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Books Businesses IOS The Almighty Buck Apple

Developer Blames Apple For Ruining eBook Business 660

An anonymous reader writes "A bookseller and app developer has blamed Apple for writing its final chapter, claiming the iPad maker had pushed it out of business. 'Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device,' BeamItDown said. 'We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game.' The company blamed Apple's decision to impose a 30% commission on books sold through apps for the unhappy ending."
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Developer Blames Apple For Ruining eBook Business

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  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @11:06AM (#36094048)

    Apple is raping developers and Google is raping your privacy. Never thought I'd consider moving back to Windows Mobile :(

  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @11:21AM (#36094300)
    Now you can easily self publish any book you want. What margins do a writer make right now?

    From what I gather it is at MOST 15% of the NET profits, so a $25.00 book may only make you as a writer $2 at most after all the "Costs" of selling are added up.

    So, if you sell the book yourself through Apple, you get to keep 70% of your profit, doing some simple math that turns out to be $17.50.

    Now who is the evil company, publishers who give you $2 on your $25 book or Apple who gives you $17.50?
  • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 ) <> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @11:49AM (#36094698) Homepage Journal

    Their app only has two reviews, and both of them are bad. Maybe they were going to fail anyway.

  • by Marrow ( 195242 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @11:51AM (#36094722)

    In a few years, people will hate Apple as much as they hated Microsoft. And Apple is going to give them the reasons for free.

  • Re:Business 101 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dintech ( 998802 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @12:12PM (#36095076)

    Amazon or Apple will become the middlemen to end all middlemen. What's surprising is that this guy was totally aware, like everyone else, that this is the case. I mean, he watched it happen with regular paper book stores and physical plastic music shops.

    There is no such thing as a little guy middle-man anymore.

    "There can only be one."

  • by alanQuatermain ( 840239 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @01:04PM (#36095814) Homepage

    You must sell books from major publishers at the same price as Apple does.

    Which is entirely wrong. You can't see books cheaper than Apple does, you can certainly charge MORE. This is a rather common thing in retail.

    Under the new 'Agency Model', the publishers set the end-user price. They set that price at $10, and you, as an agent, get $3 of that. You can't change your prices up or down. Only the publisher can do that.

    Those publishers must give you exactly 30% commission.

    Apple does not say that anywhere, nor do they have ANY control over who much you pay to license content from others. This is just bellyaching and lies.

    Sort of. They indeed can't affect how much you pay to license content. However, they don't need to: publishers no longer 'license' content— they give a fixed commission to sales agents. Many publishers give a different amount. Unfortunately, it's most commonly less than 30%. 30% is, in fact, the highest commission the publishers give any sales agents these days. So most booksellers will be getting perhaps $1.50 or $2 commission from that $10 book. But still, Apple will take $3 from them, meaning they have to pay $1 - $1.50 to the publishers out of their own pockets. Which is unsustainable, when it happens on every single bit of income your company makes (or a high enough percentage of it, like, say, more than 30% of your revenue sources).

    iOS booksellers have to give 30% of their revenue to Apple.

    Yea, and if you have even the slightest clue about the retail world, you'll know that when you put your shit in someones store, they take a cut. 30% is pretty much THE standard amount. In big box retail, there are times when you end up paying more to be in the store, per item, than your item costs total. Its not just a loss to be in the store, you're actually loosing more than just the cost of your item!

    They're not selling books through Apple's store, though. They're selling software. And they're happy to let Apple have 30% of the price of the software, since Apple hosts it on their servers, advertises it, etc. The situation you describe would suggest that if I created an eReader device and sold that at a Wal-Mart, then Wal-Mart should be able to claim a percentage of all money I make through that device. Which is wrong— they sold my eReader, so they got their commission on that. They can sell gift cards for it, and get commission on those. But they don't get commission on anything they're not involved with.

    The problem, however, lies with the eBooks being sold. Apple doesn't do anything with those. You have to pay someone like Microsoft or Amazon for Azure or S3 storage, or you have to run your own server farm (trust me, 3 million eBooks needs an awful lot of space). You then need to look at CDNs so your customers on the other side of the world can pull down content as fast as your local ones. You need to hire lawyers to negotiate with the publishers, since Apple doesn't do that for you.

    In the end, what is Apple charging 30% for? What service are they providing that is worth so much?

    Credit card transaction handling.

    That's it. They don't host anything, they don't pay for bandwidth costs, they don't help with acquisition. They don't even do a great deal to help you get customers, since they're actively trying to lure your customers away to their competing software offering.

    There is no enforced 0% profit margin, though I'll admit, why would you buy from someone other than the iBookstore if the iBookstore is the cheapest, but thats just business. Don't like it? Sell on someone elses device or make your own. Ever heard of Windows Mobile, Android, or BlackBerry?

    Sure. The company I work for sells eBooks on just about every platform going. iOS i

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll