Tuesday News: HarperCollins abandons agency pricing; California federal court rules BNs’ Terms of Service not enforceable; Google Docs now editable on mobile platforms
Thanks to our sharp eyed commenter, Rosie, we led the scoop on HarperCollins’ abandonment of agency pricing yesterday. From there, Laura Hazard Owens, worked her contacts and got a confirmation from Amazon that it was indeed going crazy with the discounting of HarperCollins books. Followed close on the heels of this was a Books on Board email that said “BooksOnBoard welcomes back Discounts for Harper Collins eBook titles! This week only! 24% Off all HarperCollins eBooks!” All Romance eBooks confirmed for me that HarperCollins books could now count toward buy club purchases and future promotional programs. (This also means that HC books can be part of Smart Bitches’ Sizzling Book Club).
Despite some industry experts’ suggestions that the industry would remain in stasis until well into the holiday buying season, it’s likely the settling publishers are anxious to put these lawsuits behind them and ensure no interruption in book selling during one of the most important times of retailing during the year.
Most of the discounts appear to be in the 10-20% range, but all appear to have some kind of discount. How do you know? Look at the lines underneath the price. If it says “price set by publisher”, it’s still agency pricing. As you can see by the HarperCollins published book, however, it says only “Sold by HarperCollins.”
My take from all this? Dear Author has some of the best commenters on the internet.
Barnes & Noble’s Web Terms Of Service Not Enforceable Without Evidence That They Were Seen – A consumer filed suit against B&N for not living up to an advertised price for a tablet. B&N tried to force the consumer into arbitration per the terms of service on the website. Giving up one’s right to their day in court usually requires an affirmative waiver. The District Court in California agreed. Techdirt
This could have far reaching effects including determining whether a product is a sale (it does say “buy” not “rent”) versus lease.
Google Drive: Updates for iOS and Android – Great news for mobile users. Google has updated its apps for iOS and Android and now you can edit and create Google Docs via your iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. (I think Android app has had this feature for a while). You’ll also notice other new improvements to the iOS Drive app. For example, you can now view Google presentations on your iPhone or iPad, including speaker notes, full-screen mode and the ability to swipe between slides. You can also create new folders, move files into folders and upload stuff (like photos and videos) from your device directly in the Drive app. Google Blog
Police using license plate readers are creating a national database of our movements – Creepy. When do we all get fitted with our state mandated GPS bracelets? Sussex County Angel
The 13-year-old who has the world planting trees – There seems to be a surfeit of negative things to read about (including here at Dear Author, sorry about that) so this inspiring story of an 11 year old who is helping to plant 1 million trees and counting is one I had to share. Felix Finkbeiner started as a seven year researching a science project. He stumbled across Wangari Maathai who won a Nobel Peace Prize for her tree planting efforts. His classroom project was a speech on climate change and tree planting, or increasing the output of oxygen by having more trees. He was encouraged to speak to more classrooms and when he got so busy, he asked his parents if he couldn’t get an employee if he was able to obtain the money for it. Soon, Felix’s project was being funded by Toyota. Telegraph UK
Which will all have an identifier prefix of 666.
(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)
Does anyone know if or when HC agency pricing will end in Canada?
@Laurie: I’m wondering the same thing I sent a message to Kobo today asking that question We’ll see if they respond. From what I’ve seen so far, nothing has changed at Kobo or Amazon and I didn’t get the e-mail from Books on Board regarding Harper Collins books.
Pub lunch had a tweet this morning that looked like HC might be raising prices. I don’ t have a login with them so I couldn’t read the article; can somebody check on that?
Rebates to customers???
Re: tracking via license plates. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on how well they work (and I haven’t personally tried them), but there are reflective sprays and covers that are supposed to make it harder for cameras to get a clear shot of the plates. But, since we’ll all have our implants, it won’t matter about the plates soon.
@GrowlyCub – Publishers Lunch reports that HC is raising their list price for books. If you recall, they had been discounting mass markets, for example, from $7.99 to $6.99 or $5.99 for front list titles. But the list prices for many books have appeared to go up. Amazon has been discounting them and so has nearly every other retailer except for Kobo. Today I checked and it appears Kobo hasn’t implemented any changes. It may be that a contract isn’t in place or that Kobo’s system hasn’t made the change.