View Full Version : Who's at fault in the FW/BoB/eReader breakdown


Angst
04-05-2010, 12:32 PM
Five major publishers are in "negotiations" with Fictionwise/Books on Board and other small ebook retailers. Since sales/delivery of ebooks is restriced at these"secondary retailers", who do you blame? If anyone?

Lemurion
04-05-2010, 12:43 PM
I dislike the word "blame," as it always seems to put the emphasis on finding fault rather than resolving problems and determining responsibility.

As for who's responsible, I don't think we have enough information to tell. For all we know it could just be that they need more time for everyone's lawyers to go through all the paperwork.

advocate2
04-05-2010, 01:03 PM
I don't blame the publishers for wanting to take action they believe is in their best long term interests. I am concerned with the price manipulation going on between Barnes & Noble and its wholly owned subsidary, Fictionwise. I do fear that there has been collusive action between the publishers that leads to anti-competitive behavior.

Why shouldn't Amazon or any retailer have the right to post loss-leaders?

ATimson
04-05-2010, 01:05 PM
As for who's responsible, I don't think we have enough information to tell. For all we know it could just be that they need more time for everyone's lawyers to go through all the paperwork.
True. But the publishers knew that there would be necessary legal review, and failed to properly provide enough time for that, so that still falls in their ballpark. :p

delphidb96
04-05-2010, 01:58 PM
I don't blame the publishers for wanting to take action they believe is in their best long term interests. I am concerned with the price manipulation going on between Barnes & Noble and its wholly owned subsidary, Fictionwise. I do fear that there has been collusive action between the publishers that leads to anti-competitive behavior.

Why shouldn't Amazon or any retailer have the right to post loss-leaders?

Ah yes... The 'cutting their noses off to spite their faces' *short-term* policies approach. I've heard there are people who've swallowed this compost heap of a theory as 'logical thinking' on the part of publishers. Me, I don't particularly care for the taste of partially-decomposed compost in the morning. :D

Derek

phenomshel
04-05-2010, 02:01 PM
I think it's a tie between Apple/Publisher collusion, and the publishers. The publishers knew this was coming, they're the ones that instigated it, yet did not give the retailers time to prepare; and did not themselves implement the feeds that the retailers needed to be able to put this into practice.
As for the Apple angle - the whole reason any of this is happening is that Steve Jobs decided to make a sweet deal with the iPad for the publishers, and now the publishers think they need the same sweet deal everywhere else. I don't care how many times a publisher tells me they make less money with agency pricing, I'll believe it when they show me their bookkeeping department.
Does it worry anyone besides me that now there may (and probably will) be exclusive content on the iPad from those big publishers? The iBooks app is closed, it ONLY works on the iPad.

ATimson
04-05-2010, 02:20 PM
Does it worry anyone besides me that now there may (and probably will) be exclusive content on the iPad from those big publishers? The iBooks app is closed, it ONLY works on the iPad.
No more than it worries me that there's exclusive content only in print, not as ebooks...

phenomshel
04-05-2010, 02:23 PM
No more than it worries me that there's exclusive content only in print, not as ebooks...

True enough that. I suppose those you can always buy and scan if you're desperate for an ebook copy. And as yet, anyway, I don't see things being available on iPad that aren't available in print.

cfrizz
04-05-2010, 02:39 PM
All of these sites knew this was coming. It would have behooved them to put messages on all of thier sites telling customers that they would have to pulled access to the affected books until negotiations were complete.

DawnFalcon
04-05-2010, 03:55 PM
I dislike the word "blame," as it always seems to put the emphasis on finding fault rather than resolving problems and determining responsibility.

Equally, afaik, the word "blame" should be used, given we're dealing with a cartel situation.

cfrizz - Sure, that's good PR (and I've pointed this out in other threads). But that doesn't address the cause, which is the agency cartel.

phenomshel
04-05-2010, 04:00 PM
All of these sites knew this was coming. It would have behooved them to put messages on all of thier sites telling customers that they would have to pulled access to the affected books until negotiations were complete.

Books on Board did exactly that - and got accused of "scare-mongering".

JSWolf
04-05-2010, 04:31 PM
The blame has to lie with Apple. If Apple didn't make the deal(s) they did, things would not be so bad now.

cfrizz
04-05-2010, 04:32 PM
Well this is just a case of can't please everyone.

Lemurion
04-05-2010, 04:42 PM
Equally, afaik, the word "blame" should be used, given we're dealing with a cartel situation.

cfrizz - Sure, that's good PR (and I've pointed this out in other threads). But that doesn't address the cause, which is the agency cartel.

For the most part, blame is a term used by people seeking to absolve themselves of responsibility for a situation by means of finding fault and using that to direct the responsibility elsewhere.

I am concerned about higher prices, but I'll accept higher prices for some books if I can get lower prices for others. It's a trade-off. As to agency, I'm a lot more concerned about the prices of the books I'm buying than how they're arrived at.

The other thing one has to look is how much sense it really makes to cater to 5% of your customer base at the expense of the other 95%. Ebooks are a niche market - and that means publishers have to focus their efforts on paper. Right now, that means a publisher that doubles ebook unit sales at the same time they lose 10% of their hardcover unit sales is taking a net loss even if they're priced equally - let alone if the ebooks are priced at 40% of hardcover.

Graham
04-05-2010, 05:18 PM
It has to be said that the deals done by Apple for iBooks gave the publishers the lever that they needed to browbeat Amazon and the other big sellers.

And this means that Fictionwise is increasingly looking like the first casualty of the launch of the iPad.

Graham

JSWolf
04-05-2010, 05:27 PM
It has to be said that the deals done by Apple for iBooks gave the publishers the lever that they needed to browbeat Amazon and the other big sellers.

And this means that Fictionwise is increasingly looking like the first casualty of the launch of the iPad.

Graham

Well said. That does not mean the iPad is a bad device. Just that apple gave these publishers the foothold they needed to get in and make this new deal.

CyGuy
04-05-2010, 05:54 PM
Flame Suit Active

The people who pull out their credit cards and purchase one of these overpriced books are to blame. It doesn't matter who decided a certain book should be $15, if you fell for it is your fault...


Flame Suit Deactivated

pilotbob
04-05-2010, 06:23 PM
The blame has to lie with Apple. If Apple didn't make the deal(s) they did, things would not be so bad now.

No, I think we have to blame Sony. If they didn't get this whole eBook reader device thing started, then Amazon would never have gotten into ebooks, which mean Apple would never have gotten into ebooks.

So, it is really Sony's fault.

Ok... now can we be frickin serious here Jon? Blaming Apple for the publishers wanted to raise ebook prices is nothing but FUD.

BOb

riemann42
04-05-2010, 10:59 PM
You know, what are we talking about? Are we talking about the fact that many books aren't available at our favorite bookstores? I blame the publishers for simultaneously attempting to strong arm all the bookstores on short notice and the bookstores for playing chicken with the *******.

If we are talking about the poor kindle users who now have to pay $14.95 for an book that sells for $19.95 at every bookstore but Amazon's House Of Loss Leaders, then I blame Amazon for selling eBooks for less than they are worth. Yes I said worth, flame me if you disagree. I still think 80% of the value of a book is in the words to my eyeballs. The other 20% is it's value as a projectile weapon, where eBooks, admittedly fall short.

If we are talking about publishers trying to make more money and raise prices everywhere so apple doesn't get under cut, I blame Steve I said I hate DRM but implement it in every aspect of my business Jobs.

Sigh. In two weeks I better be able to buy books for less than two weeks ago, or I will be buying less books. I'll still buy from my favorite authors, heck, I offered Jim Butcher $49.99 for a copy of his new book (which I doubt would happen, but a signed eBook would be worth $49.99, wouldn't it???).

Ok. I'm ranting. Sorry. Ignore my post(s).

Boston
04-05-2010, 11:24 PM
Fault/blame implies that someone did something wrong. But I think the possible game-changer (depending on how it plays out) was the deal Apple cut with the publishers.

While I may not agree or like what is happening, they are doing what they believe makes sense. It allowed Apple to market the iPad as a competitor to the Kindle without taking a loss on e-books. Likewise, the Apple deal gave publishers the leverage they needed to force the agency model.

But together this provided mix needed to create a perfect storm for the ebook consumer :(

ATimson
04-05-2010, 11:27 PM
I blame the publishers for simultaneously attempting to strong arm all the bookstores on short notice and the bookstores for playing chicken with the *******.
Has there been any indication that anybody but Amazon was "playing chicken"?

pdurrant
04-06-2010, 05:56 AM
The iBooks app is closed, it ONLY works on the iPad.

I certainly won't be buying any books from the iBooks store until the books can be saved to a computer and the DRM stripped.

Graham
04-06-2010, 06:22 AM
Ok... now can we be frickin serious here Jon? Blaming Apple for the publishers wanted to raise ebook prices is nothing but FUD.

It's only FUD if Apple didn't cut a deal with the publishers guaranteeing minimum prices on the iPad. If they did, providing the lever the publishers needed, then it's reasonable to attach blame to both Apple and the publishers here.

Graham

theducks
04-06-2010, 11:22 AM
I believed the Publishers used Apple's clout to finally override the Amazon power house.

markbond1007
04-06-2010, 12:28 PM
Personally given most of my problems revolve around geographic restrictions rather than anything else I'm tempted to blame Authors and their agents, given the publishers can't seem to work out who owns the worldwide distribution rights to the ebook versions of their text, then the Agents/Authors need to be getting involved and sorting out a single point of contact for this for all on-line distributors.

Mark

JSWolf
04-08-2010, 05:06 PM
The problem is that Apple made the deals. So then the publishers were able to say to Amazon, if you don't go aling with our new deal, we'll just stick with Apple, Apple will sell more iPads and you'll sell less Kindles.

That is how I see it.

pilotbob
04-08-2010, 05:15 PM
The problem is that Apple made the deals. So then the publishers were able to say to Amazon, if you don't go aling with our new deal, we'll just stick with Apple, Apple will sell more iPads and you'll sell less Kindles.

That is how I see it.

..and then Amazon just had to say... well, if you don't continue wholesaling ebooks to us, we will just not carry your paper books. I'm pretty sure the big 5 would NOT want that.

It is really Amazon's fault they caved.

Oh... it's funny how you have gone from Amazon is bad for ebooks, not epubs, and exclusive deals to Amazon is good for ebooks while Apple is bad.

But, I'm glad you have something to grumble about Jon. :D

BOb

dyrinn45
04-08-2010, 05:15 PM
For the most part, blame is a term used by people seeking to absolve themselves of responsibility for a situation by means of finding fault and using that to direct the responsibility elsewhere.

I am concerned about higher prices, but I'll accept higher prices for some books if I can get lower prices for others. It's a trade-off. As to agency, I'm a lot more concerned about the prices of the books I'm buying than how they're arrived at.

The other thing one has to look is how much sense it really makes to cater to 5% of your customer base at the expense of the other 95%. Ebooks are a niche market - and that means publishers have to focus their efforts on paper. Right now, that means a publisher that doubles ebook unit sales at the same time they lose 10% of their hardcover unit sales is taking a net loss even if they're priced equally - let alone if the ebooks are priced at 40% of hardcover.

I find it incredibly hard to believe that ebooks are 5% of the total book market when the kindle is the number 1 best selling item on amazon. Not to mention the nook from B&N, The Sony readers, not to mention all of the used ones sold on ebay and other sites. You cannot honestly believe that with all these brick and mortar stores closing down that ebooks make up 5%.

delphidb96
04-08-2010, 06:47 PM
I find it incredibly hard to believe that ebooks are 5% of the total book market when the kindle is the number 1 best selling item on amazon. Not to mention the nook from B&N, The Sony readers, not to mention all of the used ones sold on ebay and other sites. You cannot honestly believe that with all these brick and mortar stores closing down that ebooks make up 5%.

What's so hard to believe? Remember, just because all these B&M local stores are closing does NOT mean the *biggest* of the big-box bookstore locations are threatened nor does it mean that B&N and Amazon have suddenly ceased shipping from their warehouses.

Derek

dyrinn45
04-08-2010, 11:51 PM
I am not saying that they are stopping, but the fact that brick and mortar stores are closing, and the kindle is the number 1 selling product on amazon means something.

langshipley
04-09-2010, 03:44 AM
I'm thinking the publishers but I do agree with Lemurion that it just might be that it's taking everyone a long time to get everything sorted out.

EowynCarter
04-09-2010, 03:53 AM
What I don't get there, is how they managed to mess up that way.
Why the switch, when they where not ready ? They should have keept things "as is" until everyone is ready.

Shops can't sell books, Publishers lose money because we CAN'T buy their book, customers can't read the book they want to read, everyone losses, really.

GhostHawk
04-09-2010, 07:46 AM
I have to agree with Cyguy.

Everyone who buys one of those overpriced ebooks is supporting the publishers.
If you don't agree with them, don't buy them.

What do you think would happen if Amazon had a month with zero ebook sales?

You, each of you, has the power. But you must have the willpower to make it stick.

DawnFalcon
04-09-2010, 11:41 AM
Why the switch, when they where not ready ? They should have keept things "as is" until everyone is ready.

Well, I can tell you're not a lawyer.

You may feel that this is no particular loss, of course :p