Hachette Livre C.E.O. Arnaud Nourry was interviewed by the French daily newspaper LeFigaro last week and he reported some startling statistics.
eBooks in the US account for about 23% total sales volume for Hatchette in the US. Note that this is by volume, not revenue. eBooks aren’t generating the same revenue as print editions, even though prices are being propped up by the Agency Model.
This is a vast increase over last year, when eBooks only added up to about 10% of the market for Hatchette. He also noted that pretty much the same titles sold paper and digital, and that it’s difficult to say whether the growth of eBook sales are undermining print sales.
Later in the interview Mr. Nourry provided an insight into why the major publishing conglomerates pushed for Agency pricing: “But the major international publishers have collectively wished to have control over the selling price to ensure that global operators such as Amazon, Apple and Google do not make the book a loss leader to sell their technology. One may well imagine that the margins on the electronic product and so much more than the small loss on the digital book that is a good model for them. So we invented the so-called contract of mandate or agency, a legal formula that allows the supplier to decide the selling price of the distributor.”
If you can speak French, you can watch the entire interview at the link.
via Le Figaro
image by Piano Piano!