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Old 07-06-2013, 05:35 PM   #61
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First, there’s the wholesale model, the way that book publishers have sold printed books to bookstores and other outlets for years. The publisher sets a cover price for a book, sells it to a retailer at a discount (typically 50 percent) and then the retailer can sell the book to consumers for whatever price it chooses.

The other method of selling books is via the agency model, which means, essentially, on commission. The retailer offers the book to consumers at a price the publisher sets and gets a percentage of whatever sales are made. It’s rare for print books to be sold in this way, but it’s the method Apple uses to sell content like music and apps in its iTunes store.

Until 2010 — as Andrew Albanese explains in his admirably lucid “The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon and the ‘Big Six’ Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight,” a new “e-single” published by Publishers Weekly — book publishers had been selling e-books to Amazon using the wholesale model. They’d simply adapted the system they were already using to sell print books to the online retailer. This, they would soon realize, was a big mistake.

The wholesale model is widely seen as an odd way to sell e-books, since what the purchaser buys is “licensed access” to a digital file, rather than a physical object like a book. But what would torment publishers most about this arrangement was the freedom the wholesale model gave to Amazon to set the prices of e-books.

Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/01/ever...ook_price_war/
I fully understand the difference between the wholesale and agency models.

However, even with both on the wholesale model, there is no evidence whatsoever that the price Amazon pays for an eBook is based off the price of the paper edition, making your previous contention that the much lower price of the Kindle edition in comparison to the paper edition was predatory pricing somewhat difficult to defend.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:57 PM   #62
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However, even with both on the wholesale model, there is no evidence whatsoever that the price Amazon pays for an eBook is based off the price of the paper edition, making your previous contention that the much lower price of the Kindle edition in comparison to the paper edition was predatory pricing somewhat difficult to defend.
Well if you’d bothered to read the article I quoted from and gave you the link to you would have read for yourself (and understood how it was related to the paper edition) what pricing model Amazon were using:

Quote:

With the launch of the Kindle, Amazon promoted a low baseline price of $9.99 for most e-books. That meant that Amazon was selling virtually all newly published e-books at a loss. For example: A new book with a hardcover list price of $29.95 would be given an e-book price of $23.95 — 20 percent less to account for the publisher’s savings in printing, binding and distribution. The publisher would sell that e-book to Amazon for $12, and Amazon would retail it for $9.99, taking a $2 loss.

Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/01/ever...ook_price_war/

No doubt that is no evidence whatsoever and will also be waved away as rubbish!
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:04 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by HoraceWimp
No doubt that is no evidence whatsoever and will also be waved away as rubbish!
Of course it will ... because it IS rubbish!
It's rubbish precisely because of things like:
Quote:
promoted a low baseline price of $9.99 for most e-books.
(Bolding by me) Nope, not most. A very small subset.

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that meant that Amazon was selling virtually all newly published e-books at a loss.
Which make this ^^^ fruit of the poison rubbish.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:12 PM   #64
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I guess it's maybe because not that many copies are printed in comparison to "commercial" publishers and they are trying to recover the cost of publishing a title?
I would certainly agree that the lower quantities produced by a University press would explain the relatively higher price of the paper version. Lower quantities require a higher price to recover the book production costs.

It’s not just the raw material of paper that costs the money it’s the time and expense of film and plate making, press time, folding, stitching, glueing, binding and physical distribution.

It would also explain why the e-book version is comparable with the price of other titles.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #65
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Of course it will ... because it IS rubbish!
As mentioned previously—without actually being able to go back four years or so, to the time when Amazon were pricing their e-books at this price point to find out exactly which titles were being sold at which amount, it’s kind of tricky to know one way or the other.

Nevertheless, you seem to feel your memory is that good that not only can you remember which titles were being sold at what price, you know it with 100% certainty.

I take my hat off to you sir, your memory is far superior to mine.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:39 PM   #66
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So Horace. Have you *proof* -- not an online Salon article -- that Amazon sold all/most of their ebooks at losing prices? (which will be a good trick, because Amazon doesn't release that kind of data). I've come to the decision that mostly you are blowing smoke out of you ... as are most of the apologists/amazon haters that crop here on MR.

You all keep bring up the same arguments and you all keep ignoring facts when they are pointed out to you.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:43 PM   #67
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I know because I was looking at books NOT on the NYT list and their prices were higher than $9.99. I remember cursing that I do not read "bestsellers", because they would have been cheaper.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:59 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by HoraceWimp View Post
I take my hat off to you sir, your memory is far superior to mine.
It apparently is. Because I distinctly remember wondering where all of these $9.99 ebooks that people were talking about WERE, after I purchased my first Kindle for $300+. Oh I came across them here and there, but when you strayed any distance from the very top of the Times Best Seller List, those $9.99 books were pretty scarce.

(either that or I can SEE the purchase price/date for every ebook I ever bought from Amazon on my account page, and don't have to rely on memory)

Limited to new releases:

Brimstone - Robert B. Parker (purchased for $14.99 on 5/10/2009)
The Red Wolf Conspiracy - Robert V.S. Redick ($11 on 6/19/2009)
The Child Thief - Brom ($14.25 on 9/17/2009)
The Stress of Her Regard - Tim Powers ($9.99 on 9/19/2009) * not a new release.
The Wrecker - Cliver Cussler ($11.98 12/4/2009)
Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie ($9.99 on 2/2/2010)
Black Hills - Dan Simmons ($12.99 on 4/9/2010)
The Dream of Perpetual Motion - Dexter Palmer ($11.99 on 4/18/2010)
So Cold the River - Michael Koryta ($11.99 on 6/11/2010)
Patient Zero - Jonathan Maberry (9.99 on 7/13/2010)
Gutshot Straight - Lou Berney ($11.99 on 7/21/2010)
Distant Thunders - Taylor Anderson ($11.99 on 7/24/2010)
Savages - Don Winslow ($11.99 on 8/6/2010)
The Last Page - Anthony Huso ($12.99 on 8/17/2010)
The Evolutionary Void - Peter F. Hamilton ($15.40 on 8/25/2010)
The Half-Made World - Felix Gilman ($12.99 on 10/12/2010)
Song of Heaven - Davis Wingrove ($9.99 on 2/4/2010)
The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie ($11.99 on 2/7/2011)
The Desert of Souls - Howard Andrew Jones ($11.99 on 2/25/2011)

I'll stop there, as I believe I'm getting close to when agency pricing started taking root (and my new-book purchasing dropped off).

Last edited by DiapDealer; 07-06-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:09 PM   #69
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It's possible that when the agency model was in force, the only deals Amazon could push were indies and small publishers (and pubs not in on agency pricing.) Now that agency is gone...they don't need to work with the smaller guys as much.

That's not to say I believe the article. Anytime one of us authors is "on the outside looking in" it's a case of "hey, what about me???"

So I can't say if it is happening or not, but amazon is constantly changing their selling algorithms and who they favor. They are constantly trying new things and it could be there is a new plan afoot that isn't benefiting some authors who saw benefits before.

Amazon also has its own imprints to take care of...
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:22 PM   #70
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The book in question has a list price of $65.
For a *bibliography*.

And he worries about low sales because Amazon won't bleed for him?
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #71
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Per the book details on Amazon, this book was published by Kent State University Press. The Jim Harrison bibliography was also published by a university press.

Books published by university presses are generally priced higher than other books, sometimes a lot higher. I guess it's maybe because not that many copies are printed in comparison to "commercial" publishers and they are trying to recover the cost of publishing a title?
I understand that it's the product of a university press, and yes university press books are usually more expensive than those published by commercial publishers. However, it is not Amazon's responsibility to discount the book until it is priced competitively with books from commercial publishers. If the author is complaining that the book is too expensive when the list price is close to twice that of books on similar subjects from commercial publishers, it's not Amazon's fault. The publisher set the price, so they're ultimately responsible.

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Well if you’d bothered to read the article I quoted from and gave you the link to you would have read for yourself (and understood how it was related to the paper edition) what pricing model Amazon were using:

Quote:

With the launch of the Kindle, Amazon promoted a low baseline price of $9.99 for most e-books. That meant that Amazon was selling virtually all newly published e-books at a loss. For example: A new book with a hardcover list price of $29.95 would be given an e-book price of $23.95 — 20 percent less to account for the publisher’s savings in printing, binding and distribution. The publisher would sell that e-book to Amazon for $12, and Amazon would retail it for $9.99, taking a $2 loss.

Source: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/01/ever...ook_price_war/

No doubt that is no evidence whatsoever and will also be waved away as rubbish!
The book in question, Born to Lose by James Hollock, has a print list price of $34.95, and a digital list price of $16.99; both set by the publisher. Amazon's price for the kindle edition is based on the publisher's digital list price, not their print price. The amount Amazon pays for the digital edition is also based on the digital list price, not the print price.

Even your Salon article has the publishers setting a digital list price, and charging Amazon based on that digital list price, not the print price. The publisher may have derived their digital list from the print price, but what they charged Amazon was based on the digital list.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #72
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For those with short memories out there:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...e-fixing.shtml

Quote:
The court more or less notes that Amazon's market position isn't on trial, and its use of wholesale pricing does not equal price fixing, as some have alleged. Nor does it show "predatory" pricing, which was a key complaint. The problem there: the evidence showed that Amazon was "consistently profitable." And, to show predatory pricing, "one must prove more than simply pricing below an appropriate measure of cost" but also that the company will jack up prices down the road. And all of the comments failed to do that:
None of the comments demonstrate that either condition for predatory pricing by Amazon existed or will likely exist. Indeed, while the comments complain that Amazon’s $9.99 price for newly-released and bestselling e-books was “predatory,” none of them attempts to show that Amazon’s e-book prices as a whole were below its marginal costs.
In any debate over alegations of predatory prices I'll take the word of a Federal Judge experienced in antitrust issues over a random publishing industry apologist at Salon.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:22 PM   #73
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In any debate over alegations of predatory prices I'll take the word of a Federal Judge experienced in antitrust issues over a random publishing industry apologist at Salon.
Which of course is entirely your prerogative to choose to believe.

It's interesting to note that that antitrust lawsuit had nothing whatsoever to do with Amazon, they wern't even involved in it.

The judge's conclusions pretty much state that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Amazon was using predatory pricing according to how the law chooses to define it.

That they were actually doing it, getting away with doing it and putting companies out if business by doing it is empirical and fairly obvious for most people to see.

We know there's plenty of people insider trading on Wall Street, actually catching them doing it and proving it to the satisfaction of the SEC is immensely difficult to do.

We know that petrol, electrical and gas companies set their prices at identical levels, actually proving that they've all sat down and actually price colluded to the monopolies commission is equally difficult. It doesn't stop those companies from setting virtually identical pricing structures—and getting away with it. They've been doing it for years and making obscene profits in the process! The companies supplying these commodities are virtual cartels and it's all within their own interests to keep prices the same. Price wars don't help any of them.

Knowing something happens and proving something happens are two entirely different things.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:28 PM   #74
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That they were actually doing it, getting away with doing it and putting companies out if business by doing it is empirical and fairly obvious for most people to see.
Yes, Amazon has driven Kobo, B&N, Apple, Google, Samsung, and Sony out of the ebook market. Sure.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #75
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Which of course is entirely your prerogative to choose to believe.
So, let me get this straight. You believe some random online reporter over a seasoned judge. Is that right?

Because, if that's true, you just lost all reason for me to pay *any* attention to you. Just another Apple fanboy waving his hands. I think it's time to start ignoring you.
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