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Old 02-10-2010, 06:37 AM   #16
Ben Thornton
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All the titles in the (advertising) email that I got from Amazon.com today were $9.99, so they are still plugging that model. It seems to me that the publishers who stick with allowing this price will get the majority of the marketing and thus sales.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:43 AM   #17
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I just got that email as well. And I agree. I think and hope the MacMillan grab is a big FAIL!
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Now all that's needed is an agency model between author and publishers. That should be the beginning of the end.
That in effect is the relationship James Patterson has with his publishers. but Patterson was willing to underwrite the production costs, or at least some of them.

Remember that in the agency model for pricing that is under discussion it is still the publisher who foots the bill. For an agency model to work between an author and a publisher or retailer, the author has to be willing to finance all costs.

Amazon and Apple have nothing to lose under the agency model and everything to gain, which is why Apple offered it and Amazon capitulated so quickly.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:35 AM   #19
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Ah but with e-books the production costs are minimal, basically editing is all that's required. And I'm of the opinion that authors need to learn to edit their own work. It's not that hard.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:46 AM   #20
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I'd be interested to know to which publisher TBI Research spoke. My guess is that it was Randon House and not one of the other 5 publishers (out of the "big six") that announced their support of Apple.

However, I think Random House is the only publisher here with any brains -- "Whoo Hoo! Apple is going to pay us less! Let's demand Amazon do the same! No, wait... Hold on a second... More is better than less, right?"
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:55 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
All the titles in the (advertising) email that I got from Amazon.com today were $9.99, so they are still plugging that model. It seems to me that the publishers who stick with allowing this price will get the majority of the marketing and thus sales.
To my understanding, the change in price wasn't to occur until March.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:38 AM   #22
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BeccaAnn - that was my understanding as well. The price changes would be implemented in March per a WSJ article
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:18 PM   #23
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A couple articles you all might find interesting.

John Makinson, the CEO of the Penguin Group, wrote an op-ed entitled "Apple's iPad and the Evolution of Books" that appeared in Monday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. Marion Maneker of Slate responded with "Penguin CEO Needs a Good Editor". Maneker's article made one assertion that I hope is true --

Quote:
"Already agents are threatening to pre-publish e-books and sell print distribution rights to publishers on their big fiction projects. These twin forces will leave publishers distributing print books in the future and trying to exploit the remaining library of copyrights that they hold."
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Ah but with e-books the production costs are minimal, basically editing is all that's required. And I'm of the opinion that authors need to learn to edit their own work. It's not that hard.
I guess you haven't written a lot of creative fiction. Editing might not be that hard (at least for someone as intelligent as you: I know it's hard for me), but editing YOUR OWN WORK is extremely hard for anyone, even for the best writers.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:34 PM   #25
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I guess you haven't written a lot of creative fiction. Editing might not be that hard (at least for someone as intelligent as you: I know it's hard for me), but editing YOUR OWN WORK is extremely hard for anyone, even for the best writers.
Not to mention that editing does not just mean proofreading, either. In fiction, it also means pacing, clarity, etc. People see what they expect to see, especially writers looking at their own work.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:02 PM   #26
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I'm interested in what would happen if Amazon implemented a feature that would notify you when the price dropped on a given title. What would be a better lesson to these guys: Tanking sales on ebooks in general, or a huge spike in sales when the price hit the right level? Part of me doesn't want to see Amazon particularly helping them in selling their books just so they can see how bad this idea really is. On the other hand, a spike when it hits paperback pricing might send the same message.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:15 PM   #27
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I'm interested in what would happen if Amazon implemented a feature that would notify you when the price dropped on a given title.
I think that would be a great idea. There is so much Amazon can do with the free Whispernet thing besides give access to the Amazon store.

We had discussed here in another thread how people would like to know when the newest book in a series was released, or when your favorite author's novel was ready to buy...something like that (with the option to opt-out of course) would be a great use of the always online connection.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
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I'm interested in what would happen if Amazon implemented a feature that would notify you when the price dropped on a given title.
You can kind of do this for other Amazon content by adding it to your basket and saving it for later - whenever you go back to your basket it tells you the price changes.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:29 PM   #29
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I personally don't plan on buying the books at either the high initial prices or the months later lowered prices. I'll limit my book purchases to those publishers that release their ebooks with the hardcovers and at the $9.99 price point.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:38 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Ah but with e-books the production costs are minimal, basically editing is all that's required. And I'm of the opinion that authors need to learn to edit their own work. It's not that hard.
Kovid, it is very difficult to successfully edit your own work -- not impossible, but exceedingly difficult. We tend to "see" what we expect to see and an author who has gone through several drafts working his/her way toward a final draft knows too much of his/her own writing.

Granted I work primarily in nonfiction, but in my 25 years of doing so, there have been hundreds of incidents where, for example, authors have written a medicine doasge as grams when they meant milligrams and never caught it because they knew better.

I can't say how easy it is for an author to format an ebook, that's your expertise, but I do not think it should be so readily assumed that anyone can be an editor -- they can't. Editing is much more (or if properly done should be much more) than simply checking that every sentence has ending punctuation and every word is spelled correctly. For an idea (very broadly) of what professional editors, do see Editor, Editor, Everywhere an Editor. For an idea of some of the materials a professional editor makes use of and needs to be familiar with, see Professional Editors: Publishers and Authors Need Them (Part 1) and Professional Editors: Publishers and Authors Need Them (Part 2).
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