Apple’s iBookstore pricing has been revealed and guess what? The prices are $9.99 for all but two of the top 35 bestsellers. This is what publishers are fighting over? Under the agency model, the publisher sets the price and gets 70%. At 9.99, this means the publisher gets a little more than $6. Under the old retail model, the publisher would get approximately 50% of the retail price which was around $12.00 per book. Unless the publishers make the most money off the lower priced backlist such as non discounted mass markets, I am not seeing how the move to agency actually helps publishers. Random House has refused to sign onto the agency model, stating publicly that it worries about the erosion of profits.
Apple’s push to price the bestsellers at $9.99 seems to indicate that Amazon has effectively set the high point of popular digital books at 9.99. It does not seem likely that publishers can effectively move the price point upward for the flat digital book.
It also shows why Amazon is fighting so hard for price parity in its contracts with publishers.
Engadget had pictures of a new Android tablet that starts at $155. You can get a fully decked out 5″ screen Android tablet with 3G and wifi for $210.
Publishers Weekly has a rundown of the top selling books in 2009. The big surprise for me is Alyson Noel’s novel, Shadowland which ranked 14th (609,355). The straight Nora contemp sold bigger than her JD Robb books: Black Hills. Nora Roberts. Putnam (502,000) v Kindred in Death. J.D. Robb. Putnam (315,000).
In the mass market section, the top sellers are Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber:
- Tribute. Nora Roberts. Rep. Jove. (1,250,361).
- Sooner or Later. Debbie Macomber. Avon (1,000,000).
- Mrs. Miracle. Debbie Macomber. Avon (1,000,000).
Also shocking? How much coin Harlequin is making off republication of Nora Roberts contemporaries. It’s like printing money for them.
Speaking of money and authors, Mary Higgins Clark (who ranked 29th and sold between 356,000 and 387,000 books), claims she was paid $64 million in 2000 to write four novels for Simon & Schuster. In order for her to sell through an advance like that, MHC would need to sell upwards near 5 million books.
The Rita Finalists are being called today and RWA is updating its website. Congratulations to all the finalists. My eyebrows were raised over several of the finalists and I agreed with others. The paranormal list is always were I deviate the most from the RITA judgets.