Discussion Forums - eBook readers eBook readers

Topic: Discounts/Coupons for Mainstream eBooks?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Discounts/Coupons for Mainstream eBooks?
Date Posted: 1/7/2012 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
Back To Top

Does anyone have a place where they buy ebooks that allow use of a coupon or promotional code?  I buy lots of books - in all formats. For printed books, I almost always use a coupon or buy from a site that's at least a little discounted. I love Fictionwise, but they don't carry a lot of the mainstream books.

It seems absurd that ebooks are never eligbile for discounts.  I've tried Amazon, B&N, BooksAMillion. None of them seem to allow for a coupon code on ebooks.

Am I missing something?

P.S. I'm not asking about specific books being discounted or temporarily free, but the ability to use a general coupon like % off of $5 off orders of $25 or more. That type.



Last Edited on: 1/7/12 11:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 1:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
Back To Top
Kobo often has coupon codes. But you may be running into agency pricing. The big six publishers are not allowing discounts.

Last Edited on: 1/8/12 1:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 2:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
Back To Top
All Romance EBooks (ARe) has a mainstream side called Omnilit. I do not know if they run discount promos like ARe does. Or what their selection is.
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
Back To Top

Agency pricing.

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

This is a repeat of an older post I made about the Agency Wars that happened a few years ago...

----------

What does "non-agency" mean?

Not one of the Agency Six. (Originally the Agency Five) Those were the publishers that signed up with Steve Jobs to change the way ebooks were sold. Instead selling them to retailers, who then could set their own price on the books and offer coupons, rewards or discounts, (like with physical books) the publishers set the price and the retailers were then just the middlemen selling the product. The middlemen (Amazon, B&N, other ebook stores) could not then discount, apply coupons to, or otherwise change an ebooks price in any way without the Publisher's permission.

It changed the way they did business, and turned into a bit of a war about a year ago. Ebooks previously on sale were pulled. Even from archives from the on-line shelves of those people who'd already purchased them. (Eventually, I think most returned. I haven't checked Fictionwise lately to see if they've all be restored. I'd lost a chunk when they were pulled.)

Steve jobs and the publisher's won and became the Agency Five. Then Random house joined the selling format this last year, adding another publisher who's works won't be discounted.

The original list...

Hachette
HarperCollins
Macmillan
Penguin
Simon & Schuster

Then Ransom House.

So if you won't see those items on sale very often, and sometimes their prices are quite high, because they can't be used by retailers as loss leaders, and the publishers can set any price on them they want. Coupons don't apply to them, since the ebook store can't mess with the standing price.

----------------

Which has led to investigations in Europe and the US into the Agency (and Apple) and Price Fixing charges. I update the discussion when something new pops up, but it's going to be a long, slow investigation, so I don't expect any updates very soon.

Here.

And Fictionwise usually had the best coupons and had all the Agency books, but they were hit by two things. 1) B&N bought them out, and has no interest in supporting the site. I think they're being left in existance to sell the Indy books that don't have a contract with B&N. Their membership perks and reward points have disapeared over time. and 2) The Agency war, when publishers pulled all their ebooks from all on-line vendors. Even people that'd bought them found them missing from their bookshelves in Fictionwises case. They'd be listed, but no downloads were allowed. Then after the Agency war and new contracts for ebooks were renegotiated, B&N didn't bother renigotiationg for FW. The links to already purchased books returned, (after some months) but no new agency books have been listed since.

Rumor is B&N will close the site once they get most of the Indy's to sign on with them. So always back up your FW purchases on your own machines, as they suggest. They could be gone tomorrow.



Last Edited on: 1/8/12 10:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,464
Back To Top

If you sign up for Kobo's mailing list, they will frequently send you coupon codes with links to lists of non-agency books that the discounts apply to.  I go through this site to get a rebate when purchasing from Kobo: ShopatHome

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
Back To Top

Books on the Knob will often list the Kobo codes.  But do note that Kobo can trigger foreign transaction fees as they are in Canada.

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
Back To Top

And Fictionwise has terms attached to their coupons. I was very excited to see a 60% off coupon and was like Yes! Books for $1.60. I never checked to see which publisher theyw ere by. Bad me, 4 books at 4.50 and no discount. Then I go look at the same books on B&N's website- 3.60 each. Burned my ass.

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

The "agency pricing" is why I get most of those books used somewhere.  They're the ones most likely to have faster moving WL lines and show up in thrift stores soon after published.   Usually when I buy a book new it's one of the smaller publishing houses.  I also refuse to pay more than $4 for an ebook that isn't lendable and only that much if the print version is hard to find.

I stopped using Fictionwise or really any other sites besides Amazon.  Most of the time Amazon has it for the same or close to price.  And it's kept for me if my computer or ereader dies. I have ebooks I paid for on fictionwise that I can't read unless I use my ancient desk top because that's where I originally downloaded them.  I can't move them to my laptop or my Kindle.  Also the coupons and codes are generally so restriction.  Every book I look up is no eligle or they give you pts back to use towards another book. But then every book I look says you can't use the pts on that book.  Amazon is just much easier to deal with. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

I have ebooks I paid for on fictionwise that I can't read unless I use my ancient desk top because that's where I originally downloaded them.

Have you tried to re-download them from Fictionwise to your new machines?

So far, I've been able to re-download all my original purchases after the links were restored. And for the secure purchases I can download them under any of the credit card numbers (which are the book passwords) that I want. I think most of the older formats still can be read on computer programs, as long as they can open the password.

And the multi-format books can be converted and read easily on other things.

 

 

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
Back To Top

I also refuse to pay more than $4 for an ebook that isn't lendable.

I'm with you there, Mary. Now that I can get almost 80% of the ebooks/audiobooks I want from the library, sometimes I splurge in a full price book that it's not lendable but only if it's an author I've read and liked. For new authors, I don't pay more than that either.

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Most of them are no longer available to get from fictionwise.  I tried on the ones they still have and it wouldn't let me.  Calibri won't let me convert them and the kindle won't read them. I did manage to email 3 of htem to my hotmail account. So I will be able to read them on my laptop if I want.

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

My main limit for ebooks is $2.99. I only paid $4 for a couple that were on my WL here for years with little movement.  If it's a book that I know I can get here for a credit-than 2.99 is my limit.  0.00 for anything my library has in any format.



Last Edited on: 1/9/12 2:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1