Author Topic: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?  (Read 3965 times)  

Offline monkeygirl351

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Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
« on: March 06, 2011, 01:14:31 pm »
Well I was checking out amazons books looking for freebies and lower cost books and I noticed something. For the first time since I've really started paying attention, Alone by Lisa Gardner is out of the number 1 spot! Is it a coincidence that that happened the week that Random House went to the agency model? I tend to not think so. I think that publishers should wake up and not gouge the paying customer. I tend to be stingy when I buy my books. If the book is free, up to about 5 dollars I will buy it if I think it might be something I'm interested in. (I bought Alone when it was 99 cents I believe) I do buy books higher priced though. From about 5-10 dollars I will download the sample, read it and them make my judgement as to whether I will buy it. Anything higher than 10 dollars I will download the sample and if I still want it, I put it in my "books to buy" collection. I will monitor the price on these books to see if it goes down, or lately I have been downloading books to my ipad from my library. I have three libraries that I belong to and with them combined, they have about 15,000 ebooks. I will only buy higher than 10-12 dollars only rarely and only if the other options are exhausted. Most of my impulse buying occurs less than 5 dollars but is reasonable all the way up to 10 dollars. This is where I believe that ebooks should be priced and I think that the publishers aren't too bright for charging such crazy prices for an electronic book. I think the fact that Alone being in number one for so long then being bumped down by a book that is 99 cents (I also have that one), is proof that the publishers should rethink. In the meantime, I will read more indie authors and continue to check out the crazy priced ones elsewhere.

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    Offline ff2

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 01:30:13 pm »
    I do wonder if more people placed books on their wish lists (or maybe even their carts) but did not follow through would get someone's notice:  People want those books but are not ready for them at the price they are being offered for.

    I recall thinking a bit too long about an electric screw driver on Amazon.  Suddenly it shot up in price by $40 dollars.  They kept sending emails with "Makita this and makita that" and I finally replied that I found the price rise unconscionable and would not purchase it.  The price did eventually drop a week or two later back down and I did purchase it. 

    I have no doubt, Amazon, if not the publishers have programs that monitor wishlists and cart items UNpurchased.  Maybe concerted actions could make a dent in these "price fixing" schemes.

    Offline StaceyHH

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 01:33:19 pm »
    Well I was checking out amazons books looking for freebies and lower cost books and I noticed something. For the first time since I've really started paying attention, Alone by Lisa Gardner is out of the number 1 spot! Is it a coincidence that that happened the week that Random House went to the agency model? I tend to not think so. I think that publishers should wake up and not gouge the paying customer. I tend to be stingy when I buy my books. If the book is free, up to about 5 dollars I will buy it if I think it might be something I'm interested in. (I bought Alone when it was 99 cents I believe) I do buy books higher priced though. From about 5-10 dollars I will download the sample, read it and them make my judgement as to whether I will buy it. Anything higher than 10 dollars I will download the sample and if I still want it, I put it in my "books to buy" collection. I will monitor the price on these books to see if it goes down, or lately I have been downloading books to my ipad from my library. I have three libraries that I belong to and with them combined, they have about 15,000 ebooks. I will only buy higher than 10-12 dollars only rarely and only if the other options are exhausted. Most of my impulse buying occurs less than 5 dollars but is reasonable all the way up to 10 dollars. This is where I believe that ebooks should be priced and I think that the publishers aren't too bright for charging such crazy prices for an electronic book. I think the fact that Alone being in number one for so long then being bumped down by a book that is 99 cents (I also have that one), is proof that the publishers should rethink. In the meantime, I will read more indie authors and continue to check out the crazy priced ones elsewhere.

    Your post alone proves that people ARE "going to stand for" agency pricing. I know if I really want to read a book, and it's $15, I'll go ahead and buy it - just like I did when print was my only option.

    Offline mooshie78

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 01:42:55 pm »
    Yeah, I have no problem with agency pricing.

    Publishers and authors should be able to set prices for their content.  Though I do think they should only be allowed to set MSRP/cover price and not to force stores to sell it for a certain price.  If a store wants to take a loss on an e-book, that should be their right as long as the store's payout to the publishers/author is the same per copy sold.

    If something is priced too high for my liking, I skip it and buy something else to read that is priced at what I find to be a reasonable level.  I'll never read even a fraction of all the great books out there, so no skin off my nose if I have to skip a few for pricing reasons.

    Offline Bob Mayer

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 01:45:36 pm »
    I wonder where Harlequin and their Carina line weigh in on all this?  I don't think HQ is going with Agency pricing.  And 56% of fiction that sells is Romance.

    Offline Cyanide5000

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 01:55:51 pm »
    Whats agency pricing? i've not really seen any diference in prices - but then again i've not really used my kindle since before xmas, has something changed?
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    Offline mooshie78

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 02:40:35 pm »
    Whats agency pricing? i've not really seen any diference in prices - but then again i've not really used my kindle since before xmas, has something changed?

    Last year several of the big publishing houses rejected Amazon's $9.99 pricing for new releases and demanded to be able to set their own prices.  That's why you see more books (particularly new releases) for more than $9.99 now.

    Offline Sarah Woodbury

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 02:49:52 pm »
    What is hard is to say how much they're 'worth'.  The real issue, it seems to me, is that the author, who's spent years of his/her life writing the book, gets such a small percentage of that (didn't someone say around 15% on average?).  Maybe someone can find that number. 

    Publishers might actually be making less money with the agency model, but they feel like they have more control, which is what they wanted.


    Offline kindlegrl81

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 04:01:43 pm »
    Yeah, I have no problem with agency pricing.

    Publishers and authors should be able to set prices for their content.  Though I do think they should only be allowed to set MSRP/cover price and not to force stores to sell it for a certain price.  If a store wants to take a loss on an e-book, that should be their right as long as the store's payout to the publishers/author is the same per copy sold.

    If something is priced too high for my liking, I skip it and buy something else to read that is priced at what I find to be a reasonable level.  I'll never read even a fraction of all the great books out there, so no skin off my nose if I have to skip a few for pricing reasons.

    That is what Agency Pricing took away. Amazon and other book sellers have no choice on what they charge on those ebooks, nor are they allowed to issue coupons for the books.

    Offline mooshie78

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 04:20:46 pm »
    That is what Agency Pricing took away. Amazon and other book sellers have no choice on what they charge on those ebooks, nor are they allowed to issue coupons for the books.

    I know.  I was saying that was my one and only problem with Agency pricing.  They shouldn't be able to dictate what retailers charge.

    I realize it's different than physical goods where the store buys physical products for $X and can sell them for whatever they want since these are digital goods.  But I still don't see why publishers can't charge Amazon $X per copy sold and let Amazon sell it to consumers for whatever they want.  It's Amazon's loss if they want to sell books for lower profit or even a loss, just like it is for retailers of physical goods.

    So what I was saying is I'm fine with publishers setting MSRP and what price they charge retailers, but not with the way it works now where they dictate what price retailers can actually charge.

    Offline kindlegrl81

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #10 on: March 06, 2011, 04:29:00 pm »
    But your first post said you have no issue with Agency Pricing  ??? Last I checked that is all Agency Pricing is so it sounds like you do have an issue with it.

    Offline Tuttle

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #11 on: March 06, 2011, 04:36:30 pm »
    mooshie, that is exactly the difference between agency pricing and before though. Before amazon was taking a loss on some books in order to make them $9.99 to fit with their advertisements, and paying the publishers based off of a recommended price, as well as listing the recommended price. The agency pricing model is exactly that amazon, or any other ebook seller, isn't allowed to alter from the recommended price, rather than using it as a recommendation and the price to be paying the publisher based off of.
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    Offline Sandpiper

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #12 on: March 06, 2011, 09:33:39 pm »
    I do wonder if more people placed books on their wish lists (or maybe even their carts) but did not follow through would get someone's notice:  People want those books but are not ready for them at the price they are being offered for.

    Might be a good idea to put digital books in your cart and leave them there -- except you can't.  E-books only sell via 1-click.  No cart involved.
     
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    Offline pahiker

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 05:12:37 am »
    I personally haven't, and won't pay over $9.99 for any book.  That was the big draw when I purchased my K2!

    Offline mooshie78

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #14 on: March 07, 2011, 06:07:38 am »
    mooshie, that is exactly the difference between agency pricing and before though. Before amazon was taking a loss on some books in order to make them $9.99 to fit with their advertisements, and paying the publishers based off of a recommended price, as well as listing the recommended price. The agency pricing model is exactly that amazon, or any other ebook seller, isn't allowed to alter from the recommended price, rather than using it as a recommendation and the price to be paying the publisher based off of.

    In that case, I'm opposed to Agency Pricing.  I was under the impression that Amazon was pressuring publishers to sell for $9.99 and thus publishers were taking less per book.  If that's not the case, then I stand corrected.

    The way it should work is publishers/authors should set the price that Amazon and other e-book retailers pay them per copy sold, and retailers can take it or leave it.  And the retailers should then be free to set prices as they see fit.  If that's how it was before, then it should go back to that.

    Publishers shouldn't dictate sales price to retailers, and retailers shouldn't dictate their payout per copy sold to publishers.  It should be a free market.  Retailers pay manufacturers/publishers their dictated price per unit, or they don't carry that product.  What they buy they should be free to sell for any price they choose as the manufacturer/publisher has got their cut and shouldn't be concerned with what price the retailers set.
    « Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 06:10:41 am by mooshie78 »

    Offline Bowtome

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #15 on: March 07, 2011, 06:37:16 am »
    I have an issue with it, when the paperback in the UK is 5-99 and the Kindle version is 9-50.

    I have about 10 books in my wish list, I will buy when they are a decent price, if they never go down in price to at least match the paperback, I will buy them in paperback from playtrade for 2 where the author and publishers get nothing as they are second hand.


    Offline mooshie78

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #16 on: March 07, 2011, 06:44:18 am »
    My view on e-book pricing is that the e-book should always cost the same or less than the cheapest print version.

    If it's more than the cheapest print version on Amazon, then I'm not buying it.  Fortunately for me, even with agency pricing, that's only happened with a couple of titles (all non-fiction I think) that I wasn't super keen on reading anyway.

    Offline carl_h

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #17 on: March 07, 2011, 04:09:10 pm »
    I just refuse to pay more for an e-book than it would cost me for the same book in hard copy (hardback or paperback).   There are some books that I want to read that are already out in paperback but the Kindle versions are priced higher ... it's ridiculous.  There's a used paperback bookstore nearby that gets a lot of my business for that reason.

    As a result of the ever increasing prices for ebooks and books in general, I've gone to seeking out the Indies more and finding some darn good authors out there. 

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    Offline auge_28

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #18 on: March 07, 2011, 04:23:49 pm »
    I have yet to see any negative affect the new pricing has on sales . . . it is my belief that outside of those of us that talk about it the vast majority of Amazon customers dont give a crap.
    They will continue to ask what we are willing to pay, and most people will pay what they ask.

    Offline bwit

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    Re: Re: Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #19 on: March 07, 2011, 04:41:09 pm »
    I personally haven't, and won't pay over $9.99 for any book.  That was the big draw when I purchased my K2!

    Amen bro.

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    Offline mooshie78

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #20 on: March 07, 2011, 04:52:21 pm »
    I have yet to see any negative affect the new pricing has on sales . . . it is my belief that outside of those of us that talk about it the vast majority of Amazon customers dont give a crap.
    They will continue to ask what we are willing to pay, and most people will pay what they ask.

    Well most books are reasonably priced and cost the same or less than the cheapest print version on Amazon.  As I noted, I've only had 2 or 3 I was interested in cost more than the print version, most are a bit cheaper than the print version.  For stuff only on hardback, most are a good bit cheaper at $9.99 to $12.99.  With a few exceptions like Follet's latest book that's been $19.99.

    So I'm not surprised that sales haven't been affected as I think most are fine paying around the same they used to pay for print books.

    Prices will never satisfy those of you who think e-books should be much cheaper than the lowest priced print version.

    Offline AshMP

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #21 on: March 08, 2011, 07:17:26 am »
    I just bumped into this for the first time when I bought Jodi Picoult's new novel.  Yes, it was a hardcover/new release and I paid almost $15.00 for it.  Didn't really bother me because I wanted to read the book, and felt like at $15.00 I was still getting an okay price--the MSRP was at like $28.00.

    Well, the day after I bought it, the price of the hardcover dropped down to $14.00 thru Amazon, not sure what in-store prices are for this title.  That annoyed me, but I was really ticked when I learned that the book in paper format comes with a CD that the Kindle version does not (well, not Kindle/Kindle...when purchased on a Kindle for iPad, iPhone and the like you get the CD in MP3 format).  So yeah, that was not what I'd consider a good purchase.

    I can go along with the agency pricing to a limit.  eBooks should always be less than the paper format of books for the obvious reasons.  I bought into the Kindle when all books were $9.99 or whatever, and that was great and definitely a perk.  I didn't mind the price increase, because if it's a book I really want to read I'll swallow the $3.00 or whatever to get my hands on it.  But I feel like this recent issue with the Sing You Home title was a prime example of publishers knowing and using the Kindle advantage to pad their pockets.  Kindle readers probably prefer to own a title on the Kindle, we spent all that money on the device itself so it's our first choice when buying a book.  To the up the price on a digital format simply because of that seems absurd to me.

    But whatever, I'll say this now and continue buying books--whatever the price--on Kindle just because I'm already invested.  I won't be a boycotter simply to prove a point, I enjoy reading too much for that.  It's just annoying.






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    Offline KindleMom

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #22 on: March 08, 2011, 07:43:21 am »
    How long has Penguin been overpricing their ebooks?  However long it's been, I haven't bought a book - ebook or otherwise - from them.  As many of you have already stated, I refuse to pay more for an ebook than a paperback or hardback version.  That's ridiculous.  Sadly the many months I've been boycotting over-priced ebooks, I've only seen more and more books jump over to the overpriced side.  Not less.  It sure makes pirating look enticing, but I'm married to an artist so I would never steal content of any kind. But I'm sure others have this thought and actually do it.

    What's crazy is since the pricing has changed, I'm using my library a lot more than I ever did before I had my Kindle.  I hate it, but there is no way I'm paying more for a book I cannot pass along to a friend, to a women's shelter, etc.  I don't even own the ebook.  I'm not paying more for less.  No way.

    I am getting introduced to a lot of great indie books, but that's the only positive in all of this.

    Offline JimC1946

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #23 on: March 08, 2011, 04:10:32 pm »
    I personally haven't, and won't pay over $9.99 for any book.  That was the big draw when I purchased my K2!

    Same here. All the higher prices did was drive me away from the big publishers to indie authors. There are a lot of superb books out there for $4.99 or less.

    Offline Mark Young

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    Re: Proof that people aren't going to stand for agency pricing?
    « Reply #24 on: March 08, 2011, 06:16:06 pm »
    I believe readers are not going to stand for higher and higher eBook prices from traditional publishers as they begin to understand how these publishers are marking them up to cover overhead. Why should readers pay for the same kind of costs that print books exact for such things as storage fees, shipping costs, retail returns, office locations, etc. I just checked today's top 100 books listings on Amazon. If you pencil the Agency Model cut off of eBooks $9.95 or higher, this is how they stack up: The top one hundred bestsellers today selling under $9.95 = 63, while those over the $9.95 = 37. The number of top 20 bestsellers today totaled 15 below the $9.95 mark, with five above that price point. Some of these books under $9.95 came from traditional publishers, but very few. This should tell publishers something about today's eBook market.

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