8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2010 8:58 AM by Dyrinn45

    Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread

    sub_rosa

      Rather than have a new thread each time a publisher does something stupid, I figured a nice catch-all thread that we can add to over time would be more efficient and uncluttering.

       

      PUBLISHER:  Hachette

       

      CRIME:  Holding back new releases from eBook consumers for months.

       

      So I'm going on a business trip in a couple of days, and I remembered seeing this woman Chelsea Handler hawking her new book on the morning news shows.  I went to B&N and on the eBook frontpage and saw it was a NYT bestseller (YES!)  Clicked on it, ready to buy - and then screeeeeeech (sound of needle dragging across record).  PRE-ORDER?!?  Not available until June?  Uhhhh.  So instead I went over to Baen and downloaded a sci-fi novel for free.  Maybe by the time June rolls around I'll remember this book.  Or not.  If I do, I'll check the eLibrary to see if I can borrow it for free.  A real missed opportunity here for the publisher and doing a disservice to their client.

       

       

       

        • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread
          Rav_Bunneh

          Here I'll have to agree with you that I don't at all like the idea of ebooks being delayed in an effort to sell more hardback editions. There must be something about authors or publishers that judge a books success on hardback sales. If it was as simple as being about money they could just as easily made the ebook $14.99 until June; or something similar. Granted a lot of people won't pay that price -- but some might. People who just really want to read a book as soon as it comes out.

           

          • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread
            bklvr896

             

            sub_rosa wrote:

            Rather than have a new thread each time a publisher does something stupid, I figured a nice catch-all thread that we can add to over time would be more efficient and uncluttering.

             

            PUBLISHER:  Hachette

             

            CRIME:  Holding back new releases from eBook consumers for months.

             


             

            I've asked this before, why is this any different than the publisher not issuing a paperback for months after the HB release?  No one's given me an answer? Where did the idea that ebooks would be released at the same time as HBs come from? Was it promised by someone?  I still think it is the same business model they've been using, they're going to try and sell the most expensive version first. 

             

             

             

             

             

             

              • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread
                sub_rosa

                Paperbacks compete directly with hardcovers - given the choice, a vast majority of consumers would buy the paperback instead of the hardcover if they were available at the same time.  eBooks do not compete against hardcovers - the consumers who have invested in expensive eReading devices, such as a Nook or Kindle, are invested in the technology.  It is a different paradigm altogether.  eReaders want the eBook - that's why they bought the device.

                 

                My understanding is that up until recently, eBook new releases have coincided with hardcover new releases.  The same holds true today except for the Agency 5 and their 30% market share.  Random House and other publishers still release their eBook versions at the same time as the hardcovers, and retailers are still free to price them however they choose.

                 

                The change to this otherwise successful model is what I, and others, have been objecting to.  The status quo has been upset to the detriment of eBook consumers.

                 

                • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread

                   

                  bklvr896 wrote:

                   

                  I've asked this before, why is this any different than the publisher not issuing a paperback for months after the HB release?  No one's given me an answer? Where did the idea that ebooks would be released at the same time as HBs come from? Was it promised by someone?  I still think it is the same business model they've been using, they're going to try and sell the most expensive version first.  

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  I've got to agree (limitedly, but still) with sub-rosa on this one.  the ebook is not the equivalent of a paperback.  It's more like an alternative format, comparable to a large-print book or an audiobook.  Where I disagree with sub_rosa is that I think it's perfectly reasonable for publishers to charge more when the ebook is first released (at a "no-printing-necessary-savings" discount from, but still in line with, hardcover prices) and drop the price as paperbacks become available.  But publishers don't hold back on audiobooks or large print in an attempt to force people to buy the first edition hardcover.  

                    • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread
                      sub_rosa

                      Fair points.

                       

                      Record labels don't hold back the digital versions of their latest releases to protect the sales of their "hardcopy" more expensive CDs.

                       

                      Anyway, I think this practice is more or less gone now that the agency model has infected the market.  That was part of Sargent's trade-off with Amazon - you let us dictate the price, and we won't "window" our releases.  Might as well "window" as far as I'm concerned because I won't pay $15 for an eBook - it might as well not even be on sale.  But there are some who will, I guess.

                       

                  • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread
                    juliusa

                    While I DO NOT work in publishing, I disagree with all the complaints about the new model. Publishers bring us books to read in multiple formats, and authors need to make enough money to continue writing. The prices up front are fair..Right in-between hardcover and former eBook prices. If you want the book NOW and can't wait to read it, then you pay a small premium. So what? I do not consider eBooks automatically less expensive. They are simply another way to read that is MORE CONVENIENT, and worth a small premium in my mind. If you want books for free that are portable, use the library for eBooks or audio books. What I DO object to is the inability of these companies to work together on behalf of the readers. I have been using eBooks since the mid-nineties, when people laughed at me and said "no one will EVER want to read that way!". They were wrong, and my collection has grown over the years. But this nonsense makes it difficult for those of us who BUY the books, and almost appears to be aimed a getting us back into the book stores to read the old fashioned way. Could that be? Because it is getting that frustrating. Make up your minds already, everybody!

                      • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread
                        sub_rosa

                        Welcome to the discussion, Juli.  I found your explanation of your position confusing.

                         

                        Hachette strikes again - more Agency Model lunacy:

                         

                         

                        But the mass market paperback is widely available at:

                         

                         

                        This book was published a year ago in April 2009.

                         

                        SO much for eBooks going down in price as they get older under the new model.

                         

                        Somebody explain it again - how is this good for consumers?

                         

                          • Re: Publisher FAIL - Omnibus Thread

                            yea, what most people are failing to grasp is that this does not just affect new releases. I have seen a couple books published 18-24 months ago still 12.99 while paperback versions are 5-7 dollars cheaper per copy. why should i have to pay 7 dollars more to read a 2 year old book? at that point i would just go buy the paperback, hell i could buy 2 paper backs for the same price as 1 e-book...and if its not a "must have" i wont buy it in either format, so they lose money