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whiteginger
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Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

:smileysurprised:  I've been off the boards for a week or so and today I reviewed Doug's $5 list to see the posting that as of today RH and others have joined the Agency Model!  :smileysurprised:

 

Sure enough, I checked my ewish list and half--yes HALF--of the titles on my list have increased in price! 

 

Although I did not buy my NOOK to save money on books and I do believe that authors should be paid for their work, this came as an unwelcome surprise.  I must get over the shock before life can continue.

 

(Doug, where is your thread announcing that this would happen?  Where was I?)

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frantastk
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

It's only Random House and its subsidiaries. So now all 6 of the biggies are part of the Agency Model. Don't worry, it just happened. It was a rather sudden announcement in the last few days by Random House. I think it was only brought up here a couple days ago but I just looked on MobileReads and I think it was mentioned there a day before that, so RH didn't really give much notice and it went into effect today.

 

Fran

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?


whiteginger wrote:

 

Doug, where is your thread announcing that this would happen?

Random House only announced it yesterday afternoon. BearLion was the first to catch it and post about it: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOK-General-Discussion/Random-House-to-Adopt-Agency-Model-St...

 

As soon as I found out, I updated the $5 NOOKbook Sale posting. But it was really short notice from RH.

 

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javabird
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

Yeah, I got caught off guard by that, too. I knew the $5 price was potentially for a limited time, but I  wasn't aware it would affect other, older books by the sam publisher. I saw quite a number of books on my wish list go up in price, not just the ones on the $5 list. I only blame myself for procrastinating, though :smileysad:

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swan480
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

I wish we'd had more than a day's warning.  There weren't any books in the $5 list that I still wanted, but I would have liked some time to go through my wish list (which is massive) and see what I might want to buy before the prices increased.  Thankfully most of my wishlist doesn't seem to be affected, but I did notice that Roanoke pretty much tripled in price.  Guess I'll be getting that one from the library.

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KingAl
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?


swan480 wrote:

I wish we'd had more than a day's warning.  There weren't any books in the $5 list that I still wanted, but I would have liked some time to go through my wish list (which is massive) and see what I might want to buy before the prices increased.  Thankfully most of my wishlist doesn't seem to be affected, but I did notice that Roanoke pretty much tripled in price.  Guess I'll be getting that one from the library.


The short notice was clearly a deliberate move on RH's part to prevent people from stocking up. I just wonder how long ago RH decided to go Agency Model.

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swan480
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

 


KingAl wrote:
The short notice was clearly a deliberate move on RH's part to prevent people from stocking up. I just wonder how long ago RH decided to go Agency Model.

Well yes, I know that.  :smileywink:  Still wish I'd had more time though.  And really, wouldn't stocking up mean lots of sales for them?  Sales that they may now never get from people like me, who will just go to the library?

 

Of course, at these prices, I suppose they don't have to sell as many copies, but I still think giving people a few days or a week to panic and stock up would have worked in their favor rather against it, because panic like that tends to make people buy things they might not have otherwise.

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Wrking21
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

Swan480 your going of the assumption that they are using common sense. As has been proven on numerous occasions to be untrue! It does stink that another publisher has joined the ranks of the dreaded Agency Model but what can we do. I guess it makes good business sense for them.

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julianka
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

On the other thread about this Doug said this is probably because of Apple's recent changes to their apps.  They will only sell Agency Model books so therefore Random House had to join up or else their book won't be available on ipads.

 

Here's my question: Why do the publishers let Apple call all they shots - do they think THAT many people are reading ebooks on ipads?  People read ebooks on Kindles and Nooks!  I mean surely there must be statistics that show that?  But when you think about it, Apple has convinced now all six major publishers to let them (Apple) set the prices for ebooks.  And I seriously doubt that most people who have ipads are using them to read books.  So all of us using Nooks and Kindles have to pay for prices set by a company that we have nothing to do with our ebook reading. 

 

I am just so mad now - first the Harper Collins library thing and now this. 

 

 

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?


julianka wrote:

 

Here's my question: Why do the publishers let Apple call all they shots - do they think THAT many people are reading ebooks on ipads? ... Apple has convinced now all six major publishers to let them (Apple) set the prices for ebooks.


By and large, the publishers want to be able to set e-book prices. They felt that the retailers were setting e-book prices too low. The problem was that no one publisher could make the transition alone, at least not without losing significant market share. Apple stepped in and coordinated the "Agency 5" publishers to all have the same terms. Whether that constitutes illegal "collusion" or not, it'll be up to lawyers to decide.

 

Apple doesn't set the prices. The publishers set the prices. That's sort-of the point of the whole thing: the retailers are out of the business of pricing e-books.

 

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bukwurm31
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

Doing a purge of my wish list.  One Random House book went from $9.99 to $19.99!  Another was $9.99 and is now $17.99! 

 

Is anyone else surprised by the HUGE increases?  I expected most books to still stay in the $9.99 to $12.99 range.

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swan480
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

 


bukwurm31 wrote:

Doing a purge of my wish list.  One Random House book went from $9.99 to $19.99!  Another was $9.99 and is now $17.99! 

 

Is anyone else surprised by the HUGE increases?  I expected most books to still stay in the $9.99 to $12.99 range.


 

:smileysurprised:  What went up to $19.99?!

 

I've noticed a lot of lower-priced books doubled in price.  Although I hadn't seen one as high as $19.99, yes, I was pretty shocked by the price increases.  When an older book that's no longer in demand goes from $4 something to $8.99, that's pretty shocking in itself.

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bklvr896
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

 


swan480 wrote:

 


bukwurm31 wrote:

Doing a purge of my wish list.  One Random House book went from $9.99 to $19.99!  Another was $9.99 and is now $17.99! 

 

Is anyone else surprised by the HUGE increases?  I expected most books to still stay in the $9.99 to $12.99 range.


 

:smileysurprised:  What went up to $19.99?!

 

I've noticed a lot of lower-priced books doubled in price.  Although I hadn't seen one as high as $19.99, yes, I was pretty shocked by the price increases.  When an older book that's no longer in demand goes from $4 something to $8.99, that's pretty shocking in itself.


 

I've often struggled with the idea of an older book being priced at the same price as a newer book, but then I realized, the paperback price doesn't drop because the book is older, it stays the same price.  So if I want to read a series that started 5 or 10 years ago and I need to buy the first paperbacks, they are still at $6.99-$8.99 price range, they don't discount the paperback because it is old, so then I had to ask myself, why would I expect them to discount an older eBook?  Something I've thought long and hard about because I'd like to replace some of my older paperbacks with eBooks but don't want to pay $7.99 to do it. 

 

Just a thought.

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bklvr896
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

 


bukwurm31 wrote:

Doing a purge of my wish list.  One Random House book went from $9.99 to $19.99!  Another was $9.99 and is now $17.99! 

 

Is anyone else surprised by the HUGE increases?  I expected most books to still stay in the $9.99 to $12.99 range.


 

Apparently Random House isn't real good at the pricing business.  Thank goodness I didn't have any Random house books on my list.  But, out of curiousity, I did a search. Here's one, where the NookBook is $24.99 and the paperback is $7.91.

 

 

Shadow Magic

 

 

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swan480
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

[ Edited ]

 


bklvr896 wrote:

 

 

I've often struggled with the idea of an older book being priced at the same price as a newer book, but then I realized, the paperback price doesn't drop because the book is older, it stays the same price. 


 

 

Well, that's not entirely true.  Older books are cheaper, because cheaper editions (mass market paperbacks) become available, whereas newer books are typically only available in hardback or, if you're lucky, trade paperback.  And I do think ebooks should be cheaper than mass market paperbacks, or at the very least the same price, but certainly not more.

 

Part of it is psychology, of course.  I know that the books were available for less, so I'm not willing to pay more for them now.  The value has not changed between February 28 and March 1.  But mostly, I just don't buy many ebooks priced over $7 or $8.  I get them from the library if I can, even if I have to wait.  Every dollar they tack onto the price, it takes me that much longer to decide whether I really want the ebook enough to own it.  Maybe if I had more money I wouldn't take every dollar so seriously, but hey, the less I spend per book the more books I can buy -- and when I finish a book in about 2 days, on average, that's important.

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bklvr896
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

 


swan480 wrote:

 


bklvr896 wrote:

 

 

I've often struggled with the idea of an older book being priced at the same price as a newer book, but then I realized, the paperback price doesn't drop because the book is older, it stays the same price. 


 

 

Well, that's not entirely true.  Older books are cheaper, because cheaper editions (mass market paperbacks) become available, whereas newer books are typically only available in hardback or, if you're lucky, trade paperback.  And I do think ebooks should be cheaper than mass market paperbacks, or at the very least the same price, but certainly not more.

 

I was referring mainly to paperbacks, not the difference in price when it goes from HC to trade paperback to MMP.  If a book is released in 2005 in paperback at $7.99, if I go into the store today to buy it, it will still be $7.99, they don't discount the paperback simply due to time.  That was my point, why do I expect an older eBook to be less than the $7.99 price tag of the latest book in the series or by the author?  I struggled with this for a while before coming to the conclusion that I was applying faulty logic, simply because time has passed doesn't mean the price of the book will go down.

 

Part of it is psychology, of course.  I know that the books were available for less, so I'm not willing to pay more for them now.  The value has not changed between February 28 and March 1.  But mostly, I just don't buy many ebooks priced over $7 or $8.  I get them from the library if I can, even if I have to wait.  Every dollar they tack onto the price, it takes me that much longer to decide whether I really want the ebook enough to own it.  Maybe if I had more money I wouldn't take every dollar so seriously, but hey, the less I spend per book the more books I can buy -- and when I finish a book in about 2 days, on average, that's important.


I don't subscribe to the $9.99 or less price point, as I think it is an artifical price expectation that was primarily set by Amazon's pricing.  I look at each book individually and make a decision, in the same manner that I did before I bought the Nook.  Some books are worth more to me, I would previously have purchased as HC, therefore, I have no issue with paying $12.99 for the eBook, other's don't have that value to me, so I wait until it comes down in price.  My price point does seem to be $12.99 though, as I haven't found a book yet that I'm willing to pay more for.  But, I had set prices on hardcover books also, and for most authors, wouldn't purchase in HC anyway, but waited for the paperback.  And I read very fast, last weekend, in 4 days I read 6 books.  I can read 4-5 books a week depending on my schedule.

 

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swan480
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

 


bklvr896 wrote:

 

I don't subscribe to the $9.99 or less price point

 


 

I don't either; like I said, I actually generally pay even less, unless it's a book I really want.  But I'm much quicker to buy a $5 book than a $10 book.  That's not because of Amazon; that's $10 is twice as much as $5.

 

 


bklvr896 wrote:

 

Some books are worth more to me, I would previously have purchased as HC, therefore, I have no issue with paying $12.99 for the eBook, other's don't have that value to me, so I wait until it comes down in price

 


 

Which contradicts everything you just said about how older ebooks shouldn't cost less.

 

The thing with older ebooks is that they don't cost as much to produce.  The expense of designing the cover, formatting and editing, etc. was most likely paid off long ago, and of course they don't cost anything to print or ship.  The other thing that the publishers ought to be considering is supply and demand.  If there is less demand for something, such as an older ebook, the price threshold at which people will buy the item is lower.  This is, after all, or at least is supposed to be, a free market society -- something which agency pricing seems to ignore.

 

I don't have an objection to paying good money for ebooks I genuinely want.  I do, however, weigh a number of factors when considering whether the price is too much, and unfortunately for Random House, many of the books I had on my wish list now fall into that category.

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javabird
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

Being announced on the web right now - RandomHouse adding their books to the Apple iBooks store:

 

http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2011/03/02/live-blog-apple-ipad-2-event/

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frantastk
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

Interestingly, I just went throught my wishlist and a few books from RH went down in price. I have pretty much every Anne Rice book on my wishlist and I know some of them were $7.99 but a few of them were $9.99, but now there are all $7.99. Though, unfortunately, all the Outlander books went up. Most of them were on the $5 sale and now they're $8.99. Darn! I do have most of them in paper form and I didn't have the money to buy them when they were $5 especially when I don't know when I'll actually get around to reading them. I do know I had a lot of RH books on my wishlist, but those are the only ones I noticed a price change on, so if the others did chage it couldn't be by much. None of the books I know are published by RH are over $9.99. I must just be lucky in my reading choices and it may help that I don't generally read the popular blockbuster titles.

 

Fran

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Coanda-1910
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Re: Publishers join Agency Model--Where was I?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_skimming

 

This is why publishers decrease the price of books over time. The mechanics driving it are not magically invalidated because the books become ebooks, so this is why an intelligent publisher will continue to decrease book prices over time, even if they stop selling paper versions and go all-digital.

 

The only difference is that because a "hard-cover" ebook and a "paperback" ebook are actually the same product, a publisher is free to make more frequent and gradual changes to pricing if they want to. Limitations on product distribution and price control has imposed a generally 2- or 3-tiered pricing system, where the ebook is initially released at a "hardcover" price, then suddenly dropped to "trade paperback," followed by another sudden drop to "mass market paperback" price. That is no longer the case when a publisher can simply inform it's online distributors that the new price is $1 less than it was before, and the change is made nearly instantly worldwide.

 

As ebooks become a larger share of revenue (and the need to not cannibalize DTB sales isn't so significant), we could potentially see some publisher experimenting with very odd pricing patterns as a result.