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Posts tagged agency pricing

Open letter to the Big Six publishers: Have you learned anything?
July 13, 2013 | 1:37 am

The publishing industry is all screwed up, and whose fault is that? Perhaps at least partly the fault of all the publishing execs who are stepping down right around now, blogger Agent Orange suggests in a post on FutureBook entitled “The Elephant in the Graveyard.” While they did great things in their time, they were too inculcated in the culture of bricks and mortar to be able to adapt to the potential of an electronic world. When the paradigm shifted, which significantly predates the global recession - Amazon first turned a profit way back in 2002...

The Apple e-book decision reaction roundup: Schadenfreude a go-go!
July 12, 2013 | 4:55 am

It’s been pretty fun, not to mention instructive, to read the various reactions to the e-book verdict over the last day or so. Sometimes it feels like I’ve wandered into a production of Rashomon. For example, AllThingsD summarizes the thoughts of anti-trust lawyers it asked for comment: Apple argued that the facts show no conspiracy in restraint of trade. But Cote found that the company’s actions were a per se violation of antitrust law. In other words, they were inherently illegal, so there was no need to prove that they had any anticompetitive effect on the...

Mike Shatzkin discusses publishers, agency royalties, books on shelves, and publisher relevance
June 27, 2013 | 9:15 am

Publishing industry veteran and consultant Mike Shatzkin weighs in on the agency royalty mess I mentioned a little while ago. He elaborates on what Brian DeFiore said about how the most successful authors are largely exempt from this, because their advances are calculated to come out to more money than their expected sales should generate, and discusses the agent community reaction to these revelations. The publishing industry is facing a hardscrabble battle with retailers for profit margins on book sales—since the less money the publisher makes, the more the store can make, and vice versa. Lest you thought Amazon...

Do agency-priced e-book royalties rob the authors?
June 24, 2013 | 10:18 pm

How does agency pricing affect author royalties? Sharp-eyed blogger Brian DeFiore spotted a clue in a slide from HarperCollins’s latest investors’ meeting pointing out that, under agency pricing and the now-standard 25% e-book royalty, publishers are making considerably more and authors considerably less for each agency-priced e-book sale than for each hardcover sale. $27.99 hardcover generates $5.67 profit to publisher and $4.20 royalty to author $14.99 agency priced e-book generates $7.87 profit to publisher and $2.62 royalty to author. So, in other words, at these average price points, every time...

The Apple trial, agency pricing, and The Battle of $9.99
June 21, 2013 | 10:28 pm

large_battle5So, arguments wrapped up today in the Department of Justice’s anti-trust case against Apple. Juli Monroe has already done an excellent job of pulling out some slides from the Powerpoint shows and noting what the wavy lines on the charts mean. Over on Fortune, Philip Elmer-Dewitt covers the arguments in a more general sense, with a summary that is well worth reading. There’s really not much point in reiterating the arguments in great detail here; Elmer-Dewitt does a good enough job, and really nothing new came out today that hasn’t been said over the last couple of weeks. (Also,...

DOJ Wraps Up Case Against Apple
June 21, 2013 | 4:40 pm

AppleThe Department of Justice has wrapped up its case against Apple, complete with a 119-count slide deck. If you're into that sort of thing, it's worth a look. By the way, although All Things D had the final Apple slide deck as well, it appears to be gone now. If someone can point me to it, please let me know. I'd like to take a look, for comparison purposes. I've got no legal training, so I could only look at it from a layperson's perspective, and mostly I thought they'd made a good case. There were several slides that particularly caught my...

Apple anti-trust case hinges on ‘Most Favored Nation’ clause
June 7, 2013 | 11:46 pm

In case you hadn’t noticed, the trial of Apple on serving as the ringleader for the agency pricing trust has just closed out its first week, with an expected two more to go. Fortune has a decent recap of the issues at stake, as well as some cogent analysis of why this case could very well go to the Supreme Court. It appears the case may not be quite as cut-and-dried as Judge Cote’s pre-trial remarks suggested. Another Fortune piece suggests she may be beginning to see some things Apple’s way. It appears the ruling is going to...

Baen soon coming to iBooks, finally posts announcements of changes to web site
January 24, 2013 | 8:13 pm

A month and a half since Baen made the jump to Amazon availability, the publisher is about to add another feather to its cap. On her forum on the Baen Bar, publisher Toni Weisskopf has mentioned that Baen e-books will soon be available DRM-free in Apple’s iBooks store. A formal announcement will be made when the exact timeframe has been nailed down. As with the current Amazon deal, EARCs and monthly discount bundles will continue to be exclusive to Baen. The time since the program happened has seen some minor controversy erupt on the Baen Bar. After December 15th,...

TeleRead’s E-Book Market Predictions for 2013
December 12, 2012 | 10:13 pm

It's that time of year! Everyone from fellow bloggers to publishers themselves are coming out with predictions for what the coming year will bring the e-book world. So what do we at TeleRead predict? Here are some trends to keep an eye on. 1. The international market will rise significantly Amazon and Barnes & Noble may dominate the U.S. market, but Kobo is the market share leader in Canada, and is gaining ground in other markets where it is partnering with major retail chains and often being the first on the scene. Amazon is taking notice and beginning to localize its popular Kindle store. First,...

Antitrust experts say publishing is not a special case
October 31, 2012 | 10:30 am

Do publishers deserve special treatment from anti-trust courts? Paid Content reports on antitrust experts who said no at a New York book event this week: “There’s never been a defendant sued for antitrust who didn’t think their market was special,” said Chris Sagers of Cleveland State University, adding that “agency pricing”  (a commission-style pricing system used by the publishers to check Amazon) is just another word for price-fixing. This is basically in line with the arguments the Department of Justice made in its response to public comments, and its arguments in the hearings concerning whether the proposed settlement should go through; Judge Denise...

RoyaltyShare founder Bob Kohn appeals denial of his right to appeal DoJ agency pricing settlement
October 12, 2012 | 9:52 pm

Bob KohnI’m a little late, but I wanted to bring up just one story that popped up between the times I was at The Digital Reader and here. I’ve been following the saga of RoyaltyShare founder Bob Kohn at length with some interest and more than a little amusement. (That's Kohn in the photo to the right.)  Though he doesn’t necessary have a direct stake in the case’s outcome, Kohn has nonetheless been filing verbose comments, legal motions, and even a comic book (as a legal motion) in an attempt to head off the Department of Justice’s proposed agency pricing settlement....

The public outcry over J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel, and the important lesson publishers can learn from it
September 27, 2012 | 7:22 pm

Boxes of J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults, Casual Vacancy, being unpacked at a bookstoreJ.K. Rowling's first adult novel hit stores (and e-book readers) today, and almost immediately, the lukewarm reviews trickled in—not for the content of the book itself, but for the Kindle formatting: a glitch on the tech end (which this article attributes to an unspecified 'issue' on the end of Hachette, the publisher) made it impossible for Kindle readers to adjust the font size to their preference. You had to read it in either Really Big or Teeny Tiny, with no in between. Curiously mixed in with these complaints was an outcry over the e-book price: $17.99, based on a discount off the...