Nice, but goodbye to royalties. Quality books from major publishers on iBooks will be pushed by Apple to their $2.99 price. Small press will be sold at $1.99, the others $.99. Royalties of 20-25% on net (60% of sales price) will make those seven digit advances go away. The small press ($1.99) royalties of 10% on net will make the average 10,000 units sold return $1,200 royalties (part time at McDonalds one day a week pays more). And the rest, the 99 cent books, the slush pile on iBooks, will maybe buy you a coffee once a week.
Isn't technology and corporate greed wonderful. Us little guy authors can do all the work and let Apple make all the money. We really are a nice bunch.
I'm not so sure that those publishers would have come on board with a business model like that. There isn't enough of a user-base to justify that, yet. I don't think we can compare this to a market for apps or music.
Well your pricing prediction might prove to be true in the long run Bob but for now Apple is colluding with the big publishers to prop up prices. (That five of the big six publishers signed on with Apple to sell "iBooks" is to lessen the appearance of collusion perhaps.) The publishers want to be able to say to Amazon: "Raise prices or we'll sell with Apple exclusively." But I'm not sure this is really going to fly. From a NY Times article today:
"Antitrust attorneys suggested there could be legal complications if Amazon claimed that publishers were colluding to set prices, or dictating prices to retailers, which is illegal under a 2007 Supreme Court decision."
@ Daniel, not sure how this lessens piracy worries any. DRM is crackable and I don't believe DRM will even be used with iBooks and Amazon Kindle just introduced a feature to turn off DRM if authors want to. (It actually HAD been off all along, as it turns out, surely a case of false advertising, so one would have to deliberately turn it on now.)
@Bob, FYI, royalties for Apple's iBooks were announced today at 70% (of gross) for publishers, and not coincidentally Amazon raised their royalty rate for Kindle publishers to 70% last week. (Previously, it'd been 35%.)
DRM will have to involve jailbreaking the iPad, so the common user won't be able to get a book emailed to them by a tech-head friend. Although that tech-head friend might jailbreak the iPad for them. I think that something has to be said about convenience of buying on the device you use for reading. The iPod has proven that with music and the iPhone with apps.
But that royalty hike is a big slap in the face, ain't it?
Fuck. Sorry, but why aren't these lawyers working to lower the price of the iPad and iPod Touch. What's in them, five bucks worth of plastic parts protected by patents? Why isn't that anti-trust? Let any factory in China make them and maybe I could afford one.
Frankly, from what I've seen and read about it, it's too small to be a real computer and too damn big to be a phone. It's an ITouch on steroids. can't see it replacing a smart phone, and for the price I'd have to pay to buy one, wouldn't a laptop computer be a better choice?
Piracy with books is going to happen. But I don't see it as being that much different than someone reading a book and then passing it onto a friend or two. My wife is in a book club and often three or four people read the same copy of a novel. So 'piracy' is already happening. I doubt everyone will simply start downloading free books. The royalties issue is beyond me at the moment.