This won’t hurt Apple much financially, even if successful, but the legacy of the Agency Pricing move is still damaging Apple and publishers. As I’ve said it was a stupid move that put publishers on the wrong side of consumers which while attractive in the short term was incredibly damaging in the medium to long term:
Apple has received a new damages claim of over $840 million dollars for conspiring with publishing companies to raise the price of ebooks across the entire industry. The claim, filed Friday in New York by an attorney leading a class action lawsuit on behalf of ebooks customers in 33 states, stems from the US Justice Department\’s successful antitrust lawsuit against Apple that took place in the summer of 2013. Using evidence presented during the course of that trial last year, attorney Steve Berman begins by arguing that Apple owes American ebooks customers a bare minimum of $231 million in damages, and probably far more money than that.
via Apple hit with $840 million damages claim for ebooks price fixing | The Verge.
Interesting piece by Patrick Crowley on pricing for different territories:
On the face of it, McDonald’s overall pricing objective is to increase market share, whereas for publishers it tends to be achieving short term return on investment. Bearing in mind that some markets are mature than others, and can hold higher prices than others, we recommend that publishers should consider varying their eBook pricing appropriately. In general, we find that the US can hold a higher price point than the UK, and still be competitive. This means setting your price a price of x and just doing the currency calculations, means you are missing out on opportunities to maximize your revenue.
via How International Pricing Strategy Affects Publisher Profitability | ePubDirect.
Interesting piece on price I found via: Book2Book earlier today
The marginal-cost-is-all argument also fails to take into account copyright law, which essentially grants each new work a sort of miniature monopoly. If I write a book about something, you can’t republish it unless I give the okay, or unless it’s 70 years after I kick the bucket and the copyright expires. You can argue about whether copyrights are too long or too restrictive, but we grant them so creators and investors do the creating and investing they otherwise would do much less of if anyone could profit off their work. Just because a product is digital doesn’t mean it’s infinitely abundant—as long as the law is enforced.
via Whats the right price for ebooks? updated : CJR.
Meant to talk about this before. Frankly it’s a sensible and savvy move, like nearly everything Angry Robot/Osprey do.
Why books need to be substantial in a digital environment I don’t now. In fact brevity may now be a key winning element. That’s mostly the logic behind my own recent titles at The Irish Story.
The pricing is keen too, which I think makes them even more tempting!
On December 1st 2010, Angry Robot will be launching “Nano Editions”. Exclusive to the publisher’s own webstore at angryrobotstore.com, Nanos are digital short stories by Angry Robot novelists, sold at sensible prices in ePub format, ready to load onto the world’s most popular eBook readers.
Most Nanos will be in the 5,000 – 15,000 word range. Shorter works than that will be automatically bundled with another story to ensure value for money.
Talking of which – stories will cost just 59p each (approximately US $0.95). Readers can bundle a collection of any 10 by any combination of authors, for only £3.49 (US$5.59). The files will be DRM-free and available worldwide. If demand for the stories takes off, AR plan to also sell them via eBook retailers.
via Introducing the new Angry Robot digital short story store :: Angry Robot Books.
Great post by Kassia. She’s always on the money!
What is a book worth? Well, there’s list price created by the publisher. That seems to be the value referenced by publishers. Then there’s the price consumers actually pay. That gets more complicated, of course. You have to break it down to various levels including the price for the first sale and the price for the second sale. Library patrons pay a different price; we call that “property tax”.
Oh, and then there are the books acquired for free.
This is what I think about when I hear publishers talking about this, that, or the other devaluing the price of content. And by devaluing content, they really mean consumers paying far less than publishers would like. This is absolutely a valid concern.
via A Question of Value | Booksquare.
You have to wonder how long this can go on for and who is going to lose. The sense I get is it sure won’t be Amazon, but it VERY WELL may be the Publishers!
However, another senior publisher attacked the pricing strategies of W H Smith and Amazon. He said: “It’s absolutely absurd to devalue our product but I’m not surprised because our industry is populated by nincompoops.”
He said Amazon’s move could make the agency model less attractive to publishers. He said: “In this instance, on the wholesale model, publishers are fine because it is retailers taking the pain. If we say a book is £10 and you get 40% discount, we get £6. If the retailer chooses to sell it for £2, we’re still all right.”
A review of e-book prices undertaken by The Bookseller shows that Amazon and WHS are offering the lowest prices. Kindle and WHS e-books are also significantly cheaper than their counterparts on Apple’s iBookstore, where prices are set by the publisher.
via E-book price war “absurd” | theBookseller.com.