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Apple Signs Up Independent Publisher and Distributor Perseus Books for iBookstore

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The New York Times reports that Apple has struck a deal with Perseus Books Group, an independent publisher and the largest distributor of works from other independent publishers, to bring its content to the iBookstore.
Perseus Books Group, a large independent publisher that also distributes works from 330 other smaller presses including Grove Atlantic, Harvard Business School Press, Zagat and City Lights Books, signed a deal last week with Apple, following five of the six biggest publishers that have already signed agreements with Apple.
The deal is similar to those struck with other publishers, with Perseus setting eBook pricing while Apple takes a 30% cut of revenue. Publishers distributing through Perseus will have the option to join the deal.
Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman, confirmed that it had signed a deal with Perseus. In an e-mail statement, David Steinberger, chief executive of Perseus, said, "We're working with Apple to make books from The Perseus Books Group and the independent publishers we represent available on the iBookstore starting on April 3. As the leading provider of distribution services for independent publishers, including digital distribution through our Constellation digital service, Perseus is thrilled to be making our books available on the iPad."
The report notes that Apple has required in its dealings with publishers that other retailers not be permitted to undercut its prices. The demand, embraced by the publishers, has led several major publishers to seek modifications to their existing arrangements with distributors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble that would permit them to shift to an agency model similar to that they now hold with Apple that permits publishers rather than distributors to set prices.

Article Link: Apple Signs Up Independent Publisher and Distributor Perseus Books for iBookstore
 

MacFly123

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Dec 25, 2006
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The college landscape is going to change a lot in the next few years! I wish the iPad was around when I was still in school haha! :D
 
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Middling

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Jan 25, 2009
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It's all very well signing up publishers, but what i want to know is if Apple is going to allow individuals to self-publish in the same way they allow individual developers to publish their own apps.
 
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markosb

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2010
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The college landscape is going to change a lot in the next few years! I wish the iPad was around when I was still in school haha! :D

If money isn't tight, you could take some night courses :) It may be a little vain to do so just to use the iPad but hey at least you learn something.
 
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dvassallo

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Feb 5, 2008
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New York
It's all very well signing up publishers, but what i want to know is if Apple is going to allow individuals to self-publish in the same way they allow individual developers to publish their own apps.

Interesting idea. I like it. At least a sub-section of the iBookstore dedicated to "independant" artists.
 
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zombitronic

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Feb 9, 2007
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It's all very well signing up publishers, but what i want to know is if Apple is going to allow individuals to self-publish in the same way they allow individual developers to publish their own apps.

I doubt it. Apps are software packages, which fit nicely into Apple's wheelhouse. I don't see Apple taking the reigns of a book publisher, just as they don't publish movies or music. However, if you are a small time writer, perhaps Perseus would be an appropriate publisher to pursue.
 
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Doctor Q

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I wonder how much revenue Apple expects to get from the iBookstore and if their focus is mostly on selling iPads rather than profits from distributing content.
 
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MacFly123

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Dec 25, 2006
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If money isn't tight, you could take some night courses :) It may be a little vain to do so just to use the iPad but hey at least you learn something.

Ya after getting my degree I'm not about to go back to school lol. As for learning, I have always been a life long learner, in school or not! ;)

I wonder how much revenue Apple expects to get from the iBookstore and if their focus is mostly on selling iPads rather than profits from distributing content.

It is the same model as the iTunes Store and App Store, add the iBook Store, and it is all really just iTunes. The only separation is really for ease of the user experience and nothing more. The models are all the same, it is just above break even with the intent to move hardware!
 
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Piggie

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Feb 23, 2010
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I doubt it. Apps are software packages, which fit nicely into Apple's wheelhouse. I don't see Apple taking the reigns of a book publisher, just as they don't publish movies or music. However, if you are a small time writer, perhaps Perseus would be an appropriate publisher to pursue.

What's stopping anyone writing or collecting books and putting them up for download on any website for people to download on their Mac or PC and syncing them onto their iPad?
 
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tedorland

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Mar 22, 2010
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I doubt it. Apps are software packages, which fit nicely into Apple's wheelhouse. I don't see Apple taking the reigns of a book publisher, just as they don't publish movies or music. However, if you are a small time writer, perhaps Perseus would be an appropriate publisher to pursue.

Actually, Perseus is a distributor, not a publisher. They're an umbrella organization that handles the book distribution for scores of small independent presses. Perseus does not deal with individual writers.
 
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WestonHarvey1

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Jan 9, 2007
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I doubt it. Apps are software packages, which fit nicely into Apple's wheelhouse. I don't see Apple taking the reigns of a book publisher, just as they don't publish movies or music. However, if you are a small time writer, perhaps Perseus would be an appropriate publisher to pursue.

Apple could learn from Amazon here. Anyone can self-publish on the Kindle store, and yet, Amazon has somehow found a way to keep all the crap that results away from the good books.
 
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WestonHarvey1

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Jan 9, 2007
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What's stopping anyone writing or collecting books and putting them up for download on any website for people to download on their Mac or PC and syncing them onto their iPad?

Nobody is going to do that. Too much "friction", I believe the fancy Web 2.0 term is.

Defaults are king. Whatever is easy and natural will win out.
 
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theBB

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Jan 3, 2006
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It is the same model as the iTunes Store and App Store, add the iBook Store, and it is all really just iTunes. The only separation is really for ease of the user experience and nothing more. The models are all the same, it is just above break even with the intent to move hardware!
Considering the similar pricing of movies and books, if Apple is just breaking even with movies that take up about a GB to download, books that are about a hundred times smaller should have good margins. Actually rental movies bring in even less money, but it still takes a lot of bandwidth and storage. I know bandwidth and storage is not the only cost, but it should still account for a substantial portion, shouldn't it?
 
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indigo144

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Jul 12, 2005
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textbooks vs newspapers

Some textbooks just get you through a course. But the really good ones become references that you consult throughout your career. Fat chance that you'd be able to read your ebook a decade from now. Its as likely as printing your old college paper written in Wordperfect (or an older version of MSWord for that matter). So, 5 years after college you'd be left with an obsolete e-reader. (Even though some students sell their old textbooks hopefully they may hang on to a few.)

A related point that's not discussed much is textbook-DRM. How long before someone hacks that precious $150 text and posts is as a pdf?
 
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wizard

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May 29, 2003
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Cool

It sounds like this organization distributes the sort of books that would benefit greatly from electronic distribution. That is the key to electronic publication, that is content that is ideal for the electronic form.


Dave
 
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fruitpunch.ben

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
595
173
Surrey, BC
Some textbooks just get you through a course. But the really good ones become references that you consult throughout your career. Fat chance that you'd be able to read your ebook a decade from now. Its as likely as printing your old college paper written in Wordperfect (or an older version of MSWord for that matter). So, 5 years after college you'd be left with an obsolete e-reader. (Even though some students sell their old textbooks hopefully they may hang on to a few.)

A related point that's not discussed much is textbook-DRM. How long before someone hacks that precious $150 text and posts is as a pdf?

I doubt its that important. Research in every field continues, and in 5 or 10 years the textbook you had in college will be out of date because it won't contain recent developments.
More important for me is if the textbook ebooks I buy for my iPad will also be viewable on my Macs? I don't want to be limited just to an iPad to read them on. When its battery dies I want to be able to look up something on my iMac or MBP.
 
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MacFly123

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Dec 25, 2006
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Considering the similar pricing of movies and books, if Apple is just breaking even with movies that take up about a GB to download, books that are about a hundred times smaller should have good margins. Actually rental movies bring in even less money, but it still takes a lot of bandwidth and storage. I know bandwidth and storage is not the only cost, but it should still account for a substantial portion, shouldn't it?

Yes, I'd say it would. You have to remember though that Apple doesn't break them all apart like that. iTunes and services are all accounted as one stream of revenue, and all together, taking into account all those variables, it operates at just above break even. People and rumors have tried to say that is not true, but Apple's quarterly results show consistently that they are not really banking anything there.
 
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theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
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Yes, I'd say it would. You have to remember though that Apple doesn't break them all apart like that. iTunes and services are all accounted as one stream of revenue, and all together, taking into account all those variables, it operates at just above break even. People and rumors have tried to say that is not true, but Apple's quarterly results show consistently that they are not really banking anything there.
Are you sure? I thought they were breaking down the revenue for iTunes, but not the profits.
 
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boss1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2007
978
36
Gotta love how Apple, time after time, manages to introduce itself to well established industries and pretty much tells them, "We don't agree with your business model so from now on you will do it our way" . Presto, the manufacturer / publisher now sets their own prices.
 
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tedorland

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2010
2
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It costs Amazon approximately six cents to transmit a book (ANY book) electronically to a customer. So if you eliminate the cost of shipping and the cost of printing the (physical) book itself, you can give the publisher & author & distributor the same amount they’ve always received and STILL sell the book at a low standardized price. That's the model that Amazon has been trying to implement.

Under Apple’s plan, the publisher and the distributor (Apple) will make much more money, the author could (but probably won't) receive a higher royalty – but the customer absolutely WILL pay much more than they would have under Amazon’s pricing.
 
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gwangung

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,106
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It costs Amazon approximately six cents to transmit a book (ANY book) electronically to a customer. So if you eliminate the cost of shipping and the cost of printing the (physical) book itself, you can give the publisher & author & distributor the same amount they’ve always received and STILL sell the book at a low standardized price. That's the model that Amazon has been trying to implement.

Under Apple’s plan, the publisher and the distributor (Apple) will make much more money, the author could (but probably won't) receive a higher royalty – but the customer absolutely WILL pay much more than they would have under Amazon’s pricing.

This is kinda mixed up and kinda hard to evaluate, since you're assigning costs to segments that don't quite fit (for example, shipping costs apply to both publishers, distributors and retailers; cost of printing is born only by the publisher). This also ignores the price curves where demand tails off and price would follow; that's the logic of hardback prices vs. soft, and new release DVD vs. old release.

In essence, I'm quite sure you don't know what you're talking about.
 
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