Ingram Digital May Stop eBook Availability until Agency Model in Place

Ingram Digital’s General Manager Andrew Weinstein has sent a letter to its client retailers informing them of the possibility that they will be forced to stop the availability of ebooks titles in their catalogue listing from publishers who intend implementing the agency model. From as early as April—of the largest New York publishers—Ingram Digital may only list Random House ebook titles because they remain the one large publishing house likely to opt of implementing the agency model, preferring to adopt a wait and see approach.

According to today’s Publisher’s Lunch (subscription only), Weinstein informed retailers:

“the publishers opting to do business in an agency model have left us little choice…it has become clear that not only will Ingram need to agree to do business with publishers in an agency model, but so will each retailer Ingram powers today.”

Speaking directly to Publishers Lunch, Weinstein explained that Ingram Digital had been placed in a difficult situation with a number of publishers informing them of their wish to stop using the current wholesale model for ebooks and move quickly to the agency model. The urgency and speed of the implementation by publishers of the agency model has created a problem for Ingram as they have yet to finalise terms of an agency model agreement with their own retail clients.

A number of publishers have told us that we can no longer sell titles the way we have been doing for last 10 years. Short of coming to agreement, we’re not authorized to continue as we have been doing.”

The key issue for Ingram Digital under an agency model agreement with publishers is how the proposed 30% split is shared between Ingram as wholesaler and their retailer clients. Weinstein concluded by informing Publishers Lunch that they were committed to reaching agreement with publishers whether they adopted the agency model or continued with the wholesale models—Ingram Digital were positioned to support both.

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