Nathan Bransford, Author


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Choose Your Own E-book Adventure - A Couple of Big Players

Publishers have been unsuccessful at fostering competition among e-book vendors and device makers, and a few big companies dominate the e-bookselling field. Because of their importance to publishers, these companies have enormous bargaining power to establish their terms and discounts. In order to undercut their competition, the companies also want the ability to establish their own pricing.

Will publishers be able to hold the line on what they feel is sustainable e-book pricing and discounts?

Publishers are able to hold the line
Publishers are forced to give in to lower prices and a smaller piece of the pie


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11 comments:

lystrawrote said...

Nathan this is brilliant.

JTShea said...

Sunday March 11 2001!? Either you're time traveling or you've broken Blogger. Don't forget to make good any damage to the fabric of space and time!

Joseph L. Selby said...

Where's my Publishers are forced by customers to lower prices and revise their business paradigm to remain profitable?

Nathan Bransford said...

Joseph-

Right here

Ishta Mercurio said...

Nathan, the idea that you thought your Nerd Pass would ever expire makes me chuckle.

This is very, very well done.

Yo22er said...

What do you mean by 'publisher'? The usual suspects, or new companies with a business model tailored specifically to the e-market?

Joseph L. Selby said...

Nathan-

I disagree. While Amazon playing David to the established industry's Goliath may let Bezos fulfill his dream of being a publisher, the customer is the one who will make the final decision in this market and neither Amazon nor the industry will end up in the direction they are currently headed.

More importantly, there is plenty of fat to be trimmed out of how the industry currently does business. While it's not known for changing quickly, the metamorphosis that is forced on it by consumer demand (and not distributor demand) will leave those houses that endure better for the experience.

I don't understand why all these either/or scenarios keep leaving the customer out of the decision making process.

Nathan Bransford said...

joseph-

It's two way of saying the same thing. You're saying the consumer will decide the pricing, and I agree with you. The counterpart of that is that the big e-booksellers will lower prices and possibly start a price war in order to meet the consumers where they are. The latter is the process I described, the former is what you're saying, but I see them both as two sides of the same coin.

The end result is the same as well - we're both saying that if this scenario comes to pass, what's left of the publishing industry will be much leaner and looking much different than what we have now.

Joseph L. Selby said...

Except that you're saying it turned into a cockroach, and I'm saying it turned into a butterfly. I think the industry will shrug off a lot of its fat and get healthier in the process. There may be some destructive creation, but I don't think this is the most depressing end. I think this is the most desirable (and most likely) end.

Nathan Bransford said...

joseph-

Well, I really don't know that there's much "fat" to trim in this industry, and I don't see the consolidation of power into a few huge companies as a democratizing force. It may well force the industry into a leaner model, but if that's the case it probably means consolidation around a small handful of megabestsellers and everyone else getting a not-great deal. Sure, people will still write books and good books would still be written and the world will keep turning, but I don't see it as a particularly ideal situation.

J. T. Shea said...

Still March 11th 2001!? I hope fixing the fabric of space and time is one of your New Year's resolutions, Nathan!

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