15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2012 12:23 PM by Coaxial_Creature

    I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

    RHWright

      Sorry to interject while everyone does their little happy dances.

       

      But I didn't find I had a problem, as a whole, with the Agency model pricing.

       

      Sure, certain titles went up to or came out at a higher price. For the most part though, there were plenty of books at prices I liked and that I wanted to read. Including free and lower-cost independents. There were plenty of books I wanted that came out a good prices. There were some that were more than I liked. There were very few that I found ridiculously expensive.

       

      In those cases, I voted with my wallet and did not buy them. On the whole, I easily found ways to get as much enjoyment, spend about the same budget, and get about the same number of books as I did before the whole Agency kerfuffle.

       

      On top of that, Amazon's unfair, predatory, low-ball pricing ground to a halt and competitors such as B&N were able to get a foot in the door and help diversify the marketplace with alternatives to the Kindle.

       

      So dance away! Just be aware that you may be dancing on the NOOK's grave. B&N can't lose money on most of the content they sell along with barely breaking even on hardware. Go ahead and celebrate the return of cheap, cheap, cheap books! I hope you're still dancing when the only ereader you can buy is a Kindle and the only content you can get is from Amazon. And suddenly Amazon decides it can't keep absorbing those losses and jacks prices back up to where they are now.

       

      I know this is a heterodox position. So pile on.

       

      I just wanted to put out my 2 cents and say that in my particualr corner of the world the Agency model wasn't so bad.

        • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
          Nevermore1

          I don't think the Agency Model is that bad either.  Yes, books are over $9.99 but the publishers and stores need to make some profit on them.  I think that how and why the Agency Model first came to be is the issue. 

          • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
            DeanGibson

            RHWright wrote:
            ...

             

            So dance away! Just be aware that you may be dancing on the NOOK's grave. B&N can't lose money on most of the content they sell along with barely breaking even on hardware. Go ahead and celebrate the return of cheap, cheap, cheap books! I hope you're still dancing when the only ereader you can buy is a Kindle and the only content you can get is from Amazon. And suddenly Amazon decides it can't keep absorbing those losses and jacks prices back up to where they are now.



             

            1. The Nook hardware readers were valuable, when inexpensive tablets (and tablet-like devices) for reading were non-existent.  Today, there are many inexpensive such devices available, and both B&N and Amazon offer reader software for them.  The number of such devices will increase in the next two years.  The disappearance of Nook devices would not be the end of the world, nor would it necessarily be the end of B&N, or B&N sellling eBook content.
            2. The business entry cost to an eBook content seller is remarkably low.  If B&N goes away (I don't think they will, but it matters not), and Amazon prices go up, someone else (perhaps many entrants) will enter the market.
            3. What's to stop each publisher from selling eBooks directly (via the Internet), and in ePub format???  What's to keep them from just cutting Amazon out of the loop for eBooks?  Remember what happened to Beta vs. VHS?  All it might take is for some publishers to offer some eBooks exclusively, and consumers just might decide that ePub and an inexpensive generic tablet is the way to go.  It seems that Google might be betting on that possibility, and I'd be astounded if the current publishing houses aren't considering that, as a backup plan ...

             

            As for B&N, the way to survive is not to price-compete with Amazon, but to build customer loyalty.  So far, thay haven't been succeeding in that area.  Amazon's customer service (especially their response to accuracy issues on their web pages) is clearly superior to B&N's.

             

              • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
                Ya_Ya

                DeanGibson wrote:

                 

                1. The Nook hardware readers were valuable when inexpensive tablets (and tablet-like devices) for reading were non-existent.  Today, there are many inexpensive such devices available, and both B&N and Amazon offer reader software for them.  The number of such devices will increase in the next two years.  The disappearance of Nook devices would not be the end of the world, nor would it necessarily be the end of B&N or B&N sellling eBook content.

                In your opinion will non-book-sellers ever embrace any of the epaper technology?  If B&N, Sony and Kobo get out of the field will there be a non-LCD reading device?  The iRiver hasn't done very well, IIRC, so would non-booksellers see it worth their while to bother with such a "small" market?  Would they just go all LCD?

                 

                (Not that anyone cares if I'd be sad, but if there were no epaper displays - eink/Mirasol/Liquavista - I'd be sad.)

                • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
                  Omnigeek

                  DeanGibson wrote:

                   

                  What's to stop each publisher from selling eBooks directly (via the Internet), and in ePub format???  What's to keep them from just cutting Amazon out of the loop for eBooks?  Remember what happened to Beta vs. VHS?  All it might take is for some publishers to offer some eBooks exclusively, and consumers just might decide that ePub and an inexpensive generic tablet is the way to go.  It seems that Google might be betting on that possibility, and I'd be astounded if the current publishing houses aren't considering that, as a backup plan ...

                   


                  Nothing -- this is what Baen does today.  I will note that Baen doesn't have the catalog that Simon & Schuster or Randomhouse do but that just gives them more strength.  When it comes to e-books, I'm not sure why the publishers even have to offer the e-edition through anything but their own website other than for the buyer's convenience.

                    • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

                      Omnigeek wrote:

                      DeanGibson wrote:

                       

                      What's to stop each publisher from selling eBooks directly (via the Internet), and in ePub format???  What's to keep them from just cutting Amazon out of the loop for eBooks?  Remember what happened to Beta vs. VHS?  All it might take is for some publishers to offer some eBooks exclusively, and consumers just might decide that ePub and an inexpensive generic tablet is the way to go.  It seems that Google might be betting on that possibility, and I'd be astounded if the current publishing houses aren't considering that, as a backup plan ...

                       


                      Nothing -- this is what Baen does today.  I will note that Baen doesn't have the catalog that Simon & Schuster or Randomhouse do but that just gives them more strength.  When it comes to e-books, I'm not sure why the publishers even have to offer the e-edition through anything but their own website other than for the buyer's convenience.


                      Very true!  But it is buyer convenience that has made companies like e-Bay, Amazon, B&N and others successful (not to mention the large brick and mortar retailers).  We want to be able to make our purchases at a single e-Commerce Web site, put our choices into a single shopping cart, and pay using a single checkout.  You know ... kinda like a store.  :smileyhappy:

                        • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
                          I always knew I was getting ripped off on ebooks. That's why my nook is collecting dust on my bookshelf while I buy my books from a used bookstore. I can buy 5 or so used books for the price of a single ebook.
                            • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

                              Gabriel32 wrote:
                              I always knew I was getting ripped off on ebooks. That's why my nook is collecting dust on my bookshelf while I buy my books from a used bookstore. I can buy 5 or so used books for the price of a single ebook.

                              And you didn't check e-book prices prior to purchasing an e-reader?  You're not getting "ripped off".  Personally I haven't purchased a DTB since purchasing my first Nook.  If you don't like e-books that's fine but don't claim you're getting "ripped off" if you didn't check e-book pricing prior to purchasing the reader.

                        • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

                          DeanGibson wrote:
                          The business entry cost to an eBook content seller is remarkably low.  If B&N goes away (I don't think they will, but it matters not), and Amazon prices go up, someone else (perhaps many entrants) will enter the market.

                           The problem here is DRM. If Amazon can eliminate competitors through under pricing, they can then raise the prices with little worry that a competitor will enter the market to challenge them. The entry cost might be remarkably low, but since the competitor won't be compatible with the DRM they'll find it nearly impossible to persuade customers away from Amazon.

                            • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
                              gobasso

                              sirwillard wrote:

                              DeanGibson wrote:
                              The business entry cost to an eBook content seller is remarkably low.  If B&N goes away (I don't think they will, but it matters not), and Amazon prices go up, someone else (perhaps many entrants) will enter the market.

                               The problem here is DRM. If Amazon can eliminate competitors through under pricing, they can then raise the prices with little worry that a competitor will enter the market to challenge them. The entry cost might be remarkably low, but since the competitor won't be compatible with the DRM they'll find it nearly impossible to persuade customers away from Amazon.


                              Unless, of course, the competitor offers a best-selling, must read book and won't sell it on Amazon. Then all the Kindle customers will be out of luck.

                                • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

                                  gobasso wrote:

                                  sirwillard wrote:

                                  DeanGibson wrote:
                                  The business entry cost to an eBook content seller is remarkably low.  If B&N goes away (I don't think they will, but it matters not), and Amazon prices go up, someone else (perhaps many entrants) will enter the market.

                                   The problem here is DRM. If Amazon can eliminate competitors through under pricing, they can then raise the prices with little worry that a competitor will enter the market to challenge them. The entry cost might be remarkably low, but since the competitor won't be compatible with the DRM they'll find it nearly impossible to persuade customers away from Amazon.


                                  Unless, of course, the competitor offers a best-selling, must read book and won't sell it on Amazon. Then all the Kindle customers will be out of luck.



                                  Yes, 90% of the market will be out of luck, and that 10% that's left will be crowing about the "must read book". Seriously, in this situation the book couldn't become best-selling, because the majority of the market will be locked in to Amazon. Even if a best-selling author, who's new book is likely to be a best seller, if they chose to not sell it on Amazon in this situation, wouldn't be able to sell a book. Why not? Because "everyone" owns a Kindle. The Kindle won't work with this non-Amazon book, because it wasn't sold through Amazon and doesn't have the Amazon DRM, so is not supported. So to buy this "must have book" most people would also have to buy another reading device. How likely do you think they are to do that?

                                  • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
                                    javabird

                                    gobasso wrote:


                                    Unless, of course, the competitor offers a best-selling, must read book and won't sell it on Amazon. Then all the Kindle customers will be out of luck.


                                    That's not likely to happen. 

                                      • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model
                                        keriflur

                                        javabird wrote:

                                        gobasso wrote:


                                        Unless, of course, the competitor offers a best-selling, must read book and won't sell it on Amazon. Then all the Kindle customers will be out of luck.


                                        That's not likely to happen. 


                                        With the way the tension is racheting up between Amazon and the pubs, it very well may happen.  We'll have to wait and see how this all plays out over the next few months.

                                         

                                        I recall a pretty insane amount of drama around the Sookie Stackhouse book when Penguin and Amazon couldn't come to terms last time.

                                          • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

                                            Let's not forget that Amazon tried to fight the Agency Model, to the point that they weren't going to carry the books, and in fact cut off MacMillian.   The *customers* complained, to the point where they relented.   Amazon's big company statement is to be the most customer-centric company and they will listen when large masses of people say, 'we want our books at any prices'.   There's no doubt in my mind that they'll find a way to secure the bigger books, or enough of them that they keep the majority of the customers happy. It's what they set out to do.

                                             

                                            It does give the publishers a little bit of leverage, as well.  


                                            keriflur wrote:

                                            javabird wrote:

                                            gobasso wrote:


                                            Unless, of course, the competitor offers a best-selling, must read book and won't sell it on Amazon. Then all the Kindle customers will be out of luck.


                                            That's not likely to happen. 


                                            With the way the tension is racheting up between Amazon and the pubs, it very well may happen.  We'll have to wait and see how this all plays out over the next few months.

                                             

                                            I recall a pretty insane amount of drama around the Sookie Stackhouse book when Penguin and Amazon couldn't come to terms last time.




                                  • Re: I'll just say it...I didn't mind the Agency model

                                    I didn't have a problem with the Agency Model, but I don't think the settlements are going to be the death of the publishing industry as the CEOs of the publishing houses would have us believe, either.

                                     

                                    I'm not sure it'll be the death of Nook, either.   People who prefer Nook to Kindle seem quite loyal and vica versa.   Not only that, who says that all the prices will drop to loss leaders?   Does anyone truly believe that Amazon was going to lose money forever on eBooks?