Price-Fixing Agency Model Titanic Hits Iceberg

This will be a surprise only to those idiots in print publishing who thought they were the OPEC of books and could fix prices via the Agency Model.

Kindle Review tends to do too-long posts for my taste and patience, but this time every word in the post is vital:

The Race to Zero – $6.94 and £2.18 are the new $9.99

He does a very detailed job figuring out what’s selling for what price at a number of eBookstores.

And squishes all of the OPEC-like price-fixing dreams of print publishing.

Publishers didn’t think they could survive on $9.99, they waged a war using $14.99 and $12.99, and they ended up with $6.94 per book in the Top 100. Of course, the fun doesn’t stop at $6.94 being the new $9.99.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

That post appears a day after Dear Author ran this one: 2010 Trend Analysis from All Romance eBooks.

That post confirms:

A special note about the impact of and plans for agency = Tens of thousands of DRM titles were removed by what has commonly been referred to as “Agency” publishers in April of 2010. Q1 data seems to indicate DRM might have ended up being approximately 12% or more of sales in 2010, as opposed to the 4% that resulted. Although we’ve certainly realized some lost sales due to the decrease in that inventory, data supports the fact that many readers simply found alternate content to interest them and accordingly shifted those purchasing dollars to non-Agency publishers.

Or, as Moriah Jovan tweeted:

Imagine being in a business that’s ruled by the fear of lost sales — and then doing everything you can to realize that fear!

That is print publishing today.

The Agency Model must die.

eBookstores must be free to compete.

eBookstores understand that if someone buys the latest book in a series, they can most likely sell the backlist of that series as a discounted bundle and win that customer for all future series sales too.

If publishers aren’t interested in selling to readers, let the experts who want to, do so — the eBookstores.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Pricing

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