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Amazon Battles Apple By Arm-Twisting Publishers

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the slapfight-of-the-titans dept.

Books 137

bizwriter writes "Apple has upset the e-book pricing cart by agreeing to a so-called agency model, where the publisher sets the price and the seller takes a cut. This goes contrary to the degree of control Amazon likes, so although it apparently gave in to Macmillan back in February, it turns out that Amazon continues twisting arms. The problem publishers face is that Apple has a most-favored-nation clause, so it gets the best deal that the publishers offer. If the publishers give in to Amazon, then they also have to provide the same terms to Apple."

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137 comments

Ambiguous title (2, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550176)

So this has nothing to do with Arm processors? Oh well.

Re:Ambiguous title (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550200)

Are you a fucking idiot?

Re:Ambiguous title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31551426)

No, but your mama was fucking an idiot and gave birth to you.

Re:Ambiguous title (1, Informative)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550232)

Nor has it anything to do with fruit or one-breasted women riding horses and shooting arrows.

Re:Ambiguous title (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550332)

Well if that's the case, there's clearly nothing of interest here.

Re:Ambiguous title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550604)

Except for the hookers.

Re:Ambiguous title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550244)

You really are an idiot. stop posting here.

Re:Ambiguous title (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550286)

if all the idiots stopped posting, this site would fall silent

Re:Ambiguous title (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551038)

Why do you want all the credit for the noise in this site?

Re:Ambiguous title (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550254)

So this has nothing to do with Arm processors? Oh well.

A clearer title would be "Amazon Battles Apple by Strong-Arming Publishers"

Re:Ambiguous title (1)

japonicus (822346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550994)

So this has nothing to do with Arm processors? Oh well.

A clearer title would be "Amazon Battles Apple by Strong-Arming [wikipedia.org] Publishers"

But still nothing to do with Arm :(

Re:Ambiguous title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550496)

I hate how arm-twisting those publishers are, don't you?

Most-favored-nation? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550184)

Ah, this should put to rest any doubts that Cupertino is a country of its own. I always knew the fanbois wanted to secede.

(Also, frist post.)

Amazon, and other corporations manipulate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550196)

rather than serve a market. This is, in a word, wrong. All the while, the authorities do nothing.

Meanwhile (3, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550262)

Barnes & Noble's device is fairly decent, although its missing Wikipedia and some of the features could be better done. Why is this is being set up as an Apple vs. Amazon fight when, of the several companies putting out eReaders, Apple is the only one who doesn't actually have a device available for sale right now?

Re:Meanwhile (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550340)

Because Apple is the one with the contracts that (potentially) hurt Amazon's business (whereas Barnes and Noble is trying to run the same sort of business as Amazon).

For sale, not shipping (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550466)

Why is this is being set up as an Apple vs. Amazon fight when, of the several companies putting out eReaders, Apple is the only one who doesn't actually have a device available for sale right now?

Because B&N device is still just getting started - meanwhile iPads are already selling at a good clip, and it's pretty obvious they are going to be a major player from the outset. I don't think the B&N reader is going to hold out very well long term, although I'd list them as a possible dark horse... but they have to do something drastic.

They don't even have an SDK out, the Kindle and the iPad both do.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550506)

Exactly, there's Sony, B&N and others. I think par tof Amazon's success is that the press talks about no one else. Now we have Apple who has, imo, a very half-assed device and they're unfortunately getting more attention then superior competition which means they'll probably get more sales than they deserve.

The press needs to do a proper job rather than trying to build up some drama to report on.

Re:Meanwhile (3, Interesting)

teg (97890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551570)

Exactly, there's Sony, B&N and others. I think par tof Amazon's success is that the press talks about no one else

I think Amazon's success is based on how easy it is to use, and get books on it. The Apple mantra, "it just works", sure applies there. Go to Amazon, purchase and a minute or two later, it's on your Kindle. Many others providing this hardware don't have as integrated a solution as Amazon does - other than B&N, probably none. Also, their hardware is good.

Now we have Apple who has, imo, a very half-assed device and they're unfortunately getting more attention then superior competition which means they'll probably get more sales than they deserve.

"Half-assed"? Apple does a lot of things, but "half-assing" is not one of them. They do, however, have evil lockdown schemes - even to the point of trying to censure publications in app form. Europe doesn't have the weird American "violence good, boobies very bad" attitude, so there have been cases of German magazines being censured by Apple [guardian.co.uk] . Other than the worrysome censoring and lockdown, I'm sure it's going to be a very good general purpose device. The Kindle is a specialized device - with e-ink, it'll last a lot longer and be a lot better when reading text books.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551626)

Exactly, there's Sony, B&N and others. I think par tof Amazon's success is that the press talks about no one else. Now we have Apple who has, imo, a very half-assed device and they're unfortunately getting more attention then superior competition which means they'll probably get more sales than they deserve.

What "superior competition" would that be?

You mention that the press talks about Amazon more than Sony, and that that has played a role in Amazon's success. You're overstating things here. Sony's ebook reader and ebook services are inferior to Amazon's. B&N was the first real Amazon contender, and they got *plenty* of press out of it.

Now the iPad, which blows away all existing ebook readers, is getting the press.

The press needs to do a proper job rather than trying to build up some drama to report on.

What are you talking about? The press isn't building up any drama here. The drama is taking place. Amazon is playing hardball with the book publishers as a direct result of the deals the publishers are making with Apple. The drama is real, not imagined or exaggerated.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550684)

Barnes & Noble's device is fairly decent, although its missing Wikipedia and some of the features could be better done. Why is this is being set up as an Apple vs. Amazon fight when, of the several companies putting out eReaders, Apple is the only one who doesn't actually have a device available for sale right now?

For one because without being out the iPad had such a high level of pre-orders it's likely to be even more successful than the iPhone. http://www.newsfactor.com/news/Strong-Demand-Reported-for-iPad/story.xhtml?story_id=10300BOVCI9L&full_skip=1 [newsfactor.com]

But it's not really an Apple Vs Amazon, it's a Publishers Vs Amazon, Amazon is loosing it's enjoyed monopoly on eBooks the day the iPad hits the streets and now publishers get options. Apparently, the Kindle will become a side market with the iPad being the main point of interest for publishers.

Thing is, anything other than this would be illegal. If Apple went in and agreed with Amazon on a price, it would become price fixing and both companies would be in trouble.

A&A are committed to monopolizing @ ANY cost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550854)

at ANY cost, and won't ever be prosecuted for it ( taking established evidence as projecting validly into the future ).

Barnes & Noble isn't a monopoly, so therefore it doesn't deserve the headline treatment.

As for Nook, it won't allow access to ANY Xiph codec.

"nice"...

When unlicensed access to a codec becomes a felony ( ACTA? or the one after? ), enforcement against FLOSS users can begin...

"control" they call it...

( does ANYone make a big screen reader with Xiph codec support? )

Re:A&A are committed to monopolizing @ ANY cos (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31552324)

ePub (nook's default format, basically a zip'd up xhtml web site) is good enough for project gutenberg..

Re:Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550940)

Because so far the Amazon device is winning the market while everyone else is a "we've got one too" product. They are the most popular and setting the market. Apple is now coming in a possibly disrupting that emerging dominance. First because their device is more broadly capable than Amazon's though arguably not as good at the single task of e-reading and second because whatever market they enter into they bring a ready made custom base of the apple cult (of which I am a moderately active member). This coupled with the fact that Apple is accepting a model Amazon is fighting leads to the battle currently being Amazon vs Apple...it could of course change in the future.

Re:Meanwhile (1, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551588)

Barnes & Noble's device is fairly decent, although its missing Wikipedia and some of the features could be better done. Why is this is being set up as an Apple vs. Amazon fight when, of the several companies putting out eReaders,

A few reasons:

1. When the Nook was announced, the buzz was Amazon vs. B&N. Now the iPad is the new product, and *that's* the one getting the buzz.
2. The iPad is leaps and bounds ahead of any of the current readers.
3. Apple's dominance with the iTunes store makes them a serious contender. No matter what media market they enter, it will be a tectonic shift when they do.

And in this particular case, the primary reason:

4. Amazon's current bout of "arm twisting" is in direct response to Apple's deals with the publishers.

The Nook didn't cause this, the iPad did.

Apple is the only one who doesn't actually have a device available for sale right now?

Yet somehow they've already sold hundreds of thousands of them.

But "for sale right now" isn't even a rational metric. The iPad had a lot of buzz going for it before it was even announced, and had already significantly affected the markets it's entering (and creating) long before the orders started being taken. The ebook market really isn't that much different with the Nook than it would have been without it. But that very same market has already been significantly altered by the iPad before the iPad was even available for purchase.

Re:Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31552118)

2. The iPad is leaps and bounds ahead of any of the current readers.

I don't see how people can keep comparing these two things. The kindle and other ereaders are just that, EReaders. The MaxIpad is more of a tablet pc and seems like more of a competition for netbooks.

I would buy an ereader because staring at a computer screen kills the eyes(for most people) because its bright. The ereader uses e-ink so that it looks just like a book. This stupid apple product shouldn't be competing with these things to begin with unless theres a way to turn on e-ink or something else so its not like staring at a computer screen.

Slightly off topic but eh, I hate how everyone keeps comparing the two.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31552980)

I don't see how people can keep comparing these two things.

Form factor and the iBookstore. How can you not compare the two? Hell, the fact that Amazon is feeling pressure due to the iPad pretty much proves the comparison is valid.

The kindle and other ereaders are just that, EReaders. The MaxIpad is more of a tablet pc and seems like more of a competition for netbooks.

The thing that makes the iPad so much better than other eReaders or netbooks is that it's better at both those things.

I would buy an ereader because staring at a computer screen kills the eyes(for most people) because its bright.

That's nonsense. People read LCDs constantly without problem. If it's too bright, you can dim it.

Photons are photons, whether they come from an LED backlight, or are reflected from a light behind you. In fact, the iPad's display should be better on the eyes, because you can read in dim lighting, where devices like the Kindle are much harder to read (leading to actual eyestrain).

Color, faster updating, higher contrast, no need for external lighting. These are all things which are in the iPad's screen's favor. Better readability in direct sunlight and lower power requirements are the only things in the Kindle's (and similar) screen's favor.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31553330)

You completely miss the point. The whole problem with Amazon/BN vs Apple, is that Amazon/BN make their money from books, whereas Apple will make their money from the hardware. Apple is not looking for much of a profit on books, just like it doesn't make much of a profit from Music or Apps. They are in the hardware game.

Re:Meanwhile ACTUALLY, APPLE DOES HAVE... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551894)

Apple is the only one who doesn't actually have a device available for sale right now?

Actually Apple has had a device for portable eBook reading available for sale for the last year. The Kindle reader for iPhone/iPod Touch has been a free app for months now, and other eBook readers have existed for these platforms as well. What Apple hasn't had is their own eBook store to profit from.

This is unexpected, how? (3, Interesting)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550264)

Competition from a new contender that is known to be a strong player causes the strongest early market entrant to throw a hissy fit, news at a 11.

Until I can actually BUY an e-book, not rent them for life, the entire market will remain irrelevant to me.

huh? (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550314)

"Until I can actually BUY an e-book, not rent them for life, the entire market will remain irrelevant to me."

You're really concerned what's going to happen to your ebooks when you're dead? Taking corporate paranoia to the afterlife is a little extreme, no?

Re:huh? (4, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550362)

You're really concerned what's going to happen to your ebooks when you're dead? Taking corporate paranoia to the afterlife is a little extreme, no?

I don't have to buy a different set of eyes to read books purchased at different stores. They all work, as is. Where as, with ebooks, once you have a collection from Amazon, if you EVER want to read them again, you must do so on an Amazon supplied reader. If at any point in the next couple of years, Amazon decides to stop manufacturing those readers and yours dies, all of your books stop being readable.

We already know with DRM'ed music, that companies have taken their tracking servers off line, making moving the music to new hardware IMPOSSIBLE.

If I own something, I own it. I don't need the entity I bought it from to give me permission to use it.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

brucifer (12972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550746)

Ok seriously, this is slashdot (not Sparta). Anyone reading this page should be able to bypass DRM on an ebook rather easily. If you feel that strongly that you own an ebook (which I agree you do), then look outside the DRM encased format you bought the title in.

This really goes back to the classic sense of the term "hacker", taking something apart and making it work for you.

Re:huh? (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550830)

That's not the point. Yes, DRM can be bypassed. But it's a pain in the ass. If I buy a book that has a lock on it, and I can only open the lock while in an Amazon store, then breaking the lock on the book is still damaging the item I've paid for. Sell me a book without the lock.

Re:huh? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550882)

I, personally, prefer to not break the law. So I'm not interested in "buying" ebooks that I don't then own.

Of course, the other limits on e-books mean that they are only superior to paper books in a minority of situations. This means I'm not *that* interested in them anyway. But as I've given up on buying DVDs over DRM, I don't think that ebooks are likely to change my opinion, even if they *do* become the superior medium. (There's a couple of models I keep watching. If the prices drop enough, I may give them a test. The don't support DRM.)

N.B.: I make my decision on whether the readers support DRM. Not on whether they mandate it. If they *support* DRM, then I'm not interested, even for a purchase price of $0.02 (including shipping and handling).

Re:huh? (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551226)

The odd thing is, the rental model has been proven to work quite well. Books inherently take a long time to get through, and you're probably not going to re-read them all that frequently. As such, it seems like the perfect medium to do a Netflix-type service. That way you're renting, but at a flat fee for access to ALL books, not just one book.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551342)

That's not an unreasonable point of view, however, there's a "truth in advertising" issue going on. If Amazon said, "We'll sell you this book as a physical object for $X or rent it to you for $Y" there would be little argument about the issue. However, that's not what they're doing. They are claiming to sell you the ebook. But if you buy an ereader that's better than theirs, you can't take the book with you. If they decide you don't deserve the book (the 1984 fiasco), they can take it away without due process.

So if Amazon wants to get into the book renting business, more power to them. But that's not what they're claiming to do now.

Re:huh? (1)

Trinn (523103) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551962)

I would like to note that I myself and many friends of mine can finish a decent sized novel in one or two days, so I wouldn't say books inherently take all that long to get through, it depends a lot on the individual. I'm not sure how much this impacts the rental model, but I would say the model that seems to work far better for most is the used bookstore model, not a true rental, but essentially you can always resale any [decent] book you've bought for a reasonable sum to put toward new purchases, and you can also find books far cheaper than retail.

Re:huh? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31553260)

Anyone reading this page should be able to bypass DRM on an ebook rather easily.

What eBook? Amazon deleted it off your Kindle while you were asleep. License terminated. DRM servers shutdown. End of story.

Re:huh? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551520)

I don't have to buy a different set of eyes to read books purchased at different stores. They all work, as is. Where as, with ebooks, once you have a collection from Amazon, if you EVER want to read them again, you must do so on an Amazon supplied reader. If at any point in the next couple of years, Amazon decides to stop manufacturing those readers and yours dies, all of your books stop being readable.

Or, in this case, Apple. Do you think the third largest publicly traded company in the world is going away any time soon?

For me, the convenience of something like the iBookstore outweighs the risks. So I might have to repurchase a handful of books that I'll want to re-read in the future if somehow Apple folds. That's just the cost of modern life.

Life is too damned short to hold off on enjoying the things the world has to offer (including DRM encrypted books, music and video) just because in the future you might lose those things. Better to have loved and lost, right?

Of course there are always those people who don't mind having to carry around a single, bulky book, and who have the bookshelf space to hold their library, etc. I'm not talking about those people. Everyone has their preferences, and should stick to them. But to be the type of person who would prefer the ebook format, but stay away from it because of DRM? That really seems to be case of broken priorities. When you're dead, you're dead. You can't take your books with you, and you don't get to read all those books you missed out once you are gone on just because you found the notion of DRM to be offensive.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31552400)

third last company in the world? citation needed

Re:huh? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#31552892)

third last company in the world? citation needed

No, third largest publicly traded company in the world. Going by market cap. And it's actually fifth right now (these things fluctuate), Exxon, Microsoft, PetroChina, Wal-Mart, Apple. In that order.

However, looking further into it, PetroChina is worth over 2 trillion (I assume dollars), in a foreign exchange, which is interesting.

Regardless of the specifics, it doesn't really alter my general point. Apple is the largest tech company, the second largest software company, the largest online services company, the second largest retailer, the largest mobile company and the largest media company, in terms of publicly traded market caps.

Apple has more cash on hand than Microsoft (although the difference does fluctuate, and they are both very close). Only Cisco and Exxon have more as of the most recent numbers I can quickly find.

Presently, Apple has enough cash to buy every share of Dell or Sony.

The one specific factor I am pointing this out for is that Apple is not going to be shutting down their iTunes authentication servers anytime soon. Any purchases from iTunes are definitely sound in the medium to long term. Maybe Apple will fail as a company during my lifetime, but probably not. I suspect the whole market will change before Apple dies, like what has happened with DRM music.

I, and most everyone, know what I'm getting into when I buy media from iTunes. I know it might become unplayable in the future. Just as I knew CDs and DVDs would eventually become replaced. I also know that some other company might make a product more compelling than Apple's offerings. But life has risks, nothing is certain and nothing lasts forever. If I have to repurchase my media library because a fire melted my CDs, or Apple goes bankrupt, then that's what I have to do. But in the meantime, I'm highly confident I'll have years (if not a lifetime) of convenience and usability that's worth investing in for now.

I'm not going to unnecessarily avoid the opportunities that life offers today for fear of changes that may come decades later. It's just not worth it.

Re: inherit the earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550452)

Children and grand children inherit books. Enormously beneficial to descendants of literate parents. If people don't realize that, it may be because they have never lived in a house full of books.

Another reason to love paper (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551010)

You can actually inherit paper books.

eBooks, over my dead body... what do you mean "okay"?

Re:huh? (1)

kyz (225372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551068)

"Until I can actually BUY an e-book, not rent them for life, the entire market will remain irrelevant to me."

You're really concerned what's going to happen to your ebooks when you're dead? Taking corporate paranoia to the afterlife is a little extreme, no?

I think the key word here is RENT, i.e. "Want to keep having those books? Then you have to pay me money every single month. You'd better keep them in good condition too, because if you stop paying, I'm going to take them back. My books, baby, not yours."

I don't know about you, but I prefer it when I only pay ONCE for a book, and can then do what I want with it, rather than RENT it.

Re:This is unexpected, how? (1)

kithrup (778358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550322)

What do you mean by "buy"?

Since there is no physical medium, I don't think a "buy" model will ever happen. So that probably means no re-selling to, say, used book stores, or donating to libraries (which typically then sell the books you donate).

If you mean, "without any DRM," then there's Baen's Webscription [webscription.net] , which offers a variety of formats, all without DRM. And the Apple deal with publishers allegedly allows the publishers to decided whether or not they want the content DRM'd. (Gee, I wonder what the vast majority of them will choose...)

Re:This is unexpected, how? (2, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550502)

Competition from a new contender that is known to be a strong player causes the strongest early market entrant to throw a hissy fit, news at a 11.

Until I can actually BUY an e-book, not rent them for life, the entire market will remain irrelevant to me.

There are plenty of DRM-free epub titles out there. Just none that I want.

Re:This is unexpected, how? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550586)

Buy? Market? Who said anything [google.ca] about a market? [gutenberg.org]

Re:This is unexpected, how? (0, Troll)

droopycom (470921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551372)

The RIAA, MPAA and other bad guys seems to often get bad press for trying to deal with "digital" or "IP" products in the same way we deal with physical products.

On the other hand, what we have here is a buyer doing the same thing, applying terms such as "buying" or "renting" to digital products and trying to relate them to the same terms as applied to physical products.

Both consumer and publisher should understand that old rules do not apply, and new rules needs to be made when dealing with digital product.

You cannot BUY an e-book in the same sense that you can buy an apple. Deal with it.

Amazon is fighting for their life here, remember (4, Interesting)

kithrup (778358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550276)

This goes contrary to the degree of control Amazon likes

Forcing an "agency model" on any retailer is going contrary to both history and market standards. The general model for booksellers is to buy wholesale, at somewhere around 40%-50% of MSRP, and then sell at some price between that and MSRP. Amazon has discounts of MSRP all the way from 55%, to only a few percentage points. Barnes & Nobles has similar prices (if you become a "B&N Member," for US$25/year, the prices are pretty much the same as Amazon's. A bit lower sometimes, a bit higher sometimes.)

What's really going on here is power: the publishers have decided they don't want retailers undercutting each other -- that leads to a single player having market dominance, which allows them to try to force concessions (lower prices, content changes, etc.) from the publishers. As examples of this, see Amazon and Wal-Mart.

When Apple joined the ebook market, however, they were able to take the same "we don't care about making a profit on content" attitude they have for music, and offer it to the publishers. And the market share Apple can offer with the iPad is probably at least as large as Amazon's current market share with is Kindle. (And unlike Amazon, Apple won't be paying the end-user bandwidth costs.) This gives publishers who are willing to sign up with Apple enormous negotiation power with Amazon -- over ebooks. Amazon's only negotiation power that can counter that is the physical book market.

Personally, I would certainly be offended if someone said, "You will sell this product at a price we dictate, and only take 15%. You cannot charge more to make more money; you cannot try to maximize profits through selling more by offering it for less. And if 15% of an arbitrary price we set isn't enough for you to make profit -- or even enough for you to run your business, tough." And I'd fight it as best I could.

Of course, that's also pretty much Amazon's attitude towards the publishers. So a pox on all of them, really.

Re:Amazon is fighting for their life here, remembe (1)

arcade (16638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550472)

I actually think it's perfect for us consumers that the various selling-points force the price downwards. It means that I as a consumer will get my goodies for a cheaper price.

Re:Amazon is fighting for their life here, remembe (1)

armareum (925270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550716)

Personally, I would certainly be offended if someone said, "You will sell this product at a price we dictate, and only take 15%. You cannot charge more to make more money; you cannot try to maximize profits through selling more by offering it for less. And if 15% of an arbitrary price we set isn't enough for you to make profit -- or even enough for you to run your business, tough." And I'd fight it as best I could.

What the hell are you referring to? The publisher *is* allowed to set the price - and so clearly they *are* able to vary their profit per unit.

Re:Amazon is fighting for their life here, remembe (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551420)

This goes contrary to the degree of control Amazon likes

Forcing an "agency model" on any retailer is going contrary to both history and market standards. The general model for booksellers is to buy wholesale, at somewhere around 40%-50% of MSRP, and then sell at some price between that and MSRP.

This is another example of people clinging to an historical model. The same way MPAA/RIAA get blamed for trying to apply their old models to digital media.

There is no history or market standard for ebooks. The general model for booksellers does not apply to e-booksellers.

Re:Amazon is fighting for their life here, remembe (1)

kithrup (778358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551518)

I fully agree. I should have made it clear that Amazon's "life" includes their business model. It may be that the publishers can change the business model to the one they prefer; it may be they cannot. Or it may be that some other model will appear. Amazon can try to fight it, can go with the change being pushed by the publishers, or can try to come up with a new model.

My point, however, was that right now, Amazon appears to consider this a life-or-death situation, and are reacting thus.

Personally, as a consumer, I like being able to find deals -- either lower prices, or package deals (e.g., buy all three books in a trilogy for less than the combined prices). As a member of the society, I dislike retailers pushing prices so low that the producers (e.g., manufacturers, publishers, or writers) suffer. As I said, a pox on all of them.

(And I would say that both Macmillan and Amazon are acting as stubbornly and as self-damagingly as the record labels did.)

Alternate Headline (1, Interesting)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550288)

Apple Strongarms Publishers: They are not allowed to sell it cheaper anywhere else!

Wait...what?? (2, Insightful)

jamrock (863246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550446)

Apple "strongarmed" the publishers by agreeing to their retail model? Clearly you have a different definition of "strongarm" than most people...

Re: He is referring to... (1)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550524)

...the most favored nation clause.

As someone who has been involved in negotiating a contract for the buyer with a most favored nation clause, they do seem wrong. You are either asking your supplier to lie to you, or to reveal the lowest price they charge anyone. Some contracts say this can't be revealed, though it is generally assumed it can't be revealed only when identifying the involved parties also.

It completely eliminates the equality of negotiating positions. The saving grace for suppliers is they can claim clauses that vary between contracts constitute a different level of service, causing their cost model to be different, and therefore is a different product.

retailers have been playing that game for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31551130)

The saving grace for suppliers is they can claim clauses that vary between contracts constitute a different level of service, causing their cost model to be different, and therefore is a different product.

Yeah, retailers have been successful for years at getting suppliers to help them play that game by making up retailer-unique part numbers so that the retailer never has to actually live up to the price-match clauses the retailers claim to offer in their sales contracts.

Re:Alternate Headline (3, Insightful)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550634)

Huh? So Apple basically says "we follow whatever retail model you want, but if you give somebody else a discount, you have to give it to us as well".

How the hell is that strongarming? Of course anybody would always fight for getting a deal that at least matches what competitors get. Those have got to be the weakest demands any company with some market power has ever negotiated.

Because APPLE RULEZ! you PEONS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550330)

YOu are surfs in the true sense of the word, PEONS!

Long Live Kind Steve!

Lesser of the two... (4, Interesting)

semiotec (948062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550372)

One control-freak company wants to sell cheaper books, while another control-freak company wants to sell more expensive books?
I know which weevil/weasel I will go with.

and while this is just one side of the argument, but anyone who thinks Apple's deal with the publishers will work out better for the authors should read this:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/07/its-nsfw-because-the-word-fuck-is-in-the-url/ [techcrunch.com]

Re:Lesser of the two... (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550512)

One control freak company wants to sell more expensive hardware and one control freak company wants to sell less expensive hardware.

Re:Lesser of the two... (2, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550518)

And you end up with a cluster of devices, because it ends up with the books you want not all being available on the same device. Another triumph for market forces.

Re:Lesser of the two... (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550638)

I agree, and that's why DRM should be removed from ebooks as well, but that's not the argument I was making above.

My point was if Apple/publishers win, ebook prices will go up. Publishers don't want to sell ebooks, because it cuts into their lucrative hardcover sales, and Apple doesn't give a shit about books (Steve Jobs: “People Don’t Read Anymore.”), they don't give a fuck if the ebook market implodes because the prices are too high and nobody buys them anymore. They already have the music/movie market locked down, and damaging the ebook market would be good for them, particular as the Amazon is making moves against them on the music/movie front.

Getting rid of DRM is all good, but right now, the more immediate problem is keeping the market healthy.

Re:Lesser of the two... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551142)

One control-freak company wants to sell cheaper books, while another control-freak company wants to sell more expensive books?
I know which weevil/weasel I will go with.

and while this is just one side of the argument, but anyone who thinks Apple's deal with the publishers will work out better for the authors should read this:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/07/its-nsfw-because-the-word-fuck-is-in-the-url/ [techcrunch.com]

I'm waiting for Apple to take things to their logical conclusion and allow authors direct access to the market. They've already done this for programmers with the app-store and there are a few (too few) self published artists [apple.com] on the iTunes store. Now they need to do the same for video and books. The tools have become so powerful and cheap that talent can self-finance or crowd-fund through sites like Kickstarter [kickstarter.com] and the bottleneck left now is in the publisher/distributer cartels.

Re:Lesser of the two... (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551368)

yes, let's all wait for Apple to come to the rescue and ignore everybody else who's already trying to do that...
and of course, nothing is real unless Apple does it.

Scribd
http://www.scribd.com/ [scribd.com]

Amazon Self-Publish
http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-summary-page.html?topic=200260520 [amazon.com]

but you do know that publishers don't just "publish", right? editing is a crucial step and good or bad marketing can make or break an author.
Even authors like Doctorow who freely distributes their contents online have editors and publishers. A good combination of the two means that even trash like D*n Br*wn's D* V*nc* C*d* can become a bestseller.

Re:Lesser of the two... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551534)

yes, let's all wait for Apple to come to the rescue and ignore everybody else who's already trying to do that...
and of course, nothing is real unless Apple does it.

Stop your knee-jerking already (jeez, like a bull to a red cloth.) Apple doing so would be significant because they are a market leader in mobile devices and the biggest music retailer [arstechnica.com] and they make a lot of software used by content producers. It's great others are already doing it, I'm waiting for Apple to do it too because I happen to be an Apple customer already.

but you do know that publishers don't just "publish", right? editing is a crucial step and good or bad marketing can make or break an author.
Even authors like Doctorow who freely distributes their contents online have editors and publishers. A good combination of the two means that even trash like D*n Br*wn's D* V*nc* C*d* can become a bestseller.

Oh I agree good editors are crucial. You don't need publishers to do that however. The whole industry could decentralize from big megalithic companies to smaller companies and transitory partnerships. You still need all the talent: authors, editors, marketers, cover artists, etc. you just don't need the cartel power structure behind it.

First they ignore you.... (3, Insightful)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550390)

First they ignore you: ""
Then they ridicule you: "Ho ho - tiny little screen; who'd buy one of these toys?"
Then they fight you: "Crap - we better make our own ebook reader and screw around with pricing to protect ourselves. But we're kinda late and our pricing strategies are reactive and ill thought out"
Then they loose: "Double crap - all our best selling authors are now publishing their own book directly on the Kindle and taking 85% of the revenue rather than the 10% we used to give them. Ingrates!"

Feel free to bookmark this post and come back to it in 5 years time to see how it all came true.....

Re:First they ignore you.... (3, Interesting)

dloose (900754) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550550)

I'm confused... Is Apple the "they" in your post? Who's pricing model is "ill thought out" and what is "ill thought out" about it?

You may be right. In 5 years, all authors could be publishing independently. But right now there's money to be made by selling books put out by the big publishing houses. Amazon and Apple are competing for that money.

I think you mean, "Then they lose". "Loose" is the opposite of "tight". "Lose" is the opposite of "win", "find", and "gain". This is important.

Re:First they ignore you.... (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550912)

No kidding... Amazon is the one with the most to lose. Apple doesn't really care about being middleman. Apple barely breaks even hosting Apps/music/movies/ebooks; as long as you buy their hardware they could probably care less what you do with it. You can buy and ipad/ipod/iwhatever and never spend a dime on content and still get loads of use out of it through free apps and your own content you upload to it. Why should Apple take the responsibility for pricing third party content, why not let authors/publishing companies/movie companies ect... determine their own price and let the consumer choose?

I think Apple's way creates a more sustainable market place for the consumer while maintaining quality...unlike Amazon model, which is more akin to walmart.

Re:First they ignore you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31551748)

In 5 years time they will be whoever the quote will work best with

Re:First they ignore you.... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551016)

WRT: "Then they loose", I think you need to read
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/02/common-misconceptions-about-pu.html [antipope.org]
by Charles Stross.

(Actually, that's just the first of around 4 blog posts, but you can find them by following the links from that page. The others are called things like CMAP#2.)

Re:First they ignore you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31551364)

If I hadn't had mod points, ^F'd for "Stross" and found yours, I'd have posted the same link.

Re:First they ignore you.... (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551556)

Then they loose: "Double crap - all our best selling authors are now publishing their own book directly on the Kindle and taking 85% of the revenue rather than the 10% we used to give them. Ingrates!"

The only "they" who stands to lose is the author. Self-publishing on Amazon gives authors 35% of net proceeds.

If Apple adopts the iTunes music and app model for eBooks, authors will keep 70% of net revenue--double what Amazon currently gives them.

Though 35% is more than the typical author's share from Amazon sales when you have a publisher, a publisher also does a lot more in terms of editing, marketing, handling all the transactional details, paying advances, arranging for distribution, securing cost discounts, and the like. An author has to compare the advance+royalties from a publisher with the prospect of earning 35% royalties and having to do essentially all the promotional work.

Amazon for its 65% cut handles the actual transactions and distribution and delivers the eyeballs. If a publisher offers 10% royalties and does all that other work, it might be a better deal, especially since only about 1/5 of titles ever even earn back their advance. You've got free money and zero costs until that point, which means that if you're offered a $5000 advance and 10% royalties on a $10 eBook from a publisher, and you don't have a pretty strong belief that you can sell at least 5000 copies while spending less than $2.50 per unit on all the things the publisher would provide for free, you'd be dumb not to take that deal.

If self-publishing meant that you could keep anywhere near 90% of the net revenue, it might be more of a threat, but at 35%, not so much. It's basically a "it's better than trying to sell this from my own website where no one will ever find it" setup--but even there, in order for Amazon to make any sense, you'd have to believe that the mere presence in Amazon's market would almost triple your sales in order to make the Amazon self-publishing a viable deal.

What's best for consumers (2, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550436)

While it doesn't always happen, the company that provides the best prices and best selection to the consumers should be the winner. In music Apple unbundled the album and created a reasonable price point. More music is being sold, but music publishers are making less money. Consumer wins. In publishing the total cost of a book should be authors cut + cost of manufacturing + cost of distribution + marketing costs + profit for publisher + profit to distributer = total cost of book. E-books should dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing and distribution and if things follow the music model, more books will be sold allowing for a reduction in profit margin due to volume. The consumer wins, if Apple and Amazon can strong arm the publishers not to add savings from manufacturing and distribution to their profit margins.

Re:What's best for consumers (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550540)

Ebooks have been around for a while now, and the selection is still poor and overpriced. How long is this going to take?

Re:What's best for consumers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550626)

it will take more piracy...

Re:What's best for consumers (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550608)

That is correct to a point, but the manufacturing costs are really not that great a percentage and distribution is an add-on that bookstores have to pay: "Plus shipping." One of the things a publisher will do is seek a price point where printing of the book is reduced. For example, if they figure a given title will sell 10,000 copies, but the break point of the hard copy price falls from $3.50 apiece to $3.25 apiece at 12,000 copies, then they will go ahead and print 12,000 copies, sell the 10,000 (assuming their projections are correct), then sell the extra 2,000 as 'remainders' for $5.00 apiece. That way, they make more money by reducing the cost of the print run and still recover the cost of the over-printing decision. The point is that the physical cost to print a book is a relatively small percentage of the total cost of the book.

Re:What's best for consumers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31550636)

"[. . .] music publishers are making less money."
Wrong. Music companies are making less money per sale.

Re:What's best for consumers (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550792)

While it doesn't always happen, the company that provides the best prices and best selection to the consumers should be the winner. In music Apple unbundled the album and created a reasonable price point. More music is being sold, but music publishers are making less money. Consumer wins. In publishing the total cost of a book should be authors cut + cost of manufacturing + cost of distribution + marketing costs + profit for publisher + profit to distributer = total cost of book. E-books should dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing and distribution and if things follow the music model, more books will be sold allowing for a reduction in profit margin due to volume. The consumer wins, if Apple and Amazon can strong arm the publishers not to add savings from manufacturing and distribution to their profit margins.

This particular case is Apple giving the publishers a way to strong-arm Amazon and increase prices for ebooks by 50%. If you want to look at it from the perspective of a consumer, then Apple's entrance to the market isn't very good. The funny thing is that Amazon did the same thing to Apple a few years ago by introducing the agency system to mp3 sales. The difference is that Amazon provided a superior product for the same or a lower price that forced Apple to then improve its own product by removing DRM. This time Apple is forcing Amazon to raise prices, so it's not quite as fun for those of us buying books.

Re:What's best for consumers (2, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551096)

Apple didn't remove DRM because it faced pressure from Amazon, it removed DRM at the earliest possible opportunity that it could, as one of the original stated goals of the iTMS - as soon as they were able to change the deal with the music companies they did so (and in turn gave up the "one price" model that had been in place before, and moving to a variable pricing model).

While it may look like this is a bad deal for consumers, I think that ultimately it will balance out. Amazon's model is very similar to that of Wal Mart - a giant that can essentially dictate the market conditions, making it hard for smaller retailers and encouraging a monoculture. Large supermarkets and retailers like Amazon and Wal Mart reduce the choice for consumers, and in the case of WalMart, can actually dictate the content of your product (or they can refuse to stock it, and cost you a gigantic portion of your sales).

Apple's model switches it around a little, and allows the publisher to set a price, and I am sure that they will try to set the prices high (I mean, who doesn't want to maximise their profits), but if it's too high then no one will buy. Eventually the sweet spot will be released.

I am not a fan of retailers like WalMart gaining too much control of a market - it only puts pressure on the supplier of the products to drive prices down, which in the long run is bad for the consumer (but hey, if WalMart sells milk 5c cheaper per pint, who cares that it forces smaller farmers out so only the mega-farms can economically produce milk?). If a model that favours publishers works, it will allow the rise of much smaller publishers who just simply couldn't survive under a "profit margin squashed to zero" approach. The rise of smaller publishers also means that the current big guys have to compete more on quality and price.

Re:What's best for consumers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31552082)

You couldn't be more wrong about Apple/iTunes/DRM if you had tried!
Apple NEVER wanted DRM, DRM was shoved down their throats in an attempt by corporate weasels to force the consumer to buy elsewhere/anywhere but the iTMS.
Unfortunately, it was people most like /.'rs with their "i hAtoRzs teh aPPleZEs" attitude that kept the lie alive as long as it did.

twisting is good, though (3, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550498)

The headline makes it sound like Amazon is doing something bad. But Amazon is twisting publishers' arms to sell their books for less than they would otherwise. Publishers have wanted to charge excessively high prices for their books. And Apple has been trying to lure them by letting them get away with it.

Re:twisting is good, though (2)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550784)

The headline makes it sound like Amazon is doing something bad. But Amazon is twisting publishers' arms to sell their books for less than they would otherwise.

Generally when a corporations threatens to stop doing business with you altogether, including with regard to different products and different markets, most people consider that to be doing harm to the person or organization they're doing business with. For example, publishers publish whatever book they think will make money. If they can't sell books designed for smaller markets at a higher price, those books may simply no longer be a viable business move for them to publish so they don't get made. And since Amazon will stop publishing the books in print as well as e-book the publisher is given extra incentive to not make them at all.

Publishers have wanted to charge excessively high prices for their books. And Apple has been trying to lure them by letting them get away with it.

In this instance Apple is being an impartial conduit, which is not great, but Amazon is not motivated by anyone's best interests but their own. Their goal is to become a single gatekeeper for book publishing and that's not something any rational person should be rooting for.

Re:twisting is good, though (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551206)

Amazon is trying a very old business model:

1) Undercut everyone on price.
2) Drive all competitors out of business.
3) Profit! ...not new at all. What is particularly dangerous is that retailers with enough market share can do more than just manipulate price. Witness Walmart's insistence on "explicit" music being edited without any packaging notice. That's the sort of thing that happens when a single retailer wins.

The battle has sadly mostly been lost for music, to Apple. (Ironically enough.) I would hate to see the same damn thing happen to ebooks.

Re:twisting is good, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31551352)

From the standpoint of authors, that is bad.

Apple changing tactics? (1)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550690)

In the music business Apple was happy to have companies sell at different prices, they had a lock on the market via the iPod so people would pay $0.99 for 128Kb songs while others (e.g. Yahoo) were charging $0.79 for the same song encoded at 178Kb (in WMA format).

Books will be different: they won't be able to force consumers to pay their inflated prices because they can't stop people from buying from their competitors. The solution - prevent competition by working with the publishers to force everyone to sell at the same, higher, price.

Either way, prevent competition - previously via lock-in, now via forcing every to adopt their high prices.

Re:Apple changing tactics? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551122)

I *think* you've misread the deal. I understand it thusly: If Apple decides to sell a think at a 15% markup, they can. If someone else decides to sell it at a 10% markup, they can, and they can thereby undercut Apple's pricing. Apple is just saying "You can't charge us any more than you charge our competitors." I don't see anything about sale price in that.

N.B.: I only read the summary. So I could be misunderstanding this.

Re:Apple changing tactics? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551376)

No, that's pretty accurate. Apple here is not setting the prices, it is just defining the nature of the sales method on their store and the percentage that Apple will take. There's no mandate about what that price should be.

If someone undercuts them, so be it - if they can make money at that margin, that's the nature of business.

Re:Apple changing tactics? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551338)

Apple doesn't care if you buy from the store really - they don't make much money at all on that front, the bulk of the meat for them is in the hardware. The original 99c one-price model was to prevent the music industry from setting the one hit on an album to $1.50 and setting all the other filler to 79c and then advertising "songs from 79c!". They wanted to prevent all the popular stuff being much more than the bulk of the catalog. The traded that away in exchange for the removal of DRM.

I don't see how they are "forcing" anyone to do anything - no one is forced to buy from the iTunes Store (even if they have an iPod) - as you mentioned, they were never the cheapest online music store anyway. I don't see how it will be any different for ebooks. If they are dearer on the iTunes Store, people will buy them on Amazon's store. If Amazon wants to keep driving prices down, it has to realise that this will benefit competing retailers as well (not just Apple). There's nothing nefarious about this.

They will also not be Apple's prices - they will be the publisher's prices. If they are too high, nothing will sell and the prices will come down.

iphone runs both the B&N ereader and the Kindl (3, Insightful)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550786)

Doesn't this mean that if you have an ipad, which runs iphone apps, that you will be able to buy from apple, or Amazon or B&N? What am I missing here?

Re:iphone runs both the B&N ereader and the Ki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31551110)

Yeah that's what Apple allows on the App Store TODAY. Tomorrow, you may not be able to get the Amazon & BarnesNoble apps. The day after, there may be a system update that breaks the old version still lingering on your iDevice.

Your Palm Pilot might not even be able to sync anymore, anything can go wrong with software updates. If they're done right.

Re:iphone runs both the B&N ereader and the Ki (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551414)

The Palm Pilot not syncing is entirely Palm's fault. They used to write an app that allowed syncing on Mac, but then they stopped. A third party stepped in (The Missing Sync) and the rest is history.

Don't blame Apple for sync problems with third party software - the sync APIs are all there, documented, from release to release of the OS.

As far as apps on the iPad, you are correct - Apple controls what is on the store, just as Amazon controls the Kindle. If this doesn't suit you, then the iPad is not for you. Buy an Android based tablet (when they arrive).

Android Tablet Here First: Meet the B&N Nook (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551952)

Actually, Android beat Apple to market. The Nook by Barnes and Noble, which is arguably the best tablet on the market is built on Android. And it has real e-ink (nice for extended reading and over a week of battery life) compared to the iPad's LCD (bad for extended reading and under 10 hours battery life), making it a much better ereader.

why worry? (-1, Flamebait)

runslothrun (524157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31550864)

publishers will push whatever they want to push and apple may even come out on top.

it won't matter, though, and amazon will still rule the day.

why? because, by and large, apple consumers are wanna-be, douche bag, hipsters who wouldn't ACTUALLY read a book if their life depended on it.

sure, a lot of them will buy oprah's book of the month or some lamer bit of poetry...but it won't be because they're trying to learn something or because they enjoy literature.

it'll be so they can capture the attention of the other vapid apple tosser they spot at whatever coffeshop they happen to be lurking in while trying desperately to appear relevant.

there. i said. i predict that by and large most of the apple wanna-be's will buy MAYBE one book for their ipad.

and that's a big, big maybe.

Re:why worry? (0, Flamebait)

runslothrun (524157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551026)

why is this flamebait? apple's entire marketing strategy is pinned to 'appearing' to be cool and hip. without question, people wanting to appear 'cool and hip' neither buy books or read them. so how is it flamebait?

i mean - what's the worry here? apple may sell a lot of ipads but amazon, sony, B&N, etc., will continue to sell ebook readers to people who actually want to read books.

so, regardless of what publishers end up dictating prices at, apple will never be a contender in the ebook arena.

sorry you think that's flamebait.

Re:why worry? (0, Offtopic)

runslothrun (524157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551928)

to the mod who has now twice rated this -1 flamebait; i ask again: how is acknowledging that apple's marketing strategy caters to non-intellectuals flamebait? how?

the vast majority of apple's istore consumers are not buying anything other than BS gizmo apps and top 40 trash.

what makes you think that just because they can buy a book for their ipad that they'll suddenly buy in enough volume to allow apple to become some sort of heavyweight in the ebook industry?

why? what?

their consumer base does not support it.

so either stop rating me -1 flamebait and acknowledge that or stop rating me -1 flamebait and accept that you simply disagree.

I Support Amazon (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551874)

I support Amazon's position here, and I have titles for sale on their site. Unless Amazon intends to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Publishing, they've got to stand up for this now. If they are the World's Biggest Bookstore, then they have leverage and they should use it.

Apple Is Smart (But Evil), Publishers Are Stupid (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31551914)

This is just another demonstration of the fact that Apple is smart (but evil) and publishers (in any medium) are stupid. If publishers had a *clue* about how to properly participate in this whole electronic and online thing, we wouldn't be seeing any of these big battles.

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