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Old 06-14-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
Marcy
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The Death of Fictionwise :(

Well, it seems that my once favorite online bookstore is now giving off its death rattles. Starting this morning instead of giving 100% rebates on their select titles and NYT bestsellers they are instead simply giving 25% off.

Since Fictionwise prices for these books are so much higher than other sites, there is no reason to buy anything there anymore. 100% rebates were fine and could be massaged into great deals when FW had their super sales. 25% off is just pathetic.

New releases are now only 15% off, instead of the prior 35% off too. :-P

Examples:

The Girl Who Chased the Moon
FW: $18.75 ($15.94 w/Buywise)
Amazon: $9.99
Sony: $9.99
Kobo: $9.99

Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz)
FW: $24 ($20.40 w/BW)
Amazon: $13.12
Sony: not available
Kobo: not available

This Is Where We Live
FW: $18.75 ($15.94 w/BW)
Amazon: $9.99
Sony: n/a
Kobo: n/a

The Double Comfort Safari Club
FW: $18.71 ($15.90 w/BW)
Amazon: $9.99
Sony: $9.99
Kobo: $9.99

I never minded the high prices with 100% rebate, because I would use the rebates to buy cheaper books, typically during big sales or when they were newly released and 35% off, even when using Micropay. Waiting until the weekend for a new release usually netted a coupon for 5-25% off too. I'm glad I have my Micropay balance down to 36 cents, with some purchases of Nero Wolfe books last week.

I can't imagine anything but a slow death for FW now. Their prices are totally uncompetitive with this new system. No more buying frenzies for me, like last December when they had 40-60% rebates even when paying with Micropay. Sigh.

-Marcy
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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I have bought less than a dozen books since the New Regime went into play---and that's total, not just from Fictionwise. Most of the multiformat books I bought in the past were not great and most of the DRMd stuff is at the library now. Or I buy it from Kobo. Also, I am mad about the dozen or so books I have been trying to re-download now that I learned a better way to liberate them, and they will not let me re-download them. I hope they don't totally die until my two magazine subscriptions run out, but they've lost me. I used to spend a LOT of money there, too.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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Fictionwise still has a lot of content not available elsewhere, and aggregates a number of publishers who aren't on the agency model. Its non-DRM'd multiformat books are still a good bargain.

However, if it's going to succeed as an ebook store on the basis of those books, it'll need to rethink its whole marketing strategy. I suspect that B&N is willing to let it die rather than find a way to capitalize on its history & broad customer base. B&N is invested in their own ebook format & device, and has no reason to promote a store whose best feature is many books that are readable on anything.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
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What's the "New Regime"?
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:04 PM   #5
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Hey, at least Fictionwise *has* those books-I just checked Apple's iBooks store, and couldn't find any of them for sale.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Fictionwise still has a lot of content not available elsewhere, and aggregates a number of publishers who aren't on the agency model. Its non-DRM'd multiformat books are still a good bargain.

However, if it's going to succeed as an ebook store on the basis of those books, it'll need to rethink its whole marketing strategy. I suspect that B&N is willing to let it die rather than find a way to capitalize on its history & broad customer base. B&N is invested in their own ebook format & device, and has no reason to promote a store whose best feature is many books that are readable on anything.
I agree. It's getting to the point where I think they should just stick with the Multiformat stuff and leave the big pub, DRM'd stuff to B&N. They could re-invent themselves as a DRM free bookseller and really work to promote that, that is if B&N has an interest in keeping it at all.





Quote:
Originally Posted by speedtouch View Post
What's the "New Regime"?
I assume she means since B&N took over.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:14 PM   #7
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I assume she means since B&N took over.
Ahhh, got it. Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Noticed this today as well. Wonder if this is a one week thing or if micropay, like buywise, is going to be removed from Fictionwise. Without the micropay kickback the normal discounts are not very competitive. Wonder if they are doing all of this to bring back the big 5 that left or if they are just on their way to be shut down for good.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:27 PM   #9
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Isn't this related to "price fixing"... uh... I mean the "agency model" that Publishers are forcing on everyone?
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #10
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Isn't this related to "price fixing"... uh... I mean the "agency model" that Publishers are forcing on everyone?
With the agency model they can't discount at all, so the 25% straight discount .vs 100% micropay wouldn't be about that. AFAIK Fictionwise still isn't listing any Agency 5 books for sale.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:17 PM   #11
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Well, the problem with Barnes and Noble (owner of Fictionwise) is that virtually not of B&N's e-books are available outside the US. I like the stuff I find at Fictionwise; I cannot understand why it isn't profitable. In fact, I find it hard to believe -- with back-end software in place and a confirmed customer base and very little cost to keep the lights on -- isn't Fictionwise a nice tidy cash cow? It makes a margin on everything it sells and it carries no "inventory". How hard is it to go broke under those conditions?!?

Or perhaps what we are seeing are the "visionary executives" at their finest at work at B&N.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:18 PM   #12
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The New Regime

Dear All:

Fictionwise is the same old great people. It is not their fault. They got purchased by Barnes and Noble and the lawyers and bean counters have ruined a good company. Pretty well, Fictionwise hands are tied behind their backs.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Robertb View Post
Dear All:

Fictionwise is the same old great people. It is not their fault. They got purchased by Barnes and Noble and the lawyers and bean counters have ruined a good company. Pretty well, Fictionwise hands are tied behind their backs.
I agree with this. FW was great until it was bought (sold?) to B&N.

Ever since the change of the big 5, I've not bought one book, except to clear my Micropay account at FW.

I've always been a major customer at FW, but since the B&N fiasco, I've not been able to (legally) buy a book there, that I really want. I'm still looking for a new ebook webshop, where I can actually buy books...
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:56 AM   #14
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I used to spend at least $100 a month at Fictionwise. This year - probably less than $50 all year.

What with the big 5 fiasco, the geographic restrictions and Fictionwise limiting their formats there's been little I want. And this week there seem to be no DRM genre offerings at all.

Plus they've put geographic restrictions on stuff I bought in previous years so I can't download it again. And I wanted to due to a computer being stolen and an sd card failing.

All in all I've dropped them so far down my favourites list it's an effort to find them.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Robertb View Post
Dear All:

Fictionwise is the same old great people. It is not their fault. They got purchased by Barnes and Noble and the lawyers and bean counters have ruined a good company. Pretty well, Fictionwise hands are tied behind their backs.
What do you mean by
Quote:
They got purchased by
Were they forced with a pistol next to the brains to sell themselves to the highest bidder and get rich? Was not it their conscious decision to sell themselves for good money, get rich and don't mind the consequences?
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