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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Facebook, I just saw a sponsored link to this page:

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780451233752,00.html

It's a page on Penguin's website where they're selling what looks like epub and pdf versions of a particular book.

I don't know how long they've been doing this, but it seems like a different approach from a big publisher. I guess they've realized they need to do something else to sell books online. Took 'em long enough.
 

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I might be impressed if they dropped the price a little. They're doing it through there website. The only middle man involved is them.

Sure, I can understand the desire to make more money, which they do by paying the author the same royalties (presumably) and taking what they'd normally get, along with what Amazon/B&N/Sony/Apple would get.

Oh well. It doesn't effect me. I get all my e-books from Amazon. Even if I didn't, Penguin isn't even offering a .mobi format e-book, so it would be pointless to go through them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Imagine if the big publishers were to actually succeed at selling books directly through their own websites--something I'm sure they could eventually do if they work hard at it (marketing, special offers, etc.). That might be win-win for everyone.

It would be good for the publishers themselves, and some of that prosperity would trickle down to their authors, editors, agents, etc.

But it would also give the indies less competition at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, etc. Imagine a future where most (or a good percentage of) traditionally published books are bought online outside of Amazon and BN.com (the big publishers hate Amazon anyway and would love to be able to sell books without needing Amazon). That could turn Amazon into a true indie haven--if it's not that already.

It might be a good thing for indies (and readers) if the big publishers figure out a way to thrive outside of Amazon. Just thinking out loud ...
 

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Amazon is essentially direct with it's own publishing efforts, so I believe it's good overall if other publishers also have success selling direct.

It's good for consumers because it will help keep prices down and it's good for suppliers (writers) because it gives us more options and outlets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Asher MacDonald said:
Amazon is essentially direct with it's own publishing efforts, so I believe it's good overall if other publishers also have success selling direct.

It's good for consumers because it will help keep prices down and it's good for suppliers (writers) because it gives us more options and outlets.
Agree on all points, except ...

I'm not sure about this keeping prices down, though I think it would give readers more good books. Amazon is really good at keeping prices down as is. I can imagine a scenario where (many years down the road) if publishers feel they don't need Amazon anymore they'd just refuse to sell print books through Amazon and sell at higher prices through their own channels. The publishers could even get together and somehow create their own ereading devices in the future and try to get away from the Kindle altogether. There's already been talk that kindles will be able to read epub files before long, and here's Penguin already selling their own epub files.

Of course, a lot would need to change before publishers could abandon Amazon, but if they get smart, they'll start moving in that direction. There's also recent news going around about some of the big publishers getting together to create a new site for selling books that would involve some social media features (IIRC).

Maybe that's too drastic a scenario, but if it did happen I think indies would be in great shape because then Amazon would really NEED them. And indie/self-publishing would only continue to grow at an incredible pace if Amazon were to put even more focus on indie works.
 

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Ryne Billings said:
I might be impressed if they dropped the price a little. They're doing it through there website. The only middle man involved is them.

Sure, I can understand the desire to make more money, which they do by paying the author the same royalties (presumably) and taking what they'd normally get, along with what Amazon/B&N/Sony/Apple would get.

Oh well. It doesn't effect me. I get all my e-books from Amazon. Even if I didn't, Penguin isn't even offering a .mobi format e-book, so it would be pointless to go through them.
Penguin's doing agency pricing w/ Amazon, and that's probably why they can't sell it cheaper on their site (price match).

But I agree with you on many people just shopping on Amazon, esp. if they have a Kindle. If the price is the same, why bother w/ format conversion and loading it on your Kindle manually, etc.?
 

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Penguin is the one that insists on keeping the prices jacked high, and bitches about anybody discounting.  Selling on their own is not going to help them.  They don't understand retail.

But they aren't the first ones to do this.  Baen has been doing it for years, and made a very good success at it -- as well as selling on Amazon and in bookstores and any other outlet they could find. (And they have good prices and yes, gave away books.)  It's a good strategy, and one the publishers should do.

However if they remove themselves from other vendors (especially Amazon) that won't be so good.  It will just make them a little more invisible and a little less relevant to portions of the audience. 

I don't think it will be particularly good for indies, though, if they were to pull their books.  Amazon's algorithms work by offering every product possible, and recording customer behavior related to it.  If some of those products drop out of the system, part of the picture is gone.  (Also, Indies get a boost from "also boughts" and so it's good to have popular books in the cycle.)

Camille
 
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