Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Macmillan books to go back up soon? Apple DRM - Update

I'm fascinated by what I see in a spin around the forums.

Those fearful that Amazon will have a monopoly and then raise e-book prices are thrilled Macmillan is forcing them to raise them now. :-).

Apple and Amazon's Stanza
Amazon’s Stanza Bows To Apple’s E-book Sharing Request

Does Apple’s iBooks ambition mean a new DRM regime for existing
e-book app makers? Less than a week after the new iBooks store was
announced alongside the iPad, the Amazon-owned Stanza iPhone e-books
app has released an upgrade, the version notes for which read:

“Removed ability to share books via USB as required by Apple.”

Oddly, the WiFi sync feature remains.

    Macmillan books status
TheBookseller reports that
' As one editor at a London publishing house put it: "Whatever happens in the US will dictate what happens elsewhere in the world." Some publishers sensed Amazon was gearing up for a legal fight with its use of the word "monopoly" in its response, posted on a Kindle forum.

But the suggestion that Amazon.com has been defeated has been rejected by some. Forrester's James McQuivey notes on Paid Content that Amazon "wins in the short run and the long run", given that it will now make money from sales of Macmillan's books on the Kindle, while Macmillan may lose sales, forcing it to bring prices down again.
  "In that future, Amazon will make more money than it does now. At that point, even if prices come back down to $9.99, Amazon will be making $3.30 from each book sold. . . And publishers will make less money than before on each book sold."

Meanwhile, despite Amazon.com's public climbdown, there is still no firm indication when it will begin selling Macmillan US' titles again. As Publishers Lunch reported: " They only said they would do so 'ultimately'. Does that really mean 'in early March' when Macmillan's new terms become effective, or slightly thereafter when the iPad launches, or sometime far sooner?"
On the other hand, Pub Rants writes
' Talking with Macmillan editors, I hear that John Sargent has a meeting this afternoon with Amazon and that the company is “optimistic” that links will be back up by tonight or tomorrow morning. I’ve been assured that the conversation is continuing. '
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  1. Hopefully, their insistence on higher prices will contribute to a rise in the success of independent writers (much like mp3's did for independent music)... which is probably exactly what publishers are afraid of ... but I think they will be speeding the process/shooting themselves in the foot by insisting on higher prices.

    I'm sure there are plenty of good lesser-known authors that may not be with big publishers like, say, McMillan, that I can & will read.

  2. How do we determine whether or not a book is published by NacMillin?

  3. you are correct in that big mac will suffer and rightly so....but big'am is no angel by a long shot....in the end...it will be the people that generate the content we purchase for our enjoyment that will take it....in the end.

  4. On a related note....sigh.

    Harper Collins

  5. They certainly got a massive dose of publicity about their desire to raise prices 50% no matter how nicely clothed the suggestion/demand.

    Even if Amazon initially got the brunt of the ill will, ultimately it sure helped to bring some light on more of what is going on here.

    Steve Job's video'd impromptu Q&A didn't help, and someone, I think it was Forrester guy on Len's The Reading Edge podcast who said it was a very interesting clip and that he must have been tired to say what he did as he did.

  6. You're right that there are no angels in this area at all - in my view both the authors and the customers lose out unless they all decide on something not mainly self-serving and what are the chances there...

  7. Ceci, I just got back. Thanks for that - no surprise from Murdoch.

    Amazon will have to get creative.

  8. Harvey, you probably missed my reply to you on this in the "Amazon surrenders" posting. I'll just repeat that here.

    Usually you can see the publisher's name and release name as well as the book's ASIN number on the product page for the book, by scrolling down about a third of the page.
    It'll be on the left with the other book information.

    The problem for some will be that Macmillan also is responsible for "imprints" such as St. Martin's Press, so it's hard to know when something is a Macmillan book.

    I'd just resist best seller fiction over $9.99 rather than only Macmillan maybe if the reason is pricing.

    Good luck. Sometimes the Kindle book product page has only "Kindle edition" where the publisher's name ought to be.


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