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Old 04-01-2010, 09:04 PM   #1
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Agency Model pricing -- Anyone else Disgusted?

Can you believe this?

One of the attractions, and rightly so, to ebooks was the expected LOWER prices (no material publishing cost, so the reader saves.)

But of course, greed enters the picture. And now the prices are not only increasing, but Publishers are now getting their way with this "Agency Model pricing."

Basically meaning resellers can't set a price. It was that a reseller could decide to be fair instead of greedy and pass it along to the reader... not any more.

Seriously diminishes the Ebook to me.

In Canada it's already been unfair in print, that is, a book published in the US for $5.99 or $7.99 is $10.99 in Canada (even with near par dollar values).

Ebook helped minimize that unfair policy.

Now, seems they figured out how to stink up this business.

Unbelievable.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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No surprise. After seeing the music industry sink....The publishers will do anything to keep their profits afloat. I prefer the Cory Doctorow or Steve Jordan model, Free or reasonably priced.... Or..... Baen.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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I'm so behind the times, I didn't even know this was happening until today. Thankfully for me, most of the books I read are in the public domain. Unfortunately, the agency pricing might keep it that way for me. It was hard enough for me to justify the cost of purchasing an ereader (justifying it for myself... I have a hard time spending money on anything! ), but with book prices increasing, it will probably be rare that I will buy books. I've had mine for about a month, and so far only purchased 2 books. The rest are all public domain. Although if the prices aren't too bad, hopefully I'll buy one now and then. But to be honest, the main reason I bought it was because of all the great freebies out there! That, and the ability to download books from my library.

Last edited by Davimee; 04-01-2010 at 09:41 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:53 PM   #4
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im mostly in line with davimee's thoughts
and this move will be big for users like us, i think

i think this will negatively adjust the flow of serious interest growth (as opposed to tinkerers and techies)
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:27 PM   #5
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I agree with Davimee. Since I bought my EZ-Reader, I have purchased exactly one book (from Baen). I will continue to comb the public domain sites for good reads, and I will probably buy more from Baen since their prices are more reasonable.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #6
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AGREED..... I mostly read classics,, cheap, free or public domain... have bought a few books....but my main reason for having the reader is to save space, form factor, and save money....
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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Well, let's see what happens with Apple in the picture soon. When they first opened the itunes store, mp3 prices were higher, but as time went on they increasingly became lower, and then they ditched DRM because Steve Jobs dislikes DRM, and when Steve Jobs dislikes something, pray that he does not alter the deal further!. (Note: I don't use the itunes store, so this is a paraphrasing of what I've read on the internet.)

Also this pricing can only be maintained on "new" stuff, and well, libraries will have their ebooks for loan and if the price is the same as paper or less, people will buy paper. Paper can be significantly cheaper if you don't mind overstocks or secondhand. There'll never be overstocks with digital.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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True... there are always work arounds.... and I think publishers may find out, sooner than late, mindset of eBook reader folk is set with certain expectations.

And I did find a lot of my stuff is around for free too (grin)... just hate someone dictating and raising prices.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:12 AM   #9
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I've been reading posts here on MR for awhile and occasionally writing my own. What I recall reading here, expressed in many different ways, is that publishers just don't like ebooks, they are afraid ebook sales will cut too far into pbook sales and are generally reluctant to jump on that bandwagon.

It appears to me that, instead of taking that leap, they are working together to try to make ebooks unpalatable and drive us all back to pbooks. One presumes they are simply blind to how many of us might buy books in all available formats (sometimes the same books...) that give the publishers their profits multiple times. Also how many folks usually or always buy used pbooks and give the publishers nothing at all. Also how many folks don't buy books if they can help it, supporting their local library instead - again, no profit there. Getting silly about pricing is probably not going to make us trot obediently down to the bookstore to buy a pbook - it is going to make us (well, I can't speak for everyone, can I? It is going to make me) look for more sites like Baen that sell good books at a good price and don't put DRM on them. And the ebook sellers are going to get hurt.

No, I can't say I'm particularly happy with this stupidity, and I do question if it is even legal. I have sent an email to the DOJ asking them to look into it. That was probably a waste of time, but at least it didn't waste a stamp!

Let's all go out to Baen and buy a book. I like Robert's new site - but I don't like that the book that I should have bought yesterday for $7.99 is now $13 (yep, one of those 5 publishers). I don't think the publishers are going to get the idea unless we hit their wallets. Unless the DOJ actually does decide it is price fixing and smacks them down.

Pigs fly, right?
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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Nope, not me, I'm not disgusted.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:28 AM   #11
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I for one am disgusted. It is not just that I won't pay more than ten bucks for an ebook, it is more than that. The big six publishers don't want ebooks to take off because their profit margin is not as large and so they intentionally overprice the books with the agency model. This move is bad for the ebook industry even if you are willing to pay over 9.99.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #12
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I'll go along with buying from Baen. They are doing it right.

While there are promotion costs and all of that, I think the publishers are really shooting themselves in the foot here. If e-books were a couple bucks, I'd buy them like candy (more often, actually, since I don't particularly like candy). But, since they are expensive, I've bought exactly 2.

DRM is just a pain, too.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:48 AM   #13
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Not disgusted at all. The new pricing is not outrageous.

I mostly read public domain book, too, but if I want one of the new books, I'll buy it. If I'm not willing to pay that much for it, I'll get it out of the library. Pretty much the way I'm doing it now.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:03 PM   #14
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Maggie -- problem is for some, ebooks were an alternative to being unable to buy books as you would like to, because of the higher costs lately. My example of the almost double cost in Canada for example.

I know I simply can't do it.

It's ok to say we'll go the library, or find freebies.

But that doesn't make it fair or tasteful does it?

We are talking about people who would want to "buy" a book (e or p).

In that context, do you really think it is fair for a small group of publishers to get together and suddenly strong arm the business/marketplace into, in some case, nearly doubling the price of an ebook?

Put it in this context, as a writer, where do you think that extra bunch of dollars per book is going? I can tell you it's not the at best 10% royalties writer (what's that 20-50 cents more for the writer and $2-5 for the publisher who has put out near nothing?)

I like rleguillow's thoughts on this.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:42 PM   #15
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It is perhaps guaranteeing that writers will be able to continue being paid for their work.

And publishers do a lot more than readers know about, really.

I think it's still way too early to make proclamations about the new paradigm. It's been two days. Wait and see how things shake out. It's still not clear whether things will be better for the consumer or not.

Also, for me "lower pricing" has never really been the attraction of ebooks. It's been the convenience and not having to store them. So obviously I'm going to have a different opinion than others. It has always seemed to me to be dangerous to depend upon any retailer for continuing to support artificially low prices.

I am certainly not having a hard time finding stuff to read. More the opposite problem, really!

Last edited by MaggieScratch; 04-02-2010 at 02:45 PM.
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