Is the Agency Pricing Model a Net E-Book Agreement in Disguise?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

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By Edward Nawotka

At the end of today’s lead story surveying UK independent booksellers’ attitudes toward selling e-books, writer Roger Tagholm writes:

“Many note that [the agency pricing] model is effectively an e-book NBA (the UK agreement, abolished in 1995, that banned discounting) and that it is this which is providing them with the opportunity.”

“I’m struck by the fact that it is a development in the digital world that is refocusing us all on such an old principle,” said one bookseller.

Does the advent of agency pricing for e-books indeed create a truly level playing field? And, like the earlier NBA, is it likely to be unsustainable as more and more players push into selling e-books? Will the biggest players demand better terms and flexibility in order to sustain their competitive advantage? Will the indies, provided agency pricing holds, have a genuine opportunity to compete?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.