In case, you, too, missed the memo, here are two excellent posts from longtime publishing pro and observer on the digital publishing scene Mike Shatzkin. One posits the Big Six/Amazon showdown as "the most dramatic publishing event of 2010." There you'll find an explanation of the agency model compared to the wholesale model of pricing, why it matters, and the challenges it has presented (and likely will present). The other (which you can link to from that post or from here) gives you the royalty math comparing print, wholesale, and agency models.
I'm sure I won't be able to debate this over lattes anytime soon, but I found these to be excellent summations. I'm hoping they'll ground me for future showdowns--of which I'm sure there will be quite a few.
Copyright (c) 2010 by Toni Sciarra Poynter