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.
I’ve written about this before and totally agree, but Joe puts it very well and expands on some of the points very clearly, excellent post, but worrying too:
The question is, which publisher gets the rights? Here the network effects of the Internet kick in. If an author or agent faced with multiple options must determine which publisher to work with, and the author realizes that there will be only one publisher, whose task it will be to serve a global market, then the choice will be to sign with the publisher best equipped to reach the widest market. If the print rights are part of the bargain, as they almost certainly will be, then the advantage goes to the publisher with the strongest print market. A few quick calculations leads the author to conclude that the best publisher — the single publisher for that book throughout the world — will be American or an international publisher such as Oxford University Press with a deep engagement with the Americn marketplace, as the U.S. book market is the world’s largest by far. Globalization and e-books thus extends the reach of all publishers, but not equally. The Internet is not a democracy.
Publishers that serve smaller markets, publishers working in Australia, India, even in the UK, increasingly will find themselves uncompetitive as the national trading barriers come down. This in turn will accelerate the acquisition of smaller publishers based outside the U.S.; those smaller publishers will become editorial units (one might say “be reduced to editorial units”) feeding locally-created products into the international digital publishing machine. Wal-Mart trounces Main Street.
Not confusing at all! Interesting to think through this post and follow the competing agendas, reader’s, author’s, agent’s and publisher’s:
If I sell Title X for North American rights only, then that means the US publisher is only allowed to sell its English version in the US, Canada, US territories (aka Philippines etc), and non-exclusive in select countries in the rest of the world (clearly listed in the contract). Print or ebook. The reason for this is that we want the ability to sell English to UK or ANZ (Australia) separately and UK/ANZ insists on certain “exclusive territories” for its print and electronic edition.
Are you starting to see the problem? If UK/ANZ hasn’t been sold, then no eBook version in English is available in let’s say Denmark because Europe is considered exclusive to UK in terms of selling the English edition.