During media megaconglomorate News Corp’s earnings call – which owns publisher HarperCollins – the Dark Lord Rupert Murdoch reveals, “We don’t like the Amazon model of $US9.99… we think it really devalues books and hurts all the retailers of hardcover books.” Ruh roh.
It seems brutally clear that every publisher is going to shift to the agency model: They set their own price for books, and whoever’s selling it takes a cut. Sure, they get less absolute dollars per book than selling it wholesale – say, selling it to Amazon for $US15, who takes a $US5 hit to sell it for $US9.99 – but they’re convinced it’ll preserve the value of books. I’m sure that’s exactly what’s going to happen when ebook prices everywhere creep up by several dollars – people will totally think they’re worth more. [MediaMemo]