Hachette is going the 'agency model' for compensation in their ebook sales.  Just like Macmillian.  Should we worry?   One publishing empire strikes out on a new route and the others must follow?  Didn't we just have this conversation about collusion?





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Which market? Cell phones, or smart phones? As for the iPod, I'm not sure where you're getting that number--as of September '09 Apple said it had over 73% of the market. In terms of revenue, according to Steve Jobs, it's the largest maker of mobile devices in the world, including Nokia et al.
Even in America, those are the only two devices you can even argue that Apple has dominated. They certainly have never dominated the market with computers.
Right. Which is why I never argued that they did.
Though iPhone is a lovely piece of technology. I must admit, I love my iphone, and if I had the budget, I'd be looking into the iPad. (Despite the name, which was obviously not run past even one woman). With Kindle's refusal to work with me as a Canadian writer, I'd be sorely pressed to have much sympathy towards them as they face growing competition. The people at Apple have been a joy to work with, in my experience so far.
The publishing world is going through crazy changes just like the music world did. Macmillian's strategy is really old school. Macmilian is trying to hang on to their pricing; Amazon is trying to sell more books. I'm for the Amazon strategy.

Macmillian is banking on the ipad being successful like the iphone. That's like General Motors banking on SUVs. I think the ipad is BACKLIT. If it is, it won't be a major competitor to Amazon Kindle or B&N Nook. Amazon should play hardball with Macmillian, wait them out. Macmillian needs Amazon more than visa versa.

Let's face it: most publishers know how to print books and get them into the chains. These publishers lose that type of control with digital. They can't provide any better distribution of books on Amazon Kindle than you can.

If I were a publisher, I would be staying up nights trying to figure out how to compete in a digital world. So far, publishsers are continuing to think in yesterday's world.
The iPad is backlit, so it's not really an ereader to me; on the other hand, tons of people do read off their (backlit) iPhones using a Kindle app.
Right on! I'm getting angrier by the minute at the way authors are being treated.
Macmilian is trying to hang on to their pricing; Amazon is trying to sell more books.

Amazon doesn't give a damn about selling books--that's why they're selling new releases and best-sellers at a loss in their Kindle store. They make up the difference in sales of the Kindle ereader. Classic loss-leader strategy, and one the publishers rightly feel is both ass-backwards (tail wags dog) and unsustainable.

Amazon should play hardball with Macmillian, wait them out.

Yeah, fuck those Macmillan authors. Let 'em starve!

Macmillian needs Amazon more than visa versa.

On the other hand, if the rest of the Big Six decide to switch to the agency model, Amazon's shit out of luck. There goes its ebook price-point advantage, and there goes Kindle's market dominance.

I think the ipad is BACKLIT.

I look at a gorgeous Apple backlit display all day when I'm writing, without eyestrain of any kind. I don't get what the issue's supposed to be here. Yep, it's backlit--so what?
Amazon wants to sell Kindles, sure, but books as well, and that's their key concern, I think. Here's the Washington Post's business editor on what Amazon has been doing: "The genius behind the deeply discounted book price is that it seems to have greatly accelerated the inevitable transition from physical books to digital ones, while allowing Amazon to build a commanding lead in the digital space." They want people to get used to buying ebooks and the sooner the better, and the best way to make that happen is to help establish the habit with low prices.

Regarding eInk technology versus LCD screens, there aren't any studies as far as I know directly comparing the two, but there are many studies suggesting that LCD screens bother the eyes of some people, while others aren't bothered at all by them.
If their key concern is selling books, why would they sell them at a loss in order to artificially drive Kindle sales? It's an unsustainable business model that values device over content (tail wags dog, as I said), and publishers naturally find it objectionable. Writers probably should, too. As a producer of content (you know--books!), I'm extremely leery of any emerging publishing scenario that devalues content, whether it's the wave of the fucking future or not. That certainly seems to be the trend in the Kindle store, where customers are trained increasingly to expect content to be heavily discounted or, better yet, free. As they say in the newspaper biz (or what's left of it), free is not a business model.
Amazon is selling ebooks at a loss to hasten the adoption of ebooks by the book-buying public as well as to sell more Kindles, two goals intertwined. They can't achieve one goal without the other so both goals are key to them I'm sure, but I don't think they're quite equal, here's why:

I suspect Amazon knows their Kindle will be overtaken or beaten in the long run by other hardware-focused companies, such as Apple, so that's why I think the primary concern for Amazon is to establish a sizeable ebook market as soon as possible, because they believe they can make more money in such an environment. Thus selling ebooks is really what they're about, and I believe that's what the editor from the WP I quoted was implying.
Where does Sony fit into all this?


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