11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2010 2:48 PM by QuiteTheCharacter

    Where is B&N Management??

      Where is B&N Management?   These forums provide B&N management with an excellent barometer on how well their nook is doing in the marketplace.  By reading these forums, it is clear that the hot button topic for all of their new nook owners is the chaotic eBook pricing.  Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the concept of paying more for an eBook (an intangible asset) than the physical book ( a tangible asset), especially after spending $260+ for the nook device after taxes.

       

      But the communication appears to be one-way.  Where is B&N Management?  I know that while I love my nook, I will not become a slave to it and spend more for an eBook than the price of a physical book.  B&N Management has to know that the success of its Nook in the long run depends on the price of the offerings for the Nook.  In fact, I know of several people that have put off purchasing a Nook or any other eReader because of the eBook pricing uncertainty.

       

      So, where is B&N Management?  Why not use these forums to at least make some statements about the current eBook pricing uncertainty?  Or at the minimum, acknowledge peoples' concerns?  Customers hate feeling ignored.  At least this customer hates feeling ignored.

       

       

       

       

        • Re: Where is B&N Management??

          I saw a mod (BN employee) here a few days ago, your words are not going unheard :manhappy: 

            • Re: Where is B&N Management??

              Actually I think BN's prices have stabalized lately. Their prices, for the most part (I know there are some exceptions), are matching Amazon. It does however seem to me that Kobo has gone up lately. Has anyone else noticed this? I bought Stephen King's Under the Dome from them in Jan or Feb. It was $9.99 + I had a $2 off promo code. I checked yesterday and it was $20.99. I hope this isn't a sign that bn's prices are going to shoot up again.

            • E-book pricing
              Doug_Pardee
              PhotoGuyDL wrote:

              the hot button topic for all of their new nook owners is the chaotic eBook pricing.

               

              One of the great things about the nook is that you don't have to buy your e-books at B&N. You can buy e-books at just about anywhere except Amazon or the soon-to-open Apple iBookstore.

               

              If you don't like B&N's price, buy the e-book somewhere else. Check AddALL or InkMesh to see who's got it and at what price.

               

              Things are going to change quite a bit on Thursday, when five of the 'Big 6' publishers begin using the 'agency model', with its Required Ebook Pricing. This basically means that any e-book from one of those publishers will sell for the same price at all e-bookstores. Amazon has been selling new-release best-sellers below cost and making up the difference on Kindle sales, and much of that will be going away.

               

              For those e-books with Required Ebook Pricing, you won't be able to blame B&N for the pricing. The publishers decide the prices.

                • Re: E-book pricing

                   

                  Doug_Pardee wrote:

                  Things are going to change quite a bit on Thursday, when five of the 'Big 6' publishers begin using the 'agency model', with its Required Ebook Pricing. This basically means that any e-book from one of those publishers will sell for the same price at all e-bookstores. Amazon has been selling new-release best-sellers below cost and making up the difference on Kindle sales, and much of that will be going away.

                   

                  For those e-books with Required Ebook Pricing, you won't be able to blame B&N for the pricing. The publishers decide the prices.

                  Correct me if I'm wrong, but Amazon isn't part of the Agency model, is it?? As I understand it, the Agency model is only applicable to those resellers who's contract states it.. Isn't Amazon under a previous contract still?? The publisher can't just suddenly decide on a new model that nullifies existing contracts with resellers..

                   

                  Not that Amazon's situation is pertinent to the nook directly, but it's important to the dynamic of eBook sales.. So for example, if eBook sales drop off a cliff for every reseller under the Agency model in April, yet Amazon's sales remain steady during that same period, that should be a wakeup call to the publishers..

                   

                  Just a thought..

                   

                    • Re: E-book pricing
                      Doug_Pardee
                      QuiteTheCharacter wrote:

                      Correct me if I'm wrong, but Amazon isn't part of the Agency model, is it?? As I understand it, the Agency model is only applicable to those resellers who's contract states it.. Isn't Amazon under a previous contract still??

                      There's no question that Macmillan will be doing 'agency model' with Amazon starting Thursday. That was the outcome of the big hoo-hah the two companies had back at the end of January.

                       

                      As for the other four of the 'Big 6' publishers who are pushing for the agency model, Amazon has been negotiating with them. The situation remains that Apple will not sell e-books in iBookstore that sell for less elsewhere. It's not clear what will happen with those publishers at Amazon on Thursday, and I suspect that not even Jeff Bezos knows right now. The New York Times says that "Amazon has agreed in principle that the major publishers would be able to set prices in its Kindle store".

                       

                      Beyond the 'Big 6', Perseus and Workman have signed with iBookstore and therefore committed to the agency model. I expect that Amazon will make good on its threat and remove Perseus and Workman books and e-books from the Amazon catalog. Whether that will stick or not, we'll see.

                       

                      BooksOnBoard has already notified customers that it's being forced into the agency model for all five publishers on Thursday.

                        • Re: E-book pricing

                          That's a shame.. So the publishers are basically saying, buy it at my price, or don't buy it at all.. There's no competative market for eBooks. You're stuck with the price the publisher sets, no matter where you go to buy..

                           

                          I mentioned this in another thread, but this is very bad for the resellers as well, since there's really no advantage of one over the other now.. They can only compete on how pretty their website is, and how friendly their CS people are (btw, never spoken to any CS people, so that's no selling point for me). So if you're going to buy, you might as well buy directly from the publisher, since the price will be the same, and any gripes go straight to the horses mouth.

                           

                          Amazon should be quite upset about this, as should a lot of other retailers, since they've spent a lot of time, money, and resources nurturing and growing a market that didn't even exist in the not too distant past, and now that "market" is being hijacked by the publishers.

                           

                          Ok, that's my rant for the day. :-)

                            • Re: E-book pricing
                              Doug_Pardee
                              QuiteTheCharacter wrote:

                              So the publishers are basically saying, buy it at my price, or don't buy it at all.

                              Pretty much, although we can also lay some of the blame at Apple's doorstep. Apple apparently lit the fuse, by offering the 'agency model' and refusing to carry e-books from any publisher who let someone else (cough Amazon cough) sell at a lower price. When Apple signed up five of the 'Big 6' publishing conglomerates, the gauntlet was thrown.

                               

                              The publishers are actually going to make less from Amazon than they do under the 'retail model', and Amazon will make more. Yet the publishers want the agency model and Amazon wants the retail model. There clearly are some strong sub-surface currents.

                               

                              For Amazon's part, it seems fairly obvious that they want to maintain their huge market share in e-book and e-reader sales, currently estimated at about 90%. They lose money on the e-books and make it up on Kindles. In the meantime, since Amazon runs a 'walled garden', their rising tide isn't floating anyone else's boats.

                               

                              There have been suggestions from the publishers that they're concerned about the sustainability of Amazon's 'sell the razors and give away the blades' program. They say they're concerned that when Kindle sales and/or prices drop, and Kindle profits aren't enough to underwrite the e-book losses, that Amazon will 'Wal-Mart' the publishers into lowering their wholesale prices. If Amazon maintains that 90% market share, it might be able to pull that off, especially if a large part of the buying public has gotten accustomed to $9.99 best-sellers.

                               

                              QuiteTheCharacter wrote:

                              Amazon should be quite upset about this, as should a lot of other retailers

                              Amazon is indeed very upset and has fought it as hard as they could. But the battle ground is over best-sellers: those are what Amazon has been selling below cost. And almost all of the best-sellers come from the 'Big 6'. If Amazon says they won't sell e-books from the 5 'Big Agency Model' publishers, they won't have much to sell at discount. If they also refuse to sell print books from those publishers... well, that just ain't gonna happen.

                               

                              Apple, of course, loves it. This was their idea. There was no way that iBookstore was going to be able to compete with the established dealers, especially Amazon with its discounts. Personally, I think that iBookstore is going to be a flop anyway, but without the level playing field on pricing it was going to sink like a stone.

                               

                              The other e-book dealers don't have enough clout to do much more than try to find a way to survive.

                      • Re: Where is B&N Management??

                         

                        PhotoGuyDL wrote:

                        Where is B&N Management?   These forums provide B&N management with an excellent barometer on how well their nook is doing in the marketplace.  By reading these forums, it is clear that the hot button topic for all of their new nook owners is the chaotic eBook pricing.

                         

                        So, where is B&N Management?  Why not use these forums to at least make some statements about the current eBook pricing uncertainty?  Or at the minimum, acknowledge peoples' concerns?  Customers hate feeling ignored.  At least this customer hates feeling ignored.

                        I know your heart is in the right place, but I have to disagree.

                         

                        The forums don't really provide a valid barometer.  I would guess a company the size of B&N does market research that is more effective than just reading the comments in a free-for-all forums.

                         

                        And there are a lot of other factors that determine price, other than customer 'wishes'.

                         

                        There are a lot of people who very loudly insist that pricing is completely (fill in the blank) random/predatory/outreageous, etc, etc.  But that does not ipso-facto mean that most people are (fill in the blank) angry/frustrated/not going to buy.

                         

                        There have been months of talk of boycotts and speaking with one's wallet.  But B&Ns ebook profits are up significantly.  That is the bottom line.

                         

                          • Re: Where is B&N Management??

                             

                            eDigest wrote:

                             

                            I know your heart is in the right place, but I have to disagree.

                             

                            The forums don't really provide a valid barometer.  I would guess a company the size of B&N does market research that is more effective than just reading the comments in a free-for-all forums.

                             

                             

                            @eDigest,

                             

                            I couldn't disagree with you more about the value of the forums as a barometer.  I used to provide knowledge management consulting and one of the key issues that companies have is how to obtain feedback.  Forcus groups are limited by the size and composition of the group and the limited time studying the product.  It is hard to get a good cross-section from a small group. 

                             

                            While these "free for all" forums as you describe have posters that say outrageous things, there are many posters that provide excellent feedback and comments.  The beauty of this forum is that it is unfiltered and candid.  This also means that B&N needs to filter the useful information from the useless information.  But here B&N's employees have numerous posters that give them candid and unfiltered feedback.  The only downside is that the feedback only comes from people that post on these forums and does not capture the feedback from people that don't post on forums.  Nevertheless, the population of people that do post here are an excellent source of feedback information that companies often want.  The majority of posters here are Nook owners giving the company candid feedback about its products.  Few companies are in a position to have such a forum.

                             

                             

                             

                            @Michael-V

                             

                            I appreciate your statement about B&N's commitment.  I think one of the issues for the new (we are all new) nook owners, is that no one expected to find such a chaotic eBook pricing situation so soon after B&N launched its product.  I can't speak for all, but had I known about the pricing situation before Christmas, I might have waited to make my Nook purchases.  Not because I want to pay excessive prices to Apple for an iPad, but because I want to know if it is cheaper in the long run to buy physical books v. eBooks.

                          • Re: Where is B&N Management??

                            @PhotoGuyDL,

                            eBooks are an emerging category and many pricing models  are being tested from both publishers and retailers. What's important for all of  our customers to know, is that we are committed to  providing you with the widest catalog of digital books and eperiodicals, that you can read and take with you on more  devices than any other ebookstore.   We are not focused on any one device, rather we’re about giving consumers choices as to  where you want to read your digital content.   We are also committed to offering these ebooks  and eperiodicals at a very competitive  price.

                             

                              • Re: Where is B&N Management??

                                 

                                Michael-V wrote:

                                @PhotoGuyDL,

                                eBooks are an emerging category and many pricing models are being tested from both publishers and retailers. What's important for all of our customers to know, is that we are committed to providing you with the widest catalog of digital books and eperiodicals, that you can read and take with you on more devices than any other ebookstore.   We are not focused on any one device, rather we’re about giving consumers choices as to where you want to read your digital content.  We are also committed to offering these ebooks and eperiodicals at a very competitive price.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                To be quite honest, so far I think BN is lacking in the selection of eNewspapers and eMagazines.. So in my opinion, that's an unfulfilled promise at this point.. In fact, there are several mentioned in the press release that are still not available (Newsweek, Forbes). The press release also states, "Barnes & Noble now offers subscriptions to more than 20 newspapers", but in fact there are only 18 as of this writing, and I think just a couple of weeks ago there were only 17.

                                 

                                I've seen a number of non-fiction books that I would like to purchase that are available at your competitor (Amazon) that are not offered by BN.. The fact that it's available at Amazon in eBook form is encouraging, since it means the publisher is not eBook averse, but why isn't it also available at BN?

                                 

                                I'm only trying to respectfully point out that there is still a ways to go on the content library side of things.. One need only refer to the huge load of posts on this thread to see what others, including myself, are requesting..

                                 

                                I think for the most part, we're all trying to be patient, but it does get frustrating.. A little more communication from BN insiders on "up coming eBook availability and such my go a long way in purchasing some additional patience from nook owners. :smileywink: