7 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2010 8:53 PM by Doug_Pardee

    Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what

    Doug_Pardee

      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.

        • 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.)

          • Agency 5 distribution update - who's carrying what
            Doug_Pardee

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

             

            TwoFour 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 nookNOOK 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.

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

              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?

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

                   

                  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.

                   

                  • Fictionwise and B&N
                    Doug_Pardee

                    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.