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Macmillan E-books


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Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:01:39 AM PST
John Hoving says:
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Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:02:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2010 11:04:45 AM PST
H Carver: As I said in my first comment, authors typically get a percentage of the sale price of the book

I suppose that is different according to the contracts the authors have. There are many authors who are paid on the list price, not the sale price.

Regarding MM's proposal to use the sliding scale, why would they ever reduce the price if all sellers of e books are required to sell at the same price that MM sets? And isn't this where it's heading? Prices fixed (even tho it's legal) on e books to support the declining hard cover market?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:03:56 AM PST
Then why not go to B&N? Oh yeah, you can't read the nooks books on every e reader, can you? Try the iBook store. Oh yeah, they haven't gotten FCC approval yet, have they? Go buy the hard copy. They're probably discounted at B&N but I'm sure they'll let you pay full price.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:06:08 AM PST
loriltx says:
It is not an issue of "bestseller." It is an issue of I want the choice to be able to buy the ebook at the same time that the HB is released. I am willing to pay just as much as I would have to pay for the newly released HB. I did not buy a Kindle to save money. I bought a Kindle for convenience--so that my husband and I could travel without having to take a separate bag containing books and so that I could eliminate the growing stacks of books around the house and not contemplate where exactly I could put another bookcase. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us that bought Kindles for these reasons. Further, although I though the $9.99 was icing on the cake, I was also sure that this price would not last very long and that the "unless noted otherwise" would become more and more frequent.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:10:51 AM PST
I will not be purchasing any books over $9.99. There are other fish in the sea.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:12:04 AM PST
loriltx says:
Your post makes absolutely no sense in response to my post.

I love my Kindle and want the choice of whether I will pay the price required to get a new release at the same time the HB is . Which is why I support Amazon's caving. By doing so, Amazon gave all customers why they wanted, i.e., the ones of us willing to pay to get the ebook right away can buy it, and the ones who won't may more than a certain price can buy it later.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:15:29 AM PST
You said there were several you wanted to buy; I was giving you options.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:20:52 AM PST
I appreciate the posting by amazon to keep us up to date. if they are going to charge more give us something in return- the ability to lend the ebook to others as if we bot that hard copy etc... I think the publishers are being short sighted. i actually have many titles where i buy the ebook and the hard copy for my library or my husband who doesn't kindle yet. i may have to join the 9.99 boycott.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:24:50 AM PST
lesley9 says:
Without reading all the posts in this thread, I'm sitting here thinking, well what do I think?

Without getting into all the politics, ethics, whatever, but just being practical as to my interests, I will buy a book when it's price matches both what I can afford and what I think the book means to me.

Reality: I rarely reread a book. When I buy a music CD, I expect to relisten to it often enough to justify it's purchase. So, in that regard, music CDs are a vastly better monetary investment for me than books. This is one reason why I have stuck with physical music and am not afraid of digital books. Although there is the fear of the physical form of music eventually switching to another media just like it went from records onwards. So I may have to repurchase my favorite music yet again.

I don't expect to pay this higher new book release prices since they are too high to justify for an expected one time read (excluding reference books). I like the under $10 price for a one time read. There are hardly any new books that I HAVE to read upon publication. Really none that are fiction. I can wait until the prices drop.

Whatever happens, it doesn't affect the above personal reality. So while I am interested in these current happenings, it doesn't really change my personal needs and viewpoints.

However, injecting politics and ethics back into this, I do take into consideration greater than me issues. I am concerned about children's literature being delayed or priced higher than in family friendly prices, libraries, and other larger issues. I am way less than respectful of the MacMillian's CEO stance that he refuses to allow eBooks to be available for libraries - that is a reason to boycott this publisher, not just higher prices that will eventually go down or new eBooks that may be release delayed.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:26:41 AM PST
L. S. Chan says:
An e-book shouldn't cost more than its physical counterparts. If a hardcover that has a regular price of $25 goes on sale for $10, then I do not expect to pay more for the e-book.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:28:09 AM PST
TB1979 says:
I don't get why this had to be an all or nothing thing! Offer a freaking coupon for $5.00, Amazon! Offer a discount card or something! If Amazon really wants the price to be $9.99, there must be a loophole. I am so over all of these idiots! Publisher's alienating readers, authors sitting on their asses, and Amazon wringing its hands in a corner. Grow a pair!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:30:19 AM PST
If Macmillan can play semantics with "agency contracts" maybe Amazon could play semantics with ebook promotions, offering a coupon for future ebook purchases for any book where they act as agent rather than retailer. They could give back to the consumers the extra amount Macmillan is paying them.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:30:48 AM PST
H. Carver says:
"I suppose that is different according to the contracts the authors have. There are many authors who are paid on the list price, not the sale price."

Maybe there are, maybe there aren't. Agents exist to make sure authors don't get screwed contractually. In any case, whether or not there are some authors who may be worse off is irrelevant. That there are plenty of authors who will be better off makes it clear that any sweeping statement along the lines of 'authors will be worse off under the new Macmillan deal' is demonstrably untrue.

"Regarding MM's proposal to use the sliding scale, why would they ever reduce the price if all sellers of e books are required to sell at the same price that MM sets?"

Because it makes good business sense, that's why. You release something at one price, and lower it over time to increase sales/keep sales ticking along. They'd probably tie it in to later print editions. So, start with the HC release and a full-price ebook. Possibly followed by a TPB and the first ebook price cut. Then out with the mass-market PB and another cut. Or maybe they'll have a timescale in mind irrespective of any print editions and lower the price over that instead - say if they consider that HB sales have been so poor there won't be any further print editions. I don't doubt they will make use of the sliding scale, the only question is exactly how they'll do so.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:32:27 AM PST
N. Dinh says:
ebooks are not the same as paper books: you cannot loan them, and definitely can't sell them when you are done. You can't place them on the your library shelf for reference, collection for posterity... So it is ridiculous to charge ebooks the same as paper books. The publishers are either glueless or greedy. If they charge too much, they only encourage piracy. STUPID move.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:32:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2010 11:36:11 AM PST
G. Rumple says:
What authors will be better off? Could you please explain to me how Authors will be better off? And please don't give me the details of the Amazon DTP program that has NOTHING to do with the contracts Amazon has with the Major Publishing Houses. Everyone keeps saying it, but my numbers (taken DIRECTLY from the CEO of Macmillan) show otherwise.

As the way I see it, the authors who get a percentage of the List Price will suffer, as VOLUME is the key to them, and higher priced e-books will lower volume. As for the ones who take a percentage of the publisher's money, well the Publisher is going to make less money under the Agent model, thus the author will make less money. So yeah, both ways the Authors will LOSE money.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:33:18 AM PST
@Tara - but you haven't PURCHASED any titles for your Kindle, you've LICENSED them.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:34:06 AM PST
G. Crew says:
I understand you need to provide these books but I will not pay over $ 9.99. That is high enough after spending so much for my Kindle. I will use the library!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:36:06 AM PST
I think this provides a greater opportunity for Amazon to promote some of the self publishers on their site. There are some exceptional writers published through Amazon that don't have the promotional support provided by the great powerhouses. Still offer books by Macmillan, but promote the unknown authors more. This might break the monopoly by the powerhouses and allow new writers the notoriety and income to survive in a very volatile market.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:39:49 AM PST
Let's not forget Apple's operative role in this scandal: http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/ref=cm_cd_ttp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdThread=Tx4ZHO4FW28LHR&displayType=tagsDetail

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:39:54 AM PST
H. Carver says:
To quote the relevant part of the Scalzi post I linked to earlier:

"And to be blunt about it, it's in my interest as an author as well, because, you know what? My royalty is a percentage of the sale price."

Naturally, Scalzi doesn't say what the percentage is. Lets assume, for the sake of argument and to make the maths easy, that it's 10%. It won't be, but lets assume.

Amazon want to sell ebooks for $9.99. So for each one sold at the Amazon price, Scalzi gets 99 cents, or $1 if it gets rounded up.

Macmillan want to sell ebooks for $14.99. So for each one sold at the Macmillan price, Scalzi gets $1.49, or again, $1.50 if it gets rounded up.

It's as simple as that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:46:56 AM PST
This is strike three against the Kindle and ebooks in general. Strike 1: proprietary software. Strike 2: overpriced SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS in spite of greatly reduced distribution costs. Strike 3: capitulation to publisher blackmail. You bowed to McMillan faster than Obama bowed to the Suadi king. No thanks. If you don't protect the interests of your customers, I'll stick to waiting for the paperback, or use my public library. I don't need a $250 paperweight on my nightstand. Until you and your customers stop paying for this kind of consumer abuse, it will only get worse.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:47:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2010 11:49:21 AM PST
G. Rumple says:
No it's not, it's not as simple as that. You're so wrong, it's funny.

Let me go over this again.

Last Week: Amazon paid Macmillan 50% of the list price for the book in a wholesale agreement. So if the Book cost $25, Amazon paid $12.50 for it to Macmillan (which is THE ONLY PART THAT MATTERS to the Author), Amazon than sells it for $9.99 at a LOSS of $2.51. Scalzi got 10% of what was paid to Macmillan (not what Amazon sold it for, so the full $12.50) which is $1.25

New Agent Model: Amazon doesn't pay for the book, Macmillan puts it up for sale for $14.99. If it sells, Amazon gets 30% of $4.50 of the sale, and Macmillan keeps the other $10.49. So now Scalzi gets 10% of the $10.49 or $1.05 (and no I don't think for one MOMENT that Macmillan is going to lower their profits/share by giving the author 10% of the $14.99, that would be crazy, but maybe this is what your arguing, if so, good luck with that).

So again, the math proves you wrong. The author goes from making $1.25 to only making $1.05.

Want to continue, I'm enjoying this.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:47:29 AM PST
Elliott says:
Is the author's percentage based on the retail sale price or the wholesale sale price?

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 11:47:36 AM PST
If it were possible for Amazon to create a system of 'filters' for the Kindle Store, would you implement them? Say you want to EXCLUDE books that cost more than $9.99 and that was as simple as setting a filter, would you use that feature and exclude all of these Macmillan titles? I would.....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 11:50:46 AM PST
G. Rumple says:
Varies from Contract to Contract, some authors have big enough clout to actually get a percentage of the MSRP no matter what the wholesale/retail price is. Other's take a cut of the wholesale price, other's take a flat rate per book, etc.
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Initial post:  Jan 31, 2010
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