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Old 02-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #31
Kali Yuga
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Wonder how this will affect their sales, since my pet crackpot hypothesis has been that RH has been experiencing a boost relative to the Agency 5....
• The overwhelming majority of consumers don't care about agency pricing.
• The overwhelming majority of consumers don't care who is publishing the book.
• "Sales figures" aren't the end-all and be-all of business. There are lots of other aspects, like protecting the value of your product and revenues.

Looking at the NYT ebook best sellers list, RH is fairly well represented. We'll see if going to agency pricing has an effect.

That said, I cannot imagine that they would switch (or will stay with the switch) if they were genuinely tromping the competition and raking in the bucks.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:21 PM   #32
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I don't really understand the mindshare that iBookstore seems to command from publishers and press.
The publishers are, rather smartly, playing the various retailers off of one another.

Rather than let one store run away with the market (e.g. Apple with digital music, Amazon with paper books), the publishers are trying to avoid a situation where one retailer bosses them around. It was expedient for them to play nice with Apple, who in turn gave them exactly what they wanted -- control over pricing.


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Originally Posted by tomsem
Sorry if this seems a little off-topic, but in my mind Agency Model would not exist if it were not for Apple's collusion.
Google was already planning to offer publishers extensive control over pricing. Apple was more public about it, but it's possible something along those lines would have developed anyway.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:28 PM   #33
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Guess they've guaranteed the total number of Random House books downloaded for free in March will increase.
No, they really won't. One of the ebook torrents with the most leeches on *cough* a popular torrent tracker as I type this very missive is an O'Reilly Java book -- which means no DRM, reasonable pricing, no agency pricing etc etc. Others are massive collections which almost certainly include RH books already.

The number of people who pirate as a form of "protest" are vastly outnumbered by the people who just want free stuff. Don't kid yourself on that score.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:31 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
• The overwhelming majority of consumers don't care about agency pricing.
• The overwhelming majority of consumers don't care who is publishing the book.
Well, no, but they do seem to care how much the books cost.

I swear that at least a fifth* of the threads over at the Amazon Discussion boards for Kindle are "Whyyyy are the prices so high? I can get the paperback cheaper!!!!!" and "This book is not worth $X.XX for an edition I can't pass on to my grandkids and I won't pay more than $Y.YY". Sometimes maliciously helpful posters clue them in as to cause.

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Looking at the NYT ebook best sellers list, RH is fairly well represented. We'll see if going to agency pricing has an effect.

That said, I cannot imagine that they would switch (or will stay with the switch) if they were genuinely tromping the competition and raking in the bucks.
It'll certainly be interesting to see.

Personally, I hope they switch back. If only because I like being able to use $X off Y coupons for my e-book purchases and want other people who are actually affected by Agency pricing to be able to, too.

I have no problems with publishers setting their own prices, provided they do it consistently, at a reasonable cost for what the product is worth (taking into consideration its disadvantages relative to paper), and allow further discounts off the set price, even if they're guaranteed whatever minimum base royalty they've set for themselves.

Like Smashwords books on Kobo, which aren't given the usual % off in the listings, but which you can still use the promo coupons on during checkout.

* The other four-fifths are iPad/Nook-bashing, How Can I Use Library Books (You Can't), Daily Free Book Alert, Complaining About the Daily Free Books Which Happen to Be Christian Fiction or Erotic Romance, and Indie Author Ads.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:37 PM   #35
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Vote with your dollars and give them to publishers and storefronts that deserve it.
So, what does it mean when the people are voting for agency priced ebooks?

After all, agency pricing for 5 out of the 6 largest publishers went into effect over a year ago, and it doesn't seem to have appreciably slowed the adoption of ebooks. It's entirely possible that by the end of this year, the people who got into ebooks before agency pricing went into effect will be outnumbered by those who got in after -- and have not seen much retailer-controlled pricing.

My suspicion, albeit as yet unproven, is that most people merely do not care who is setting the price. All that matters is whether that price is acceptable.

And I, for one, don't have a problem with it. Of particular note is that it is not anti-competitive. Retailers are now all playing on an even playing field, and still have numerous other factors to differentiate their services -- ranging from devices and apps, to customer service, to self-publishing options. Smaller publishers aren't forced to use agency pricing, and can undoubtedly undercut the Big 6 on price if they choose.

And, of course, no one complains when Joe Author wrestles back control of electronic rights from his publisher, signs up for Smashwords and Createspace and.... tells the retailer what price to sell the book at. I swear, someone ought to string up those agency pricing independent authors, they are killing the market for ebooks.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:43 PM   #36
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I think people are pretty oblivious to the agency model, price fixing, etc. They know which books they want and they see the price and decide if they want it that badly and if it's a fair multiple of the cost of a Starbuck's coffee, they buy it.

Most everybody else, meaning the indies, aren't really in the game.

The public wants to be told what those few books (or authors) are who are worth paying attention to, and those are the ones they'll buy. Everyone else feeds off the table scraps.

To make it as an author, you have to make a splash and enter the mass consciousness. Once you do, the price doesn't so much matter.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #37
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Agency pricing is confusing to me and many others I assume.

Simpler to say, creator sets price, uploads to server/marketplace, makes a sale, server/marketplace takes 30% of sale, creator takes 70%.

As far as I can tell this 70/30 split is the standard, did Apple start this method or some other company?
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:46 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
So, what does it mean when the people are voting for agency priced ebooks?

After all, agency pricing for 5 out of the 6 largest publishers went into effect over a year ago, and it doesn't seem to have appreciably slowed the adoption of ebooks. It's entirely possible that by the end of this year, the people who got into ebooks before agency pricing went into effect will be outnumbered by those who got in after -- and have not seen much retailer-controlled pricing.

My suspicion, albeit as yet unproven, is that most people merely do not care who is setting the price. All that matters is whether that price is acceptable.

And I, for one, don't have a problem with it. Of particular note is that it is not anti-competitive. Retailers are now all playing on an even playing field, and still have numerous other factors to differentiate their services -- ranging from devices and apps, to customer service, to self-publishing options. Smaller publishers aren't forced to use agency pricing, and can undoubtedly undercut the Big 6 on price if they choose.

And, of course, no one complains when Joe Author wrestles back control of electronic rights from his publisher, signs up for Smashwords and Createspace and.... tells the retailer what price to sell the book at. I swear, someone ought to string up those agency pricing independent authors, they are killing the market for ebooks.
I believe it is anti-competitive and anti-free-market. I feel the same way about MAP policies from Apple and others. I believe for a free market, the retailer should be able to purchase a product from their supplier at whatever cost they negotiate, and should be able to sell it at whatever price they think helps them make a profit.

I think people don't know much about why prices are what they are, and why ebooks are priced at full MSRP all of the time, but I think they know when they are too high. Artificially inflating prices and price-fixing (I'm sorry, I believe that is basically what this is, a price-fixing agreement between companies) leads to trouble.

Inflicting aggravating DRM schemes on people and using cross-company price fixing will lead to increased piracy rates. Same thing that happened to the music companies in the late 90s and early part of this decade. Ebooks are even smaller and easier to pirate. They're just begging for trouble.

You can't depend on older folks who don't know how to copy/paste files to a USB device forever.

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:55 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
It's entirely possible that by the end of this year, the people who got into ebooks before agency pricing went into effect will be outnumbered by those who got in after -- and have not seen much retailer-controlled pricing.

My suspicion, albeit as yet unproven, is that most people merely do not care who is setting the price. All that matters is whether that price is acceptable.
Bingo.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:48 AM   #40
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My boycott grows to six.
Amen.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:57 AM   #41
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I believe it is anti-competitive and anti-free-market. I feel the same way about MAP policies from Apple and others. I believe for a free market, the retailer should be able to purchase a product from their supplier at whatever cost they negotiate, and should be able to sell it at whatever price they think helps them make a profit.

I think people don't know much about why prices are what they are, and why ebooks are priced at full MSRP all of the time, but I think they know when they are too high. Artificially inflating prices and price-fixing (I'm sorry, I believe that is basically what this is, a price-fixing agreement between companies) leads to trouble.

Inflicting aggravating DRM schemes on people and using cross-company price fixing will lead to increased piracy rates. Same thing that happened to the music companies in the late 90s and early part of this decade. Ebooks are even smaller and easier to pirate. They're just begging for trouble.

You can't depend on older folks who don't know how to copy/paste files to a USB device forever.
oh, dear gawd, do NOT even get me started on that slimy underhanded practice. Once this becomes standard practice there is officially no longer a free market. Look up the laws on the books in the state of Maryland here in the US. I don't know where they are on it but basically it's illegal for any vendor, even online vendors/retailers to sell to residents of the state of Maryland under a MAP agreement. Of course it still will be tested in court and several other states are "looking into the same laws" but of course I suspect it's simply a way for the corrupt political system in the US to extort more cash from the lobbyists of the companies in question. Once done it is magically no longer an issue. The US is no longer a free market system because, well we no longer produce anything here anymore. Supply and demand on manufactured goods is a myth as well. Even more so in the face of MAP agreements.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:11 AM   #42
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I wonder if Larsson's book will have price changes? We'll have to check tomorrow to see if two of them are still $5.00.
It's March 1st and they raised the price to $7.99
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:16 AM   #43
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http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Fate...8970749&sr=1-3

I checked another Random House book. This one was $6.29 yesterday and now it's $13.99.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:37 AM   #44
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http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Fate...8970749&sr=1-3

I checked another Random House book. This one was $6.29 yesterday and now it's $13.99.
wow...just, well, WOW. Seems I am DONE buying ebooks from Amazon (or anywhere as this is genuinely NOT Amazon's doing) unless something interesting comes along at a price with a toe-hold in reality. I WILL NEVER PAY $14 for a novel in ebook or MMPB. At that price I can just sell my readers and buy nice used paperbacks for a couple bucks then give them away. My personal limit has been $6 for a long time now and this sort of change digs my heels in completely.

Baen and direct from authors are the final standard bearers of sanity of the ebook world. So to all those guys & hottie gal SF authors get those back catalog editions out NOW.

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Old 03-01-2011, 04:49 AM   #45
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I will not argue that US laws are better or worse than Germany's or Spain's, but we in the US quite expect to shop around for the best price
Oh, we rightpondians do very much the same, it's just that our governments in their infinite wisdom have decided that there should be no such competition for new books in the local (!) language only. (There is for English books, e.g.) So, the publisher gets to set a minimum price and all sellers need to abide by that (with very few exceptions for damaged books, going-out-of-business sales and the like). This is why Amazon always throws in free shipping on books in Germany: they can't compete on price with the brick-and-mortar stores (mustn't undersell them), so they need to offer more convenience (and a bigger selection, obviously).

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... this looks like price-fixing to us
It is, of course. It's just funny how a supposedly total free-market approach leads to the same results (not for long, one can hope).
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