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Thanks to KS for the submission!
The Internet requires every brand, business and individual to become a publisher,” said Rachel Tipograph, the Gap’s director of global digital and social media. “Content is the currency within our social Web.
The new Penguin Random House will control a quarter of world book publishing, and this has many in the industry, from writers and agents to smaller publishers, worried
Interesting look at the changes in Amazon’s book pricing strategy. Suddenly, they are decreasing discounts on scholarly and small-press books (though the article admits that it’s difficult to track Amazon’s prices with accuracy, so much of this is based on anecdotal evidence).
For years, publishers have complained that Amazon’s discounts are devaluing books. Now, according to the NY Times, some complain that Amazon isn’t discounting their books enough! Of course, when Amazon controls a large percentage of book sales, any change in their pricing means publishers will feel the impact.
The list price is the decision of the publisher, but because Amazon is the dominant online bookseller, and because sales through Amazon can account for 25% of a publisher’s overall sales, it stands to reason that publishers will take Amazon’s discounts into consideration when setting the list price. A smaller discount on one book may lead readers to purchase a cheaper book.
On the other hand, can publishers demand that Amazon absorb the loss of selling their books at a discount? These discounts have become the norm, but that doesn’t mean that Amazon is obligated to discount every book.
What would make the relationship a little easier would be a higher degree of transparency from Amazon about decisions like this one to decrease discounts on certain titles. Publishers would be able to better react, which is important considering how much of their business Amazon controls.