Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Eff-You, Penguin.

Posted by Lissa on April 28, 2010

And no, I don’t mean the website about cursing at cute-ish animals.  I mean the publisher.

Apparently Penguin and Amazon are warring* about which price model to use in distributing ebooks.  Both entities are willing to earn less money — in Amazon’s case, to actually sell books at a loss — in order to maintain control and retain what each feels is the best cost structure for distributing ebooks.

Look, I’m not unsympathetic to Penguin.  They want to make sure they can still make a profit off of bestselling books and they’re nervous about losing hardcover sales, which were always the most profitable.  But the times, they are a-changing, lads; you see more and more Kindles on the T in the morning.  Not to mention the folks reading on their iPhones (me!) and Blackberries and eventually iPads.

Amazon’s model is designed to please its customers — it’s willing to lose money on sales while still paying Penguin MORE than Penguin’s preferred pricing model would.

Penguin’s model is designed to please itself — it’s trying to maintain the current publishing  business model, which thinks that people who can afford iPhones and iTouches and Blackberries and iPads will still want to drag around books that weigh five pounds.

Guess where my sympathies lie?

And yet . . . I’m just a humble book-crack-addict.  I admit it.  I downloaded the Barnes and Noble ebook app and bought the coveted book from them.  B&N’s contract with Penguin hasn’t expired yet so they haven’t re-negotiated the business model.  (I think.)

What can I say?  It was worth an extra three dollars to me to get the book yesterday instead of three weeks from now, and I need my book-crack.

*For the millionth time, I really, really wish I could draw.  Does anyone feel like whipping up a penguin battling an amazon?  With books?  It would be fun!

One Response to “Eff-You, Penguin.”

  1. Borepatch said

    #1 Son thought it was a really funny book. I agree.

    But electronic distribution is changing all sorts of business models, and the current Gatekeepers do not like the loss of control.

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