Yikes, so much going on over this ebook kerfuffle with iPad. An important update from Michael Cader at Publishers Lunch (if you don’t get his Publishers Lunch free emails–or his Publishers Lunch Deluxe paid emails–you SHOULD!):
We’re going to keep grinding our way through the idiosyncracies and challenges of life under the agency model, understanding that all of this is a constantly moving target. [emphasis mine]
While Random House has gotten all the attention as the biggest trade publisher whose titles are not available via the just-launched iBookstore, it should be underscored that so far, very few companies of scale outside of the Agency Five have a presence there. [emphasis mine] In addition to those already announced–Perseus, Nelson, Workman, Sourcebooks, and F+W–we found lists of titles from Hyperion and Kensington (henceforth known as the Non Five).
But the list of absent publishers is much larger. For now it includes Abrams, Andrews McMeel, Bloomsbury, Chronicle, Harlequin, Hay House, HCI, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Norton, Regnery, Rodale, Sterling, and Wiley. Also missing are prominent Perseus distribution clients like Grove/Atlantic, rising indie publishers like Quirk and Skyhorse, and all the big university presses. [emphasis mine]
We know that at least some of the publishers listed above are far along in their discussions with Apple and hopeful of reaching agreements soon. Among the issues are Apple’s hardcover price parity requirements balanced against Amazon’s reported unwillingness to negotiate changing to an agency model with any companies outside of the Agency Five, plus the time period Apple gives publishers to change their pricing with other customers to comply with Apple’s agreement.
While the Agency Five have moved to agency terms across all their ebook retailers, the Non Five are currently driving a hybrid model: agency for Apple, and wholesale everywhere else. The big question–for the Non Five as well as for other publishers still negotiating with Apple–is how long and how well a hybrid model is sustainable.
And then this link from the Times on the green-ness of the new iPad (an interesting viewpoint considering over 300,000 iPads were sold in one day), but can we rejoice that over 250,000 EBOOKS were sold that same day? That’s a lot of books and not a single tree was used in their printing! Woohoo!