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Old 05-26-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
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WSJ: Amazon, Penguin Resolve Book-Pricing Dispute

"Amazon.com Inc. and Pearson PLC's Penguin Group (USA) have resolved their differences over the book-pricing model that enables publishers to set their own retail prices. As a result, Penguin is once again making its new titles available to Amazon in the digital format...."



Here's the link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000..._LEFTWhatsNews
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #2
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So..what was the resolution?
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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Looks like Amazon's tactic of cutting all Penguin hardcovers to $9.99 forced the publisher to the bargaining table... Whatever you do, don't devalue those hardcovers!
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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I would rather have the option to buy or not to buy a book based on price such that I can vote with my wallet.
What I dont like it not to even have the option to purchase the eBook because they are in a pissing contest.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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So..what was the resolution?
I'm thinking the resolution is that Penguin gets to set the retail price. Well, at least Random House hasn't joined the price fixing cartel. Yet...
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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Well, let's see...

A new Penguin title released yesterday (5/25) was priced as follows:

Hardcover: $11.69

Kindle: $14.85


If this is the "resolution" then Penguin can keep their books. If they think they are going to force the purchase of paper books, they are sadly mistaken. Not one dime from me. Period.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:40 PM   #7
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I think Penguin in particular is going to have some growing pains with the transition to ebooks, because such a large part of their library is the "Penguin Classics" line, which are public domain works that are completely free in ebook form from sites like Gutenberg, Manybooks, Feedbooks, even Amazon and B&N stores.

How do you compete with that? They'll have to focus on new translations and heavily annotated versions of classics which can provide added value and can be copyrighted as new work.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:09 AM   #8
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Using amazon.com, I'm spot checking from Canada, based on Penguin Canada new releases.

Neil Pasricha - The Book of Awesome: Kindle $11.99; HC $11.69, PB $11.20
Charlaine Harris - Dead in the Family: Kindle $11.99; HC $9.99, PB n/a
JR Ward - Lover Mine: Kindle $12.99; HC $9.99, PB $7.99
Jean Kwok - Girl in Translation: Kindle $16.27; HC $11.69, PB n/a
John Sandford - Storm Prey: Kindle $17.37; HC $9.99, PB n/a
Sarah Blake - The Postmistress: Kindle $10.99; HC $17.13, PB $10.20
Michael Lewis - The Big Short: Kindle $11.99; HC $15.37, PB $10.85

So a few ups and downs. Given the HC or PB also incur a shipping fee of abt $3.50 per title, is competitive with both HC and PB much of the time. But there sure doesn't seem like any rhyme or reason behind the relative pricing of the formats.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:20 AM   #9
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Its a matter of time only with Ipad and other tablet devices coming out the number of ebook buyers will soon out pace the regular book buyers. And if they won't be able to buy ebooks easily and cheaply they will use the darknet.
Its the history of mp3 and its repeating itself
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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Its a matter of time only with Ipad and other tablet devices coming out the number of ebook buyers will soon out pace the regular book buyers. And if they won't be able to buy ebooks easily and cheaply they will use the darknet.
Its the history of mp3 and its repeating itself
you may be right but I do not think so for the following reason. The reason why the music industry went kaput is because the people buying the popular music (which is where the money is) are the young people. they did not want to buy a whole cd for the sake of one song that they heard on the radio. The young tend to be more technologically savvy and not hesitant to go to the darknet. The demographic for the book world is older and either they are not as quite as computer wise or more hesitant to break the law of the land. Also when they buy a book they buy the whole book not a chapter. I am 63+ and while I have learned how to break drm if I so desired or find my way around with torrents I nevertheless choose not to do so. If a book is not available I prefer to buy it in paper either new or used and not get it illegally..

Let me use another example from the music world-classical music. I would venture that there are not many people who prefer classical music who are using ipods. They prefer cd's as do I. And in the world of classical music there is still a thriving market(look at an on line company like Archive that sells classical cds. they do just fine. In the world of classical music it is the small companies that thrive- the big record companys sony emi etc are run by a bunch of corporate honchos who got some mba and they think they can run any company but dont know the difference between Bono and Beethoven. In the old days you had people like Goddard Lieberson at columbia who knew the value of classical music and used profits from pop to underwrite the classical market. In the world of classical music there are smaller companies like Naxos etc who do just fine. The big companies like Emi and decca are merely releasing and repackaging their backlists.

Now in the world of books a similar trend. The book world used to be run by people who knew books not the new wave of mbas who think they are jack of all trades but are truly master of none and care not a whit about literature of any type but just blockbusters and corporate bottom lines. The small publisher( with the ease of electronic publishing) will become prominent players in the book world. Oh so the big 6 will say but it is marketing that will make the books sell. Well think about how do people choose.... they browse they read book reviews either like the NY times or even online sites many of which are quite literate and valuable resources to help the public find the books they want to buy. I know that is what I do

The big 6 publishers are in a panic because they are afraid of any new model and prefer to bury their heads in the sand and don't know how to deal with it. My own view is that they should embrace the ebook technology, open up their backlist and they could make a fortune. 10000 sales of a penny a piece equals one sale of 1000 dollars. Will they be smart? Perhaps. If the people who run the book business decide they are in it because they love it and not because of corporate greed.

I am sure there are many who have differing views but this is just my personal take

By the way I have no involvement with either the music business or the book business... am just a rabid consumer of both

Elihu
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:48 PM   #11
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Another thing that will happen is that this will drive more and more people to the darknet to find ebooks...
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #12
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From Teleread: The Fountainhead for Kindle goes from $9.99 to $27.99; the mmpb is $9.99.

Wow, way to show your plan to fight piracy by "publish[ing] digital content across as many formats as possible, through as many channels, at a fair price" by charging almost $30 for a book that would be in the public domain if the laws it had been published under had stayed in effect.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:28 PM   #13
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Much like one of the justifications for high cigarette taxes I think the high price is an effort to deter young people from taking up Objectivism.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:48 PM   #14
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Much like one of the justifications for high cigarette taxes I think the high price is an effort to deter young people from taking up Objectivism.


elsussman, I agree with everything you say, just not your math. 10000 at a penny is $100.00. Now go back and edit and make me look like an idiot here!

I wouldn't read anything into Penguin's prices at the moment. If they only now have an agreement, I'm sure it'll take time to adjust all of the prices.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:30 PM   #15
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Penguin is a major fail. I doubt time will help them much. It will take the business failing for them to see the light.
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