updated 05:30 pm EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Apple gets sixth iPad book deal
Apple today confirmed that it has struck a deal with Perseus Books Group to bring its titles to the iBookstore and the iPad. The move puts the largest collection of independent publishers on the tablet and should make the titles available by the time the iPad ships on April 3rd. Perseus' involvement should provide books from firms like restaurant guide Zagat, Harvard Business School Press and other both fiction and non-fiction publishers.
Pricing details weren't divulged, but the NYT understands from tips that the deal should remain the same as rumored for major publishers, where companies keep 70 percent of revenue and most new books will cost between $13 and $15.
The agreement may force a decision for Perseus, which already offers some e-books on the Kindle Store. Rumors have persisted that Apple will require the same pricing at other stores and would conflict directly with Amazon. Although the retailer has been willing to strike agency model deals with Macmillan and possibly other large firms to let them set e-book prices, it's thought to be staunchly opposed to letting any independent do the same.
If accurate, Perseus' choice to back Apple could either force it to abandon the Kindle or else Amazon to raise prices for one of the largest independent book coalitions, eroding one of its main advantages. Kindle books have usually been priced on the wholesale model and let Amazon charge just $10 or less for e-books, even when they have dropped below the raw cost of the text. Apple's iBookstore pricing has allegedly been more appealing to publishers trying to set more realistic expectations for prices and to adapt pricing depending on popularity or age.
Tips have claimed that Perseus has already flown out to Amazon this week, but the results of the talk weren't known as of Monday.