Buywise offered 15% off books for members, along with special “micropay rebate” offers. It looks like the discount on the books clashed with the new clauses in agency contracts disallowing deep cuts on prices. Everyone will be offering the same prices on agency books, and, like Kobo, Fictionwise doesn’t want to confuse everyone with “Well, you get a discount on this book…but not this one, that one, or the one in the upper left corner.” It isn’t very consumer-friendly, and it sets the retailers up for the headache of tracking discounts by publisher, a great deal of work and headache for a small reward!
It looks like so far “micropay” has been unaffected, and it may not be impacted at all. Since it isn’t technically a discount it may skirt the new standards entirely, which Fictionwise a very slight edge. They are going to need it; without a discount program, they start to look an awful lot like their sibling store at Barnes and Noble proper, and with everyone in lockstep on pricing…well, if I were Fictionwise/eReader, I wouldn’t be planning too far into the future. Their ecosystem was already weak, and now they have lost a major weapon against integrated devices and stores. From a consumer’s view, the only reason to buy at Fictionwise is for the eReader format, and support for that is rapidly dwindling. It isn’t the beginning of the end yet, but it might be soon…
Do you still shop at Fictionwise/eReader? Will you in the future? Share your thoughts below!