Amazon Reluctantly Agrees to Higher eBook Pricing

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Even before the launch of the iPad, there had been rumors that Apple was working with publishers to allow them to set their own prices for ebooks. This could result in bestselling ebooks being priced as high as $14.99 vs the current selling price of $9.99 on Amazon. Jobs was even questioned by Walt Mossberg about this possibility after the media event. Steve Jobs said that Amazon and iPad ebooks would be priced "the same".

Macmillan publishing found itself at the heart of the debate when the company had found its ebooks had been pulled from Amazon late last week. A message from Macmillan CEO John Sargent confirmed the disagreement and explained that they wanted to adopt an "agency" model for book pricing:
Under the agency model, we will sell the digital editions of our books to consumers through our retailers. Our retailers will act as our agents and will take a 30% commission (the standard split today for many digital media businesses). The price will be set the price for each book individually. Our plan is to price the digital edition of most adult trade books in a price range from $14.99 to $5.99. At first release, concurrent with a hardcover, most titles will be priced between $14.99 and $12.99. E books will almost always appear day on date with the physical edition. Pricing will be dynamic over time.
Today, it appears that Amazon has relented with an announcement today, but placing the blame fully on Macmillan for the higher prices:
We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.
Amazon claims that they don't feel that other publishers will take the same route as Macmillan and that consumer demand will decide the matter in the long run.

Article Link: Amazon Reluctantly Agrees to Higher eBook Pricing
 

CQd44

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2009
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Edinburg, Texas
Wait, amazon-purchased e-books won't be compatible with the iPad? Or did I misunderstand the "Amazon and iPad ebooks" part?
 

fogelbaby

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2007
16
29
It will be interesting to see what happens with this. Either people will pay the $14.99 or not. Or perhaps it will just increase piracy and decrease money made overall. Time will tell. It does seem unjust to charge as much for an ebook which costs nothing as a physical book which needs to be printed and distributed.
 

pondie84

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2008
592
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You would think publishers would acknowledge the invent of ebooks as a great way to cut costs on the production side. They could encourage the sale of ebooks by selling them at low prices and then once the market moved towards ebooks in favour of paper versions of books they could increase prices and profits.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
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Mpls, MN
Wait, amazon-purchased e-books won't be compatible with the iPad? Or did I misunderstand the "Amazon and iPad ebooks" part?
There's a Kindle app already, so I'm sure they would be compatible.

That's a pretty impressive stand by Amazon. They are making a point, but catering to customers, as well. Interesting.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
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My guess is Apple has given a little bit of advice to publishers and Apple now has them on board to raise prices. This benefits Apple and Publishers. I am not sure what the impact will be on Consumers (outside of costing more), but who knows, the higher prices could bring better features and allow publishers to take full advantage of the iPad. Steve said that you can even put videos in the iBook "books", etc.

Wouldn't be nice if publishers could use the extra money to provide the book and audio book with one purchase and maybe even give you some extras like a small video about the book or maybe even an interview with the author, etc???

Just thoughts, but I don't read books and will not use the iBooks app so it doesn't really impact me either way.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
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There's a Kindle app for the iphone. I'm sure they will update it for the ipad.
Apple will probably reject a Kindle app that runs on the iPad as it "duplicates functionality". I wouldn't be surprised if they wouldn't allow the existing Kindle app to sync with the iPad. Steve did say "almost" all 140,000 apps will work.
 

chaosmint

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canucksfan88 said:
and so beings piracy of e-books
As evidenced by the app store, piracy is not a function of the cost of the original material.

arn
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
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So will installulous adapt to an eBook store or will hackulo make a new app. I am against the piracy of apps, but with the greedy raise of prices due to publishers, I am not sure I can say the same about eBooks.
Do you guys think we will start seeing hardcover books with free eBook coupons in them a la DVD's?
 

patsfan83

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2008
178
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Why is Amazon being painted as bad cop? They are trying to keep prices low for their customers (at the expense of publishers profits).

If this was the music or movie industry, everyone would be a lot more upset.
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,664
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Do you guys think we will start seeing hardcover books with free eBook coupons in them a la DVD's?
Great idea, one of the reasons I buy a Blu-Ray copy of a film with the digital copy feature is to have it on my computer/iPhone.
 

bbydon

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
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Do you think Amazon will remove the "kindle" app since the iPad is now a competitor?
No, I believe there strategy is Have the kindle app everywhere... Computers phones, iPhones etc... In case the kindle ends up a failure.... They still would possibly control the ebook market by there app or still be involved.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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Apple will probably reject a Kindle app that runs on the iPad as it "duplicates functionality". I wouldn't be surprised if they wouldn't allow the existing Kindle app to sync with the iPad. Steve did say "almost" all 140,000 apps will work.
He said that b/c some apps require GPS or a camera. No all iPads have GPS (must have 3G model) and no iPad has a camera.
 

Peace

Cancelled
Apr 1, 2005
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Why is Amazon being painted as bad cop? They are trying to keep prices low for their customers (at the expense of publishers profits).

If this was the music or movie industry, everyone would be a lot more upset.
McMillan,like other publishers adopted the price structure of Amazon because at that time Amazon was the major seller of eBooks. Now Apple has told publishers they will sell books for what the publishers want to sell them at and take a 30% cut.

This scared Amazon so they got ticked off at McMillan and pulled their titles.

McMillan called their bluff.

Amazon caved.

end of story.
 
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