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Old 03-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Apple did not negotiate for $10 ebooks. The prices for Apple will be the same as Amazon and any other retailer that uses the agency model -- $15 for new ebooks, $12-13 for ebooks on the best-seller list, and lower prices ($6-12) for older ebooks.
Actually that's not entirely true.
Quote:
But now the New York Times is reporting that Apple’s iBooks prices may be closer to Amazon’s for the books that count. Citing anonymous sources privy to the discussions between Apple and the major publishing houses, the Times says Apple wants to reserve to itself the right to discount the e-book versions of bestsellers and lower-than-average-priced hardcovers, perhaps even as low as Amazon’s $9.99.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:06 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Apple did not negotiate for $10 ebooks. The prices for Apple will be the same as Amazon and any other retailer that uses the agency model -- $15 for new ebooks, $12-13 for ebooks on the best-seller list, and lower prices ($6-12) for older ebooks.
Actually, I have seen elsewhere on the internet where they HAVE negotiated that clause. We will see.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:18 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
As a consumer do you want a market place where all the goods you buy have the price set by the manufacturer? If you want to buy a new Ford Mustang it doesn't matter what dealer you go to it costs the same price?
When it comes to an item that costs $10-20, I could care less who's setting the price. Why should I?

And if the publishers had adopted the $10 price point, you probably wouldn't have cared much either.

I do concur that agency pricing has one major disadvantage, which is that retailers will apparently have minimal options to discount books or engage in loss-leader practices. So, I'll just wait a few extra months on occasion, unless I really want a book fast. I suspect I'll survive, as will all the other people who proclaim "I have tons of unread books and won't buy ebooks ever again."


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Originally Posted by Barcey
The copyright laws give the author and publisher a temporary monopoly on selling a specific book. Now the publishers are using the monopoly to fix the price of that specific book. I've decided not to buy books from those publishers.
Again, publishers are not "monopolists" and are not engaged in anti-competitive practices. You don't have one publisher that has a 90% market share (as Microsoft does with operating systems, for example).

If you're upset by $15 new ebooks, that's one thing. But it is simply incorrect to conflate this with a specific set of anti-competitive practices based on a semantic similarity.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:20 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by riemann42 View Post
Ok. So say that today an ebook at the cheapest sight (Amazon) goes for $6. The wholesale cost, which amazon pays at the same time the sell to you is $5.50. Now, Agency model goes in place. Book is priced at $6. Amazon pays $4.80. Amazon makes more money, you pay same price. Who loses?
The law.
Its not about the price, its the principle of the thing.
Those idiots aren't fixing retail prices to do us any favors; the *stated* intent is to raise prices by 30% and see how many suckers fall for the "potential" of lower prices on *some* crappy books.

Me, I normally buy 20-30 books a year *plus* all the Baen webscriptions and promo bundles, plus an eARC or two a year.

Baen gets to keep my business.
The rest can go hang.

Note I'm not telling anybody else to follow my example, merely stating my intent. I don'tt tell other people how to waste their money and I expect not to be told how to waste mine. The BPHs are betting enough people will meekly swallow their line that they'll get away with the 30% price rise.

Maybe they will, maybe they won't; but *I* am not going to collaborate with people out to rip me off.

PS - What if Amazon takes the extra money they are "forced" to make of ebook saless and use it to subsidize Kindle prices to put independent reader vendors out of business? Say they drop Kindle prices to $100 and make the difference up off the 30% higher book prices. Think that makes for a better outcome? Less reader choices and higher book prices?

Last edited by fjtorres; 03-13-2010 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:24 PM   #50
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Agency pricing as "price fixing": Here's a link to a lawyer's opinion. In short: it probably is price-fixing, but thanks to a recent precedent-overturning Supreme Court decision, it will be very hard to get a court to find it illegal price-fixing.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:33 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
So, let me get this straight.

A new ebook comes out, concurrent with the hardcover. The hardcover officially costs $30, gets discounted to say $15 + $3 shipping and handling. The ebook starts at $15 (no shipping, handling or tax). 1 year later, the trade paper comes out at $12 + $2 s&h, the ebook drops to $10.

This is such terrible behavior that it licenses people to skip out from paying all the people who produced the book, including the author?
Yep.

'Cuz I don't buy hardbacks or trade paperbacks unless it is an absolute favorite author and I can get a good discount.

I read the blog post linked here - he's not promising the ebooks will always be a little lower than the print price. And he seems to be hinting that many of them will never be at or less than the price of the mass market paperbacks.

Do I want the authors harmed by this? Of course not. But I will not be strong-armed by publishers simply because I do not have 1 more spare foot of space in my home for print books. Or if I just prefer digital over print.

I spent over $2000 on ebooks last year alone (horrifying truth discovered when I did my taxes). The library can have the funds I would have spent on the ones I want, but are priced at $15. I'll hit the library.

Last edited by FizzyWater; 03-13-2010 at 07:54 PM. Reason: forgot to add the link, deleted too much of original quote
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:43 PM   #52
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Kali, why are you ignoring the issues of Apple pricing benefits from their negotion? Is that ok with you, that Amazon (or anyone else, for that matter)should not be able to price ebook bestsellers at $9.99, but Apple can? Please enlighten me, I've tried to follow a lot of your arguements on the publishers and drm, but most of the time I just don't get it.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:47 PM   #53
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Sorry, Kali, I didn't mean to pick on you personally. But these issues DO affect a lot of us, and in a negative way. A lot of the rest of us are not in the nirvana that you seem to be, whether it's DVD's or ebook drm. The issues with drm or copy protection have been going on for ages, and if they haven't affected you in some way in the past, you are either very lucky or in denial.

As for the agency model, I don't want the publishers or authors to go bankrupt. But it is starting to look like politics... and usually behind the politics is money, and greed.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:37 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
...
As a consumer do you want a market place where all the goods you buy have the price set by the manufacturer? If you want to buy a new Ford Mustang it doesn't matter what dealer you go to it costs the same price?
....
As a consumer, if I'd be sure that the price is reasonable I would be happy in a situation like this. As it is at the moment I never buy electronics or more expensive equipment for the lowest possible price anyway. Service, ease of buying, reputation for after sales care are much more important.

And for things a lot closer to the price of a book, my daily groceries, convenience and shopping experience are a lot more important than lowest price. And in comparable, but not identical products, quality gets an important factor in my decision.

Of course to determine if a price is fair/reasonable competition is useful. But let's see how the market will react.

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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
No discount?
No sale.
Why would a discount be more important to a final fair price? Would it make you happy if the publishers just put an artificially high price on the product and allow the agent to sell with a 'discount'?
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:24 PM   #55
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Re: setting the price of a Ford.

Let's use that to understand what was going on. Everyone knows you don't pay the "sticker price" for a car. But depending on your haggling skills and the dealer's need to sell a car -- the price of a car can vary quite a bit.

But WHAT IF -- Amazon Motors started selling fully loaded, brand new, Ford Focus's for $10,000. Even though Ford charges Amazon Motors $15,000 for the car, and it's sticker price is $30,000. Why should Ford care if Amazon Motors is willing to lose money on every car it sold?

Well...consider that Amazon Motors is the largest seller of Ford cars with near universal name recognition and the ability to sell a car to anybody anywhere? Surely people would be in love with Amazon Motors and the $10,000 price for the car.

What about Ford's other dealers? How are they going to feel about Ford allowing this to happen. For this is no "end of the month" sale to meet a sales goal. This is all the top model cars Ford sells -- all the time. How can Ford expect it's other dealers to keep trying to sell Ford cars in competition with Amazon Motors who's willing to lose money?

PLUS -- people are getting the idea that $10,000 is the proper price for a brand new Ford car. Ford would know that it wouldn't be long before all the other Ford dealers were run out of business and then Amazon could force Ford to sell it's car for LESS than $10,000.

Ok. Make it more clear? $10 has not been the price for new release popular books. McMillian isn't trying to "raise the price of a book" -- they are trying to stop Amazon from turning the entire NYT Bestseller's list into a product that customers are only willing to pay $10 for. No one has been complaining that hardbacks are listed at $25 to $30 and sold "on sale" for $18. People know "I'll wait for the paper back". But with ebooks, Amazon was training people to want the cheap version of the book up front -- destroying the pricing levels that the publishers have already established.

Had Amazon not been wiling to change -- the publishers were going to withhold their ebooks just like they withhold the paper backs. The ANGER over this is PROOF that Amazon had indeed been spoiling the market (from the publisher's perspective).


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Old 03-14-2010, 07:07 AM   #56
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O.O I've never imagined I would see people defending higher prices for books (NYT Bestsellers, those masterpieces of added-value no less). The day has come.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:17 AM   #57
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O.O I've never imagined I would see people defending higher prices for books (NYT Bestsellers, those masterpieces of added-value no less). The day has come.
People are defending reasonable prices for books, and they hope that whatever the publishing industry changes into in the coming years there will be enough money in it to stimulate the creation of the books they like (not necessarily the NYT bestsellers).
Speaking of high prices, speaking as someone who grew up in a smaller language area books in English, and especially in the USA, are incredibly cheap already.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:26 AM   #58
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There is no such thing as a "reasonable price" for a book. Reasonable is as low as possible for a buyer and as high as possible for a seller. The labels of "reasonable", "fair" or "adjusted" can't apply to prices, as it would establish that someone else has the capability of exceeding the value-distributing ability of the market, which is false.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:37 AM   #59
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There is no such thing as a "reasonable price" for a book. Reasonable is as low as possible for a buyer and as high as possible for a seller. The labels of "reasonable", "fair" or "adjusted" can't apply to prices, as it would establish that someone else has the capability of exceeding the value-distributing ability of the market, which is false.
I have not trained as an economist, but I think it should be at least at low as possible for the buyer and a price that will result in the most profit in aggregate for the seller (not necessarily the highest price).
And even than I would guess for example game theory would result in a (prediction for a) reasonable price.

ETA: I think you're also assuming a completely rational consumer, which would not fit at all for books.

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Old 03-14-2010, 09:46 AM   #60
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I have not trained as an economist, but I think it should be at least at low as possible for the buyer and a price that will result in the most profit in aggregate for the seller (not necessarily the highest price).
And even than I would guess for example game theory would result in a (prediction for a) reasonable price.
Game Theory will tell you that, indeed, customers aspire for the lowest price, and sellers for the highest. Obviously, it is the point in which they both agree which will set up the price. However, there is no such thing as "reasonable" price for both parties. As we can see in this case, pirates go to big extremes to circumvent paying (their reasonable price is 0 and only 0), and as we can see as well, corporations and vendors go to big extremes as well to guarantee themselves perpetual incomes (the nighest thing to the value "infinite" is their reasonable price).
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