In a dramatic alert, independent eBook retailer Books on Board announced eBook availability could be delayed for “several days to a week or more” for books published by five major houses: Hachette, Penguin, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Simon & Schuster.
The alert attributed the delays to a shift to “Required Ebook Pricing” that will “likely to result in a significant increase in the net selling price of many of our popular ebooks.” As major publishers struggle to strike an agency model deal with Amazon, other retailers like Books on Board will be affected by this industry sea-change.
Here’s more from the Books on Board post: “In an move not yet fully described to BooksOnBoard and other independent retailers, 5 of the industry’s top publishers have advised us (directly or through our wholesalers) in the last week that they are imposing a Required Ebook Pricing (REP) model on all ebook stores as of April 1. This will affect all USA pricing, but the impact on our UK store is uncertain. EBooks from these publishers are not expected to be available on either of our stores starting April 1 until the publishers sort out the infrastructure to deploy this change. This could take several days or it may take weeks. BooksOnBoard is ready to deploy the changes once the publisher and wholesaler infrastructures are in place.” (Via Booksquare)
The alert concluded: “The change, we understand, is likely to result in a significant increase in the net selling price of many of our popular ebooks. In order to keep offering these titles, we are required to comply, and we will, in order to continue to make these books available. The five publishers are the following and the action, we’re told, includes all their imprints and their entire backlist.”