View Full Version : Now that they've been able to push the agency model on e-books..


Boston
04-05-2010, 10:37 PM
What is there to stop the publishers from demanding the same for paper :blink:

With recent e-book pricing, at least I have the discounted paper to turn back to when prices are too high. My fear is that if the publishers have their way, I won't be able to afford to read (what I want) anymore :o

pricecw
04-05-2010, 11:02 PM
Yep, don't buy from them, if their sales stop, they will change their sales scheme. Otherwise, I think you are right, and paper books are on the horizon for this.

mrkarl
04-05-2010, 11:34 PM
not only that but the actual printining industry has gone through very big changes in the last two years so the printers who are left after all this settles will be able to charge whatever they want.

but then again, the consumers set the precedent and if they're willing to pay so much for an ebook then they should be willing to pay twice that for a real one, shouldn't they?

Iphinome
04-05-2010, 11:44 PM
Yep, don't buy from them, if their sales stop, they will change their sales scheme. Otherwise, I think you are right, and paper books are on the horizon for this.

No, You don't buy from them they scream and cry that you must be pirating it there's no other explanation and just to be safe you should pay them anyway. Next the estimate their piracy losses in the billions demand stronger laws and just for fun ask for a government bailout.

Boston
04-05-2010, 11:49 PM
Before ebooks took off, the publishers chief complaint was how used book sales had taken off with the internet. :rolleyes:

The irony is that is what I'm buying when the ebook isn't competitively priced :chinscratch:

ATimson
04-06-2010, 12:36 AM
What is there to stop the publishers from demanding the same for paper :blink:
They can try. But somehow, I think that publishers - at least for their big mass-market sellers, your Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowlings - are seeing more sales through Wal-Mart and Target than through traditional bookstores. And Wal-Mart and Target - especially Wal-Mart - will never sit still for it. It's because of their ability to discount that they can push so many copies.

Maybe I'm off-base; does anybody have stats on the breakdown of sales volume vs. sales venue?

Blue Tyson
04-06-2010, 04:32 AM
Sure, it would be something like this?

Target: Ok, if that is what you want. We're sending all your books back this weekend and putting DVDs in there instead. Or peanut butter. :)

Crowl
04-06-2010, 06:42 AM
They used to enforce fixed prices in the uk, it was called the net book agreement and it was ruled illegal.

EowynCarter
04-06-2010, 08:41 AM
Well, France have fixed price for books. The reason beind it was to protect small bookstores, as opposed to the big ones who have the means to offer more rebate. Didn't really worked out.

Result is that books are more expensive. On the other hand, no headache to figure out what shop is the least expensive.

I won't stop buying e-books, but I will probably buy one book at 14$, rather than two at 9$

TGS
04-06-2010, 10:18 AM
There does seem to be a growing sentiment from consumers that publishers and/or distributors are shafting them. Just the conditions under which those consumers begin to say either, you're shafting me so, whatever my previous moral stance, all bets are off and I'm going to the darknet, or they say, you know what, I'd like that ebook but at the price you're expecting me to pay, forget it. The effect on the bottom line is more or less the same.

The sooner one or both of these scenarios happens, the better.

Angst
04-06-2010, 02:57 PM
There does seem to be a growing sentiment from consumers that publishers and/or distributors are shafting them. Just the conditions under which those consumers begin to say either, you're shafting me so, whatever my previous moral stance, all bets are off and I'm going to the darknet, or they say, you know what, I'd like that ebook but at the price you're expecting me to pay, forget it. The effect on the bottom line is more or less the same.

The sooner one or both of these scenarios happens, the better.

If the big five end up sending consumers to the darknet this will end up hurting the other publishers as well. I always thought the US had strong anti-trust laws to prevent collusion by a few big players from affecting a whole market. I guess this doesn't apply.

pricecw
04-06-2010, 03:56 PM
No, You don't buy from them they scream and cry that you must be pirating it there's no other explanation and just to be safe you should pay them anyway. Next the estimate their piracy losses in the billions demand stronger laws and just for fun ask for a government bailout.

I fully believe they will do that anyway, regardless of what we do.

I can find good reads outside of these publishers. I just won't buy their goods, no e-book, no p-book, nothing. If enough people do this, they will get the message, heck if you could get most readers to go to the library, read borrowed books, go to independents, for a month or two, the publishers would start listening very quickly.

--Carl

JSWolf
04-06-2010, 04:24 PM
What is there to stop the publishers from demanding the same for paper :blink:

With recent e-book pricing, at least I have the discounted paper to turn back to when prices are too high. My fear is that if the publishers have their way, I won't be able to afford to read (what I want) anymore :o

I think you've missed out on what publishers have done to paperbacks. Have you not seen the trade paperback and the ones that are taller/thinner? These were created so publishers didn't have to put out lower cost paperbacks. They get to now raise the price.

Kali Yuga
04-06-2010, 05:18 PM
What is there to stop the publishers from demanding the same for paper
The mechanics of paper sales, for one.

In the standard model, the retailer or distributor buys large numbers of books, pays the publishers prior to actually selling the book to the consumer, stores the books, and then tries to sell them at a profit. The retailer/distributor also has the right to return the books for 100% of the wholesale cost, if the books don't sell. Publishers also hold a percentage of royalties in reserve for returned books.

This system is very well-established, has years of work and relationships and infrastructure behind it, and does not work in an agency model.

The agency model, in many ways, makes sense for ebooks. It's the same deal Amazon offers to self-published authors and small publishers who put out their work directly through Amazon's DTP. Scribd and most other self-publishing ebook sites use the exact same concept: publisher (which may or may not be the author) sets the price, the retailer takes a cut.

Also, the agency model is actually not going to result in a horrifying permanent establishment of a $15-per-ebook price. You're only paying more for new ebooks -- i.e. book price is based on demand, as it ought to be. When the demand lowers (e.g. 6-12 months after publication), so will the price; there will be lots of ebooks at $10 or less.

Many people routinely proclaim that electronic and paper sales are not the same. When the system actually puts that into effect, of course, people throw fits. Go figure. ;)

TGS
04-06-2010, 05:41 PM
i.e. book price is based on demand, as it ought to be.

Why? Seriously, from where does the "ought" come in this?

Angst
04-06-2010, 07:27 PM
The agency model, in many ways, makes sense for ebooks. It's the same deal Amazon offers to self-published authors and small publishers who put out their work directly through Amazon's DTP. Scribd and most other self-publishing ebook sites use the exact same concept: publisher (which may or may not be the author) sets the price, the retailer takes a cut.

Also, the agency model is actually not going to result in a horrifying permanent establishment of a $15-per-ebook price. You're only paying more for new ebooks -- i.e. book price is based on demand, as it ought to be. When the demand lowers (e.g. 6-12 months after publication), so will the price; there will be lots of ebooks at $10 or less.

Many people routinely proclaim that electronic and paper sales are not the same. When the system actually puts that into effect, of course, people throw fits. Go figure. ;)

"Promotions, Discounts and Most Loyalty Programs Go Away
With agency, the price is the price. We lose most of our ability to issue coupons, promotions, special discounts, kickbacks, buy-X-get-one-free."
http://blog.kobobooks.com/2010/03/29/countdown-to-agency-and-party-like-its-9-99/

The agency model discriminates against the small players.
Looking at who has adopted the model vs those who are currently embargoed.
Adopt: Sony, B&N, Amazon, Apple
Embargo: BoB, FW, Deisel

All of the embargoed players rely on Customer Loyalty programs to drive sales. As described in the Kobo blog, the agency model discriminates against customer loyalty programs.

By curtailing the business model of some retailers, the agency model hurts those retailer's ability to compete in the marketplace, and hurts my ability, as a consumer, to obtain a competitive price. All of the currently embargoed retailers rely on Customer Loyalty programs. None of the major players do.

Not only does the new model affect their own books, it also impacts the sales of other publishers. By restricting the Customer Loyalty programs, I can no longer find saving by combining a purchase from one of "The 5" with a purchase from an independent publisher. This hurts my ability, as a consumer, to obtain the lowest possible price for aggregate purchases. It also forces the smaller retailers to abandon a proven sales model that competes with the likes of Amazon and B&N. Fictionwise has already discontinued their Buywise Club membership.

Boston
04-06-2010, 09:15 PM
I think you've missed out on what publishers have done to paperbacks. Have you not seen the trade paperback and the ones that are taller/thinner? These were created so publishers didn't have to put out lower cost paperbacks. They get to now raise the price.

Yes, but I've almost* never paid full price for trade paperbacks because the retailers have the option to discount.

(Occasionally, when I visit an independent store that I like, I will buy a book or two at full price because for its paying for the shopping experience as much as the book. Same for other types of independent retailers because I hate how they are disappearing and would rather shop on-line than visit a big box store)