Hachette Book Group (one of the Big Six publishers, and one that has
signed to provide books for the iPad's iBooks store) confirmed that they
would prefer the 'agency model' of pricing schemes. In layman's terms,
they want to charge $14.99 versus Amazon's $9.99.
Macmillan Books was the first to put pressure on Amazon over the store's
$9.99 pricing. Later, HarperCollins joined in, and now, the Hachette
Book Group has voiced their opinion.
David Young said in the letter to the literary agents that he feels that
the agency model of pricing (aka, $14.99) will better reflect the value
of our author's works, and that they can continue to invest in and
nurture authors' careers. Remember that this was written for literary
agents – representatives of authors, hence the angle on this being
good for authors, which, it probably is, in the long run. Consumers? Not
The Hachette letter did mention one thing, they believe this will be
good for consumers, too. If they're allowed to set their own price for
eBooks, then they can assure that the new releases will be out the day
the physical copy is out. (They presume, that under the Amazon model,
they would only be able to allow an eBook to be published once its value
had decreased to $9.99).
The Wall Street Journal speculates that since half of the 'Big Six' book
publishing houses have decided to go to the 'agency model', that the
other three (Penguin, Random House and Simon Schuster) will fall in
line and join in.