Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Publishers negotiate with Amazon and Google for agency model

According to a posting from Digital Trends, three publishers are now renegotiating their deals with Amazon in order to gain control over e-book pricing. The negotiations started soon after the iPad was announced and it became clear that Apple would offer the publishers more favorable terms. Since then, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Hachette have all announced plans to switch to an agency model that will allow the publishers to set the price for e-books and receive a 70 percent commission on titles sold. Amazon recently expressed their disapproval of the model and at one point removed direct access to all Macmillan Kindle and print books. The titles were restored but the final terms of the negotiation have not been disclosed.

According to The New York Times, publishers may also convince Google to move to this model for titles sold through Google Editions. It was reported a few months ago that Google would offer a 63:37 split in favor of the publisher when Google Editions launches this summer. In addition, customers would be able to print and copy/paste portions of the text. According to the article, Google is open to talking about the model and removing the option to print and copy/paste.

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