I don’t know if this is company wide, but for Pocket books ARCs will no longer be made available to reviewers or bookstore owners. Instead, finished copies will be mailed earlier. Whether this will affect actual sales is yet to be determined.
On the royalty side, S&S will be offering a 25% of “net receipts for all sales of all electronic editions including eBooks and audio book downloads.” According to the ereads article, retailers take a discount of 50% of an ebook list price. For a paperback, that is $3.50-$4.75 so an author will get 25% of that. This is a 25% reduction in royalty. I suppose this is one reason that S&S is charging more for its ebooks. Most S&S ebooks are $9.99, a near 50% markup over the paperback pricing.
Guess what S&S, we readers don’t care about your royalty fights and your problems with etailers. We care about the end price of a book, the one that we pay in our checkout basket. Ratcheting up the price so that you can placate your authors (which assumes that they are stupid and they are not) by gouging both the etailer who passes that on to the reader, only serves to piss readers off. I’m not buying ebooks that are 50% more than the print version.