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Doug_Pardee
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Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

Two weeks after the 'Agency Model' went into effect, most e-bookstores serving the US and Canada are still limited in their selection from the 'Agency 5' publishers. The following information is based on spot-checks, and I can't guarantee it's absolutely correct.

 

Barnes & Noble and Kobo seem to have everything.

 

Amazon (which nook can't use anyway) has everything except recent Penguin titles like Jim Butcher's Changes. Amazon continues to sell older Penguin titles under the 'Amazon sets the price' rules, giving them a price advantage on those titles.

 

Sony seems to have everything except Simon & Schuster titles.

 

eBooks.com seems to have everything except MacMillan and Simon & Schuster titles.

 

BooksOnBoard only seems to have HarperCollins titles.

 

Diesel only seems to have some Hachette titles, and those are discounted???? For example, David Baldacci's First Family is publisher-priced at $14.99, but Diesel lists the EPUB at $9.51 with a 33-cent rebate on your next order.

 

Fictionwise and Powell's don't seem to have any Agency 5 titles yet.

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swandy
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

For those who are interested, apparently the non "Axis" publisher, Random House, still has not come to an agreement with Apple as it appears that none of their ebooks (though I only checked for John Saul because I like him) are listed in the iBookstore.

Seems that they do carry the other major publishers. Not sure about some of the smaller, independent ones.

So - if one were to get an iPad and download the Kindle app (and the B&N one when they finally release it) you would have access to just about every publisher. And since many of the small, independent ones also release their ebooks in EPUB format, that is readible in iBooks also. (Too bad that the Kindle and B&N apps apparently can only download books that you purchased directly from their online accounts. Guess that is one advantage of the Kindle - the ability to "side load" books from other sources. iBooks requires you to load the books through iTunes and apparently will only do so for the same format - EPUB - that Apple is using.)

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keriflur
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

Are Random House and Apple still in negotiations?  I had thought that Random House turned them down and that was the end of it.

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mykoffee
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

keriflur wrote:

Are Random House and Apple still in negotiations?  I had thought that Random House turned them down and that was the end of it.

 

That's what I heard,  I hope they don't change their mind,  I'm counting on them to stay reasonable with their ebook prices!

 

On the other hand,  I'm starting to wonder if Amazon is still in negotiations with Penguin, or if that's that.  This article from April 1st has kind of a final feel to it.   If so, I wonder why Amazon would refuse Penguin's terms and yet accept the others?  I've actually found Penguin still to be reasonable in price compared to the others.  I'm hoping that doesn't change if an agreement is made.

 

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100401/FREE/100409996/0/FREE

 

Linda

 

 

 

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keriflur
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

[ Edited ]

I've found Penguin to be the most confused.  Some of their stuff is very reasonable (prices for Charlaine Harris' older books), but some of it is off the wall (Ayn Rand for $28).  I don't think they have any idea what they're doing.  Granted, in many cases that kind of confusion works out for the consumer, but maybe it's not working for Amazon.

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BeckyWC
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

Unlike Barnes and Noble when you purchase an ebook at Amazon they will refund your money up to I believe 5 or 7 days.  I'm wondering if Penguin has an issue with that, but then again who knows.

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mykoffee
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

BeckyWC wrote:

Unlike Barnes and Noble when you purchase an ebook at Amazon they will refund your money up to I believe 5 or 7 days.  I'm wondering if Penguin has an issue with that, but then again who knows.

 

 

Exactly how do you go about doing that?  I purchased an ebook from Amazon and then realized it was available free elsewhere - d'oh!  I had heard they took returns on ebooks but could find no link at all to how to go about doing so.   Tried the order page, no button to return, tried their help pages,  couldn't find a thing on returning ebooks.

 

Linda

 

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BeckyWC
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

[ Edited ]
mykoffee wrote:

BeckyWC wrote:

Unlike Barnes and Noble when you purchase an ebook at Amazon they will refund your money up to I believe 5 or 7 days.  I'm wondering if Penguin has an issue with that, but then again who knows.

 

 

Exactly how do you go about doing that?  I purchased an ebook from Amazon and then realized it was available free elsewhere - d'oh!  I had heard they took returns on ebooks but could find no link at all to how to go about doing so.   Tried the order page, no button to return, tried their help pages,  couldn't find a thing on returning ebooks.

 

Linda

 

 

You have to call Customer Service they are really good about removing it from your bookshelf and crediting your CC.

Doug_Pardee
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Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

[ Edited ]

[Strikeouts removed from previous report. Underlines added from previous report.]

 

Two Four weeks after the 'Agency Model' went into effect, most e-bookstores serving the US and Canada are still limited in their selection from the 'Agency 5' publishers. The following information is based on spot-checks, and I can't guarantee it's absolutely correct. The only significant change in availability over the past two weeks is that Sony is now carrying Simon & Schuster titles.

 

Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo seem to have everything.

 

Amazon (which nook NOOK can't use anyway) has everything except recent Penguin titles like Jim Butcher's Changes, J.R. Ward's Lover Mine, and Charlaine Harris's Dead in the Family (being released on Tuesday). Amazon continues to sell older Penguin titles under the 'Amazon sets the price' rules, giving them a price advantage on those titles.

 

Sony seems to have everything except Simon & Schuster titles.

 

eBooks.com seems to have everything except MacMillan and Simon & Schuster titles.

 

BooksOnBoard only seems to have HarperCollins titles.

 

Diesel only seems to have some Hachette titles, and those are discounted???? For example, David Baldacci's First Family is publisher-priced at $14.99 $8.99, but Diesel lists the EPUB at $9.51 with a 33-cent rebate $8.36 with a 29-cent rebate on your next order.

 

Fictionwise and Powell's don't seem to have any Agency 5 titles yet.

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jnicho
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

Doug, thanks for these updates.  They are very helpful.

Doug_Pardee
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The state of the e-book sales business

I have to say, I'm stunned at the lack of recovery over the past month.:smileysurprised:

 

I'd figured it'd be a couple of weeks of disruption for most storefronts as they reworked contracts with OverDrive and Ingram. Here we are, almost a month later, and we still only have three (3) e-book stores that carry e-book titles from all of the 'Big 6' publishing houses (for the US/Canada market). From a distance, it appears to me that neither OverDrive nor Ingram is currently supplying 'Agency 5' titles in significant quantities if at all; eBooks.com looks like it might be sourcing from Waterstones.

 

The crippled state of the e-book store business is a worrying sign. In a couple of months, Google is expected to open their e-book store, Google Editions, with a catalog of e-books considerably larger than even Amazon's and a promise that the e-books you buy there won't become unusable as e-book technology moves forward. I don't know how big a dent Google Editions is really going to make, but if I were running an e-book store I'd want to be in as strong a position as possible.

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sub_rosa
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Re: The state of the e-book sales business

Thanks for the reports, Doug - great work.  The Baldacci book you mentioned was $14.99 not long ago, and now it's down to $8.99.  It's one of those that's out in mass market and was released a year ago.  This really highlights the arbitrary, seemingly haphazard nature of Hachette pricing.  If their strategy on most high-interest fiction books is to price at $14.99 for the first year then they have no chance at being competitive in the eBook market and a very good chance at being the most pirated company in the industry.

 

 


Don't buy from Random House, Macmillan, or Penguin until the agency model is COMPLETELY dead.
Doug_Pardee
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Diesel carrying Penguin titles again - maybe

[ Edited ]

Diesel's blog today says that they're now carrying Penguin titles, the first of the 'Agency 5' that they've managed to bring on board. This follows on an announcement from almost two weeks ago that they'd worked a deal with Penguin, which followed an announcement from almost two weeks before that that they were finalizing a deal to bring one 'Agency 5' publisher on board who couldn't yet be named.

 

The latest blog entry specifically mentions Sookie Stackhouse titles as being available, but things are kind of weird. Some of those titles are showing as discounted (Dead Until Dark), and others say that they're not available due to the changeover to agency pricing (Dead as a Doornail). The most recent entry, Dead in the Family, is listed as only being in MOBI format, for $25.95 (!!!), and not available anyway.

 

I have no idea what's going on over there at Diesel. They still seem to have some Hachette titles available with discounts, such as the previously mentioned David Baldacci's First Family, which is now up slightly to $8.54 with 30-cent rebate for the EPUB format.

 

If you're in the market for a Penguin or Hachette title, you might stick your nose in at Diesel and see if maybe they have it available at a discount (which they shouldn't).

 

Added: From the sounds of it, they're not expecting to get any of the other Agency Model publishing houses on board in the near future. They had some harsh words for those houses in another blog posting from today.

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sub_rosa
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Re: Diesel carrying Penguin titles again - maybe

Doug_Pardee wrote:

Diesel's blog today says that they're now carrying Penguin titles, the first of the 'Agency 5' that they've managed to bring on board. This follows on an announcement from almost two weeks ago that they'd worked a deal with Penguin, which followed an announcement from almost two weeks before that that they were finalizing a deal to bring one 'Agency 5' publisher on board who couldn't yet be named.

Thanks for the update, Doug.  I did a quick check and it appears that Diesel has the Penguin-published Ayn Rand books for sale.  For those of you just dying to read Ayn's "Atlas Shrugged" and/or "The Fountainhead" on your Nook - you can get them for $16 each at Diesel.  Of course, they're both still $27.99 at B&N.

 

So much for the stability and uniformity in pricing that the agency model was supposed to bring to the eBook market...

 


Don't buy from Random House, Macmillan, or Penguin until the agency model is COMPLETELY dead.
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JustTrish
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Re: Diesel carrying Penguin titles again - maybe

[ Edited ]

 

sub_rosa wrote:
Thanks for the update, Doug.  I did a quick check and it appears that Diesel has the Penguin-published Ayn Rand books for sale.  For those of you just dying to read Ayn's "Atlas Shrugged" and/or "The Fountainhead" on your Nook - you can get them for $16 each at Diesel.  Of course, they're both still $27.99 at B&N.

So much for the stability and uniformity in pricing that the agency model was supposed to bring to the eBook market...

 

 

 

LOL - I'll pass on the Ayn Rand, but I am delighted that continuous discussion on ebook pricing is starting to show positive effect.!!!

 

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sub_rosa
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Re: Diesel carrying Penguin titles again - maybe

JustTrish wrote:

 

LOL - I'll pass on the Ayn Rand...

 

You and me both, Trish.  I think I'd rather be waterboarded than read that stuff, but it's a great example of wacko agency pricing.

 


Don't buy from Random House, Macmillan, or Penguin until the agency model is COMPLETELY dead.
ckd
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ckd
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

I still haven't been able to get a clear answer on why Fictionwise, since it's now a part of B&N, can't carry all the same books B&N does.  I'd have to guess it has something to do with the whole agency model kerfluffle (and the closing down of their Buywise Club), but there's basically no communication coming out except for form-letter replies of "we're working on it".

 

Between that, the lack of updates to the FW version of eReader (except to update copyright notices to include B&N), reported responses that there won't be an iPad version of the FW eReader, the fact that the only way to load FW (or Peanut Press/eReader) books into the B&N version of eReader is to go through a barely-documented process involving "bnereader:" URLs, and the actual disappearance of books I'd already purchased from FW...I am feeling like B&N bought Fictionwise just to get the eReader technology, and would rather let the shambling zombie corpse of the FW ebookstore stagger along until it falls over dead rather than offer any meaningful support to the "early adopters" among us with over 300 books purchased from Peanut Press/eReader/Fictionwise.

 

That doesn't exactly make me want to buy a NOOK or any ebooks from the B&N store; who knows how long B&N will support those?

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bklvr896
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

 

ckd wrote:

I still haven't been able to get a clear answer on why Fictionwise, since it's now a part of B&N, can't carry all the same books B&N does.  I'd have to guess it has something to do with the whole agency model kerfluffle (and the closing down of their Buywise Club), but there's basically no communication coming out except for form-letter replies of "we're working on it".

 

Between that, the lack of updates to the FW version of eReader (except to update copyright notices to include B&N), reported responses that there won't be an iPad version of the FW eReader, the fact that the only way to load FW (or Peanut Press/eReader) books into the B&N version of eReader is to go through a barely-documented process involving "bnereader:" URLs, and the actual disappearance of books I'd already purchased from FW...I am feeling like B&N bought Fictionwise just to get the eReader technology, and would rather let the shambling zombie corpse of the FW ebookstore stagger along until it falls over dead rather than offer any meaningful support to the "early adopters" among us with over 300 books purchased from Peanut Press/eReader/Fictionwise.

 

That doesn't exactly make me want to buy a NOOK or any ebooks from the B&N store; who knows how long B&N will support those?

 

 

Just because B&N acquired it doesn't mean it's a part of B&N, it is something B&N owns.  According to the Fictionwise FAQ, the founders of Fictionw wise, will continue run the Fictionwise websites as a separate business unit within Barnes & Noble.

 

And then it goes back to the agency model and contracts and where Fictionwise gets it books from.  

 

If you have the Fictionwise books downloaded, you can sideload them to your Nook. About the only formats the Nook won't take is Kindle and Mobipocket.  (Some correct me if I'm wrong on that).  I've never purchased anything from Fictionwise, but I've purchased books from Kobo, Sony, Deisel and Waterstones with no problem.

 

Doug_Pardee
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Fictionwise and B&N

B&N has taken a hands-off approach to Fictionwise/eReader. They haven't even told them to add the NOOK to the list of devices that can read e-books bought from those sites.

 

Fictionwise does as it pleases. It sources its books from distributors as it always has, and all of the e-book stores that worked with distributors have been cut off from the 'Agency 5' e-books.

 

There's also some question in my mind whether Fictionwise, which has sort-of billed itself as a discount e-book site, has any interest in messing with the fixed-price 'Agency Model' e-books. But that's just personal speculation.

 

ckd wrote:

the only way to load FW (or Peanut Press/eReader) books into the B&N version of eReader is to go through a barely-documented process involving "bnereader:" URLs

What? It's nothing like that at all.

 

Click on "My Library". Click on "My Stuff". Click on "Add new item". Navigate to the PDB file and click "Open".

 

Pretty darned straightforward if you ask me.

 

ckd wrote:

and the actual disappearance of books I'd already purchased from FW

 

This is what happens when a distributor stops supplying. Fictionwise went through this last year when OverDrive Content Reserve quit supplying Fictionwise. Fictionwise specifically states that it only guarantees that you'll be able to download your e-book for one hour after you purchase it.

 

All of the other small e-book stores have the same problem. As noted above, Diesel is just now getting e-books from one of the 'Agency 5' publishing houses; the other four publishers are apparently not going to be available from Diesel any time soon. BooksOnBoard has managed to get HarperCollins titles, but that's all so far. The last I checked, Powell's didn't have any.

 

The fundamental problem is that the 'Agency Model' gives 30% to the dealer, 70% to the publisher, and 0% to the distributor. For some reason, that makes the distributors uninterested in continuing to handle e-books for those publishers. The dealers now have to either work deals with the distributors to kick back some of the 30%, or have to work deals directly with the publishers. And guess what? The distributors and publishers are swamped with dealers needing to work new deals.

 

ckd wrote:

That doesn't exactly make me want to buy a NOOK or any ebooks from the B&N store; who knows how long B&N will support those?

 

Again, Fictionwise is on its own. B&N doesn't interfere with them. Don't judge B&N by what Fictionwise/eReader is doing.

 

The NOOK is able to use e-books from almost everybody but Amazon. If you buy non-DRMed e-books or Adobe EPUB e-books, you can use them on a wide range of devices and apps.

 

Buying e-books from B&N is a bigger gamble. The eReader PDB versions can be read on the NOOK, the Ectaco Jetbook Lite, the Foxit eSlick, and on the B&N/FW/eReader apps for the various platforms. The EPUB versions currently can only be read on the NOOK and on B&N eReader apps for the PC, Mac, and iPhone.

 

Finally, I'll note that "Everything's temporary". Whatever you buy, it won't last forever. The best you can do is to place your bets on what will last the longest. Ask your neighbor who bought a Pontiac last year; by the end of this month there will be no Pontiac dealers left.

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

[Strikeouts removed from previous report. Underlines added from previous report.]

 

Four Six weeks after the 'Agency Model' went into effect, most e-bookstores serving the US and Canada are still limited in their selection from the 'Agency 5' publishers. The following information is based on spot-checks, and I can't guarantee it's absolutely correct. The only significant change in availability over the past two weeks is that Diesel and some other booksellers are now starting to carry Penguin titles.

 

Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo seem to have everything.

 

Amazon (which NOOK can't use anyway) has everything except recent Penguin titles like Jim Butcher's Changes, J.R. Ward's Lover Mine, and Charlaine Harris's Dead in the Family. Amazon continues to sell older Penguin titles under the 'Amazon sets the price' rules, giving them a price advantage on those titles.

 

eBooks.com seems to have everything except MacMillan and Simon & Schuster titles.

 

BooksOnBoard only seems to have HarperCollins titles.

 

Diesel is supposed to have Penguin titles, but some are still missing and some seem to be offered with discounts and rebates. They also seem to have some Hachette titles, and those are discounted???? For example, David Baldacci's First Family is publisher-priced at $8.99, but Diesel lists the EPUB at $8.36 with a 29-cent rebate $8.54 with a 30-cent rebate on your next order.

 

Fictionwise and Powell's don't seem to have any Agency 5 titles yet.

 

Some other e-book vendors also seem to have picked up Penguin titles, so it looks like one of the distributors (Ingram?) is now supplying those.