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View Poll Results: Who do you blame from restricted sales/ delivery of ebooks at seconday sites?
The retailers (Fictionwise, Books on Board, etc) 9 8.74%
The publishers 71 68.93%
Apple/Publisher collusion 35 33.98%
Doesn't apply to me 2 1.94%
The blue one next to the fish 7 6.80%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-05-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
Angst
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Who's at fault in the FW/BoB/eReader breakdown

Five major publishers are in "negotiations" with Fictionwise/Books on Board and other small ebook retailers. Since sales/delivery of ebooks is restriced at these"secondary retailers", who do you blame? If anyone?
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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I dislike the word "blame," as it always seems to put the emphasis on finding fault rather than resolving problems and determining responsibility.

As for who's responsible, I don't think we have enough information to tell. For all we know it could just be that they need more time for everyone's lawyers to go through all the paperwork.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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I don't blame the publishers for wanting to take action they believe is in their best long term interests. I am concerned with the price manipulation going on between Barnes & Noble and its wholly owned subsidary, Fictionwise. I do fear that there has been collusive action between the publishers that leads to anti-competitive behavior.

Why shouldn't Amazon or any retailer have the right to post loss-leaders?
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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As for who's responsible, I don't think we have enough information to tell. For all we know it could just be that they need more time for everyone's lawyers to go through all the paperwork.
True. But the publishers knew that there would be necessary legal review, and failed to properly provide enough time for that, so that still falls in their ballpark.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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I don't blame the publishers for wanting to take action they believe is in their best long term interests. I am concerned with the price manipulation going on between Barnes & Noble and its wholly owned subsidary, Fictionwise. I do fear that there has been collusive action between the publishers that leads to anti-competitive behavior.

Why shouldn't Amazon or any retailer have the right to post loss-leaders?
Ah yes... The 'cutting their noses off to spite their faces' *short-term* policies approach. I've heard there are people who've swallowed this compost heap of a theory as 'logical thinking' on the part of publishers. Me, I don't particularly care for the taste of partially-decomposed compost in the morning.

Derek
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
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I think it's a tie between Apple/Publisher collusion, and the publishers. The publishers knew this was coming, they're the ones that instigated it, yet did not give the retailers time to prepare; and did not themselves implement the feeds that the retailers needed to be able to put this into practice.
As for the Apple angle - the whole reason any of this is happening is that Steve Jobs decided to make a sweet deal with the iPad for the publishers, and now the publishers think they need the same sweet deal everywhere else. I don't care how many times a publisher tells me they make less money with agency pricing, I'll believe it when they show me their bookkeeping department.
Does it worry anyone besides me that now there may (and probably will) be exclusive content on the iPad from those big publishers? The iBooks app is closed, it ONLY works on the iPad.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
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Does it worry anyone besides me that now there may (and probably will) be exclusive content on the iPad from those big publishers? The iBooks app is closed, it ONLY works on the iPad.
No more than it worries me that there's exclusive content only in print, not as ebooks...
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:23 PM   #8
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No more than it worries me that there's exclusive content only in print, not as ebooks...
True enough that. I suppose those you can always buy and scan if you're desperate for an ebook copy. And as yet, anyway, I don't see things being available on iPad that aren't available in print.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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All of these sites knew this was coming. It would have behooved them to put messages on all of thier sites telling customers that they would have to pulled access to the affected books until negotiations were complete.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:55 PM   #10
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I dislike the word "blame," as it always seems to put the emphasis on finding fault rather than resolving problems and determining responsibility.
Equally, afaik, the word "blame" should be used, given we're dealing with a cartel situation.

cfrizz - Sure, that's good PR (and I've pointed this out in other threads). But that doesn't address the cause, which is the agency cartel.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:00 PM   #11
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All of these sites knew this was coming. It would have behooved them to put messages on all of thier sites telling customers that they would have to pulled access to the affected books until negotiations were complete.
Books on Board did exactly that - and got accused of "scare-mongering".
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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The blame has to lie with Apple. If Apple didn't make the deal(s) they did, things would not be so bad now.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
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Well this is just a case of can't please everyone.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:42 PM   #14
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Equally, afaik, the word "blame" should be used, given we're dealing with a cartel situation.

cfrizz - Sure, that's good PR (and I've pointed this out in other threads). But that doesn't address the cause, which is the agency cartel.
For the most part, blame is a term used by people seeking to absolve themselves of responsibility for a situation by means of finding fault and using that to direct the responsibility elsewhere.

I am concerned about higher prices, but I'll accept higher prices for some books if I can get lower prices for others. It's a trade-off. As to agency, I'm a lot more concerned about the prices of the books I'm buying than how they're arrived at.

The other thing one has to look is how much sense it really makes to cater to 5% of your customer base at the expense of the other 95%. Ebooks are a niche market - and that means publishers have to focus their efforts on paper. Right now, that means a publisher that doubles ebook unit sales at the same time they lose 10% of their hardcover unit sales is taking a net loss even if they're priced equally - let alone if the ebooks are priced at 40% of hardcover.

Last edited by Lemurion; 04-06-2010 at 07:50 AM. Reason: close quote
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:18 PM   #15
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It has to be said that the deals done by Apple for iBooks gave the publishers the lever that they needed to browbeat Amazon and the other big sellers.

And this means that Fictionwise is increasingly looking like the first casualty of the launch of the iPad.

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