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Old 05-03-2020, 03:47 PM   #106
ZodWallop
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
Amazon's goal is to be a PUBLISHER.
Goal? Amazon already is a publisher, with several imprints. I have several books published by their Thomas and Mercer and 47 North imprints.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:31 PM   #107
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Sorry I left out, "the biggest".
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:42 AM   #108
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Very few of the many dozens of Kindle titles on my wishlist have changed price. It's really disappointing and I too hope for an investigative follow up from journalists. Yes, the government was hoping to spin a little positivity their way in the midst of this pandemic, but absolutely the intention was for eBooks to fall in price, and as the biggest seller of eBooks, it is not unreasonable to have expected to see wholesale reductions on Amazon.

It is beyond the pale that publishers can set prices in this way. They cannot set prices for physical products in brick and mortar stores... They can only recommend a suggested selling price. Nintendo fell foul of these rules back in the 90s and since then have never openly even suggested a selling price for their products in Europe.

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Old 05-04-2020, 04:51 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by stumped View Post
So, if that is true, then where the retail price is unchanged, Amazon is pocketing 30% of what was the vat, and publisher is pocketing the other 70%. Or to put it another way, they are keeping the 20% that previously went to the govt. Which the govt intended to give back to the public as a price reduction.

If so, they are both morally repugnant.
The retailers like Amazon and Kobo have no say in this whatsoever, for agency ebooks. They are selling at the price the publishers have set. There is nothing else they can do.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:40 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
The retailers like Amazon and Kobo have no say in this whatsoever, for agency ebooks. They are selling at the price the publishers have set. There is nothing else they can do.
Then they need to come out and say what's going on. Put the blame on the publisher (where it belongs) and make them the bad guys so maybe they'll be shamed into dropping the price.

The reason for dropping VAT on eBooks was to make eBooks cheaper so they will be more affordable and thus hopefully more people would be reading. But that's not happening. The prices are staying the same in most shops.

Do the publishers not understand why there is a VAT removal on eBooks?
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:05 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
Sorry I left out, "the biggest".
That's not going to happen.

That's Bertlesmann and they'll keep on buying up roadkill the world over to accumulate ever larger regional operations.

Amazon's goal is to become the most *profitable* publisher. And they're already there. They don't publish as many titles as the BPHs but what they publish *sells*. Look at the top seller list at Amazon and it is dominated by APub titles month after month. And their books keep on selling well past the three month launch window.

The way they got there was with finesse, not shoveling random stuff out like the BPHs. (The randy Penguin puts out 30,000-plus titles a year, in the US alone). They are the biggest publisher of translated international titles by inviting agents of local best sellers to big for APub translation contracts. They are now so big and so profitable that established authors come to them.

Adding more titles is adding chum so they're not likely to bid for S&S or any other vulnerable publisher out there.

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-04-2020 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:35 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
The retailers like Amazon and Kobo have no say in this whatsoever, for agency ebooks. They are selling at the price the publishers have set. There is nothing else they can do.
And they have no say on what the government intentions may or not have been.
If the long term result of this is more money to the publishers it's not their doing but rather the publishers'. And governments enduring stupidity; year after year tbey keep forgetting the Law of Unintended Consequences...

https://whatis.techtarget.com/defini...d-consequences

...and they forget that humans aren't lemmings who blindly do only what the IdiotPoliticians™ intend but rather act in service of their own best interests.

Having allowed publishers to control the pricing retailers can charge consumers instead of only the price retailers pay retailers, governments (and their supporters) can't now turn around and complain when publishers set prices to benefit *their* policies and retailers have no say.

Now, add in that agency was *intended* to prevent retailer discounting and ensure ebook consumers pay as much as possible to minimize ebook adoption and protect print book volume.

What are the odds those same publishers will drop prices to increase ebook sales?

Seriously, the government types should have known better. Agency is tbe gift that keeps on giving.

Whatever they thought (or claim) they were doing, what they did was give publishers more leeway on retail prices and profits, especially the latter.

Laws don't work in a vaccum: having VATed ebooks for years they created a pricing baseline that people got used to paying. And since the VAT tax is hidden inside the price consumers see (and publishers control) there is no incentive for publishers to drop those prices. The books sold as desired at tbe VAT-ed price, they'll keep on selling equally well without it. But more profitably.

If instead of hiding the VAT in the price it were added at checkout, the way sales taxes are, eliminating the government's take would automatically drop the consumer cost. But as is, the retailer has no power; Agency made sure of that.

Folks can rant and rave against Amazon and Kobo all they want.
The only response they'll get is a shrug.

Governments are run by lawyers, not techies or business types; they can hardly be expected to understand things like interlocking systems, driver functions, or Unintended Consequences. It's all too complicated for their pretty little (photo op) heads..

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-04-2020 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:38 AM   #113
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However, we can vote with out wallets and not buy any eBooks that are not VAT reduced.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:51 AM   #114
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Quote:
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Do the publishers not understand why there is a VAT removal on eBooks?
Of course they do.
It's so they now can have four-martini lunches instead of three.

It's their domain not ours.
For now.

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Old 05-04-2020, 12:06 PM   #115
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However, we can vote with out wallets and not buy any eBooks that are not VAT reduced.
Well, you can't. Not living in the UK and all...
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:13 PM   #116
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Well, you can't. Not living in the UK and all...
I can.

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Old 05-04-2020, 05:24 PM   #117
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The objective of this measure is to support literacy and reading in all its forms.
That says nothing how the support for literacy is meant to be. Publishers are suffering too. Not every lost pbook sale due to the virus will result in the same book being sold as ebook. It is a chance to have a higher profit margin on ebook sales when end cost to consumer is concerned. The publisher has more wiggle room to maximize profits. That is the only thing they are interested in. If the publishers choose to keep the prices the same to offset the less profit from pbook sales, so be it.

They can, without lying, claim that it is to benefit the royalties paid out to the authors. Without authors there is no books. And I will applaud them for trying to spin it that way. The only ones truly benefitting are the Indies and publishers that are willing to pass on the savings. Especially those that only publish ebooks.

Price fixing didn't work out so well last time, I wouldn't mind if they shoot themselves in the foot again.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:30 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by DuckieTigger View Post
That says nothing how the support for literacy is meant to be. Publishers are suffering too. Not every lost pbook sale due to the virus will result in the same book being sold as ebook. It is a chance to have a higher profit margin on ebook sales when end cost to consumer is concerned. The publisher has more wiggle room to maximize profits. That is the only thing they are interested in. If the publishers choose to keep the prices the same to offset the less profit from pbook sales, so be it.

They can, without lying, claim that it is to benefit the royalties paid out to the authors. Without authors there is no books. And I will applaud them for trying to spin it that way. The only ones truly benefitting are the Indies and publishers that are willing to pass on the savings. Especially those that only publish ebooks.

Price fixing didn't work out so well last time, I wouldn't mind if they shoot themselves in the foot again.
And from the same paragraph:

Quote:
... to reduce the cost of access to online publications during these challenging times when many people are confined to their homes and schools are closed
I would guess again that this was aimed at reader side of things more than the producer side of things.

Here in the states, they are giving aid to businesses, anything similar going on in the UK that the publishers could use vs raising prices?
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:03 PM   #119
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And from the same paragraph:


I would guess again that this was aimed at reader side of things more than the producer side of things.

Here in the states, they are giving aid to businesses, anything similar going on in the UK that the publishers could use vs raising prices?
Supply and demand still applies. There is no right to read (for free). Now would be a good chance for publishers to embrace ebooks by lowering the prices. If they are actually interested, that is. They much rather wait this storm out until they can bounce back to their printing. They already made abundantly clear that they do not wish to compete on price. The more they embrace ebooks the more marketshare they will lose. If they don't, they may lose marketshare anyway.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:26 PM   #120
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... There is no right to read (for free). ...
Did someone say there was? I thought we were talking about the intent of the VAT reduction (from the government's point of view).
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