Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MACMILLAN ON E-BOOKS

As a Macmillan author (St. Martin's Minotaur) I was gratified to read this in Publisher's Lunch.

"Sargent Blogs on Pricing

"Macmillan ceo John Sargent has taken up the call to speak to readers directly about ebook pricing with a new posting on the company's blog. He notes that the agency model will eliminate any delayed releases of new books in ebook editions: "Readers were clearly frustrated at the lack of availability of new titles, and the change to the agency model will solve this problem." And he underscores, as we have mentioned before, that hardcover NYT bestsellers will cost $12.99 or less under the new model. He points out to readers that the company is providing "a tremendous discount" on new release ebooks versus their print list prices.

Sargent also makes another important point: for people who cannot afford, or simply do not wish to pay, over ten dollars for an ebook, the bulk of the company's list will be available for purchase:

"There has been a lot of concern from e-book readers that $9.99 books will no longer be available. Most Macmillan e-books will still be priced below ten dollars. Our e-book sales over the last year clearly indicate that only about a third of our e-book business is in the digital versions of new release hardcovers. Unit sales of older books far exceed our new release hardcover sales, so the $9.99 and lower prices will continue to represent the largest portion of our business.In short, we will continue to do what we have always done: provide the reader with a vast selection of great books over a wide range of prices."

Needless to say, we're glad to see Sargent open a channel for direct communication with readers ("there are millions of you and one of me. So, please feel free to post questions or comments below") and hope that more publishers find ways to join in the dialogue."