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Old 03-31-2010, 06:09 PM   #4
Elfwreck
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Five of the six big publishers have decided to switch their ebook sales to "agency pricing," which means that instead of selling them to bookstores and allowing the bookstore to set the final price, the bookstore acts as an "agent:" The publishers sets the price, and the bookstore gets 30% of that price. No discounts are allowed.

This is because of their contracts with the new iPad ibookstore (not yet live); Apple's contract requires that publishers it carries don't have lower prices for those books in any other bookstores. Amazon is not happy about it.

The effects are rippling around the ebook world, because the agency pricing goes live tomorrow, and ebook stores are scrambling to make their software fit the new contract requirements. (They could, of course, choose to just stop carrying books from those publishers. It's possible that some of them will.)

We know roughly how the new pricing will work, including how it ties to print prices, but for how it'll actually change ebook stores, there's mostly a lot of speculation.

Last edited by Elfwreck; 03-31-2010 at 06:12 PM. Reason: fix weird phrasing
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