie editing, understanding readers and the market, good publishers work like an agent.)

    But as you say, publishing is in for some big changes.



    Here's the problem...



    It's publishers who singed and/or acquired the rights of bands like Kiss, Sting, The Police, The Stones, etc who then made BIG PROFITS from said artists that allowed them to SPECULATIVELY SIGN total unknowns (at the time) where a PRECIOUS FEW become tomorrows mega stars.



    Unfortunately the publisher also had to sign lots of one hit (or no hit) wonders in the hunt for the next super sensations who's mega profits would THEN help fund the publishers search for the NEXT tomorrows superstars... and so on and so on and so on.



    Publishers are not unlike mutual fund managers.. they pool funds and spread it out over a diverse set of companies (usually in the same basic field) with the full knowledge that SOME of the companies are going turn out to be DOGS and loose money for the fund but others are going to be WINNERS and the overall success of the fund (manager) is how well his overall portfolio is performing. Over time they take the profits realized by SOME of the stocks they purchased and RISK it in the hopes they find another equally successful future stock.



    Now if tomorrow all the MEGA STARS had the ability to drop out of their contracts and simply market themselves do you have ANY idea what that would do to the chances of ANY new yet to be discovered artist hoping to make their 'big break' it would all but crush them...



    If all of the publishers 'money making artists' simply left tomorrow the sickly shell of a company left behind wouldn't be worth the powder to blow em back to hell. No income = no talent scouts, no signing bonuses, no private planes, no studio equipment, no promotion budget, no album debuts, etc etc etc. The party would truly be over.



    I know its fun to pick on the labels and I do more than my fair share of it without a bit of remorse but... I need to ask a really simple and honest question... Is it 'fair' for an artist to leave a label at the first chance he/she/they get simply because they now have a name for themselves? I'm not asking if its 'okay' because if a contract is up the of course the band can do whatever they want but what I'm asking is would THEY think its the 'fair' or 'right' thing to do?



    Knowing FULL WELL that it was some other wildly famous band who stayed with that label that in turn gave the label the funds needed to discover THEIR (now successful) BAND in the first place.



    These businesses have been evolving over DECADES to work this exact way.



    Now you want to pull out of the publisher and not contribute to the good of the overall industry... well thats certainly your right but how long with the industry survive if everyone did that?



    While I'm using music publishers, book publishers are the same side of a different coin... they basically work the exact same way but they USUALLY keep a writers drug abuse, week long wild drunken sex orgies and trashing of hotel rooms on the down low instead of on the front cover of 'Book Review Monthly'...



    In both cases the business model has been... throw a bag of cash at 10 different artists and if we hit ONE or TWO then we got what we need and then some for the bag of cash we'll need for next years dart game. (and I'm totally making up the numbers... I don't know how many failed artists are signed for each successful one... it could be 1 - 20 or 1 - 50 for all I know... I just know that for every King, Rowling and Steel there are untold thousands of other published authors that MIGHT be lucky enough to break even or only be a SLIGHT loss for the publisher.



    We are basically looking at a paradigm shift of a magnitude never seen before in these industries.



    - Yes people CAN self publish from the start AND have a chance at being successful (as good of a chance or better than what you'd have had if an industry publisher involved? That's a good argument and one that will probably shift back and forth as time goes by.



    Does this mean the end of the publishing stalwarts of yesteryear?



    - Maybe yes, Maybe no... an awful lot will have to do with how nimble the publisher can be and how QUICKLY they can envision what their industry will be like in the next 5-10 years (maybe less) and how well can they cope ... not so much with their blockbuster A team leaving them in one feel swoop but with the possibility of new 'GREAT' talent not banging on their doors but instead lots of 'marginals' still waiting for a check.



    Remember, its the 'GREATS' and their works that translate into income that funds the search for new GREATS... however if all they start finding is 'marginals' and NO GREATS how are they going to possibly survive.



    There's lots of different ways this can all turn out but just me putting this stuff into type has be thinking I'm glad I'm not on of these established publishers. No matter how I color it... their world isn't gonna be the same no matter how hard they try to make it so.
  • Reply 33 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Yeah cause that paper book business never made any money, did they?



    Are you referring to the 'dead tree' paper book business?



    I was just thinking if Gutenburg had the option of sending an apprentice out to 'make some' paper (see you in a week) to use his new invention on or just hit the 'Enter' key on his MacBook and send his printed text to the iBook Store which would he have used?



    It may seem a facile analogy...but that is exactly the dilemma the publishing industry is facing today! It's just that many of them don't know it yet!
  • Reply 34 of 93
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    These stories are usually unverifiable, so even if there is a grain of truth, we might never know where that truth is. As it is, the story doesn't add up, it seems like either something is missing or something is incorrect.
  • Reply 35 of 93
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post






    And somehow you think it's APPLE who doesn't want to sell stuff to the entire world all at once because they WANT to show how fantastic the US is and doesn't NEED money from anywhere BUT the US?



    ***OR***



    Could it POSSIBLY BE that the PUBLISHERS only have the ability to allow Apple to sell their titles in the US (at the present time) since many/most/all have signed exclusive contracts with publishers/distributers and or in-house international devisions who have the SOLE rights to sell titles in various countries in Europe and elsewhere?



    And just like with the iTunes music store this will SLOWLY change as the BOOK PUBLISHERS contracts (that were previously signed exclusives) expire, are renegotiated or otherwise modified to once again give the publisher the ability to permit international sales with the realization that the new international contracts are not NEARLY as VALUABLE to international publishers now that they have the 'digital sales - waiver' tacked on to the end. After all what is a company in Ireland paying a sizable fee for exclusive distribution rights in their company when any resident with iTunes can buy the same book from Apple instead.



    So... Simply allowing Apple to sell worldwide is not only a difficult thing to have happen OVERNIGHT it is also going to DEVALUE the money the publisher currently gets from selling exclusive international distribution contracts.
  • Reply 36 of 93
    reliasonreliason Posts: 135member
    There is a role that the big publishing houses serve that needs to be discussed.



    I am torn about this role myself, and so I will not offer 'solutions' just commentary.



    Publishers act as arbiters of taste by filtering out of millions of submission, those that are 'worthy' of becoming 'literature'. They are the gate keepers. There are several 'self publishing houses, I have worked for one as a technician (iUniverse - are they still around?). The drek that comes through the 'self publish' model is astounding. So, I am torn with 'big publishing's' role as a quality filter.



    Big Publishing also imposes standards other than 'quality'. They normalize most books into 'standard' English through copy editing.[note, I am an English speaker, so I used English as the example language].



    But the role of copy editor is not limited just to publishing houses. Small companies and individuals make a livelihood out of it independent of them.



    The major positive role, for the author, of the Publishing House are the marketing and distribution channels. The major Positive role for the consumer is a readable book with some reasonable assumptions of quality.



    When the distribution channels become available to the author directly [or 'more directly']. The remaining value of the publishing house becomes... fungible.



    This, I believe is a major reason that Random House is dragging its feet.
  • Reply 37 of 93
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    And somehow you think it's APPLE who doesn't want to sell stuff to the entire world all at once because they WANT to show how fantastic the US is and doesn't NEED money from anywhere BUT the US?



    ***OR***



    Could it POSSIBLY BE that the PUBLISHERS only have the ability to allow Apple to sell their titles .



    OR



    Could it possibly be that Ireland was pointing out the fact that he doesn't much care/is annoyed that this doesn't involve him yet.
  • Reply 38 of 93
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Measure twice, cut once.



    There's nothing wrong with being cautious before embarking upon a new business model. As partisans, this is obviously the business model we as Apple fans want to succeed. But if Apple's proposed model winds up being good for Apple and detrimental to Random House... just because we won't care much, it doesn't mean the people at Random House won't. Let them be cautious. If it's a good model, they'll come. It won't be a calamity if the iPad bookstore doesn't have every title in the Library of Congress on day 1 (so long as the gaps don't involve books I want to read, of course, then it'll be an ENTIRELY different matter )
  • Reply 39 of 93
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Give it a few months. They'll come 'round... sort of like NBC decided to when they pulled their TV shows off iTunes temporarily.
  • Reply 40 of 93
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    Very funny! I never met an existentialist who was funny too!



    Ha. Not quite sure what that means but I think it's funny.
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