updated 01:20 pm EST, Wed January 20, 2010
Time to be missing from tablet announcement?
Apple is currently in negotiations with "nearly all (and most likely all) of the six largest trade publishers," says Publishers Marketplace. Representatives are said to be meeting in New York this week, specifically to discuss arrangements for e-books published on an Apple tablet. The publishers are allegedly after an "agency model," in which they would control access to files, as well as prices.
The concern is believed to be a difficult revenue model Amazon has used with the Kindle, although Amazon executives are also said to be meeting with publishers and agents in New York this week, talking about "simultaneous ebook release of new titles and pricing." The company has in fact announced a new, optional pricing scheme, which will take effect on June 30th. Similar to Apple's arrangement for the App Store, publishers will be allowed to take 70 percent of the revenue from each Kindle book sale; for an $8.99 book for instance, a publisher would receive $6.25, rather than the current $3.15.
Books must however cost between $2.99 and $9.99, and be more than 20 percent cheaper than the lowest price for a physical copy. Other criteria include matching or beating competing prices, and making a title available in all regions for which an author or publisher has rights. Books are also expected to integrate with advanced features like text-to-speech.
Some publishers may in fact be absent from Apple's expected tablet announcement, says PM, though this would be because deals may not be ready for January 27th. Talks are so fresh according to All Things Digital that Apple has "only recently started" sharing minimal information about the tablet. Negotiations with Time are only believed to have happened in the past few weeks, and as a result it is thought that the publisher will have nothing to show at the tablet debut.
Time is still said to be "intensely interested" in the product, simply waiting for Apple to actually share details before it gets working on content.