Amazon Kindle discussion

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Sales and Cheap Books > Why...Kindle books more expensive than paperbacks

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy | 6 comments I am finding many popular books are more expensive to purchase the Kindle version than purchasing in paperback form. Shouldn't ebooks be less considering the price of printing?


message 2: by John (new)

John (crucislancer) I agree, though I think that the publisher is basing their ebook prices on list Hardback versions rather then the paperback. So, depending on the discount, the Kindle version might be more expensive then a paperback. This is just a guess, though, but it seems logical.


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) A lot of ebooks seem to start off very expensive and then come down in price later on... there are a few on my wishlist where I'm hoping that will happen!


message 4: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Also the majority of Kindle ebooks cost more in Europe than in the US!


message 5: by ☺~Tina~☺ (last edited May 16, 2011 07:41AM) (new)

☺~Tina~☺ (Tina007) Earlier that wasn't the case, but yes the prices have started to go up on ebook. That's the publishers doing in most of the cases (though self published authors decide their price). But after a month or so they usually go down...usually. Even seen it take a couple of months. The new release use to be 9.99 or less, after the ipad came out that increased.


message 6: by Elie (new)

Elie Harriett | 37 comments Yeah, Tina is correct. I am amazed no one in the FTC or the government has questioned why Apple's entrance into the ebook market has caused prices to go up instead of down, as a new competitor is supposed to do (like when Amazon started selling MP3's).


message 7: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments there are several price fixing cases that are being examined right now by various states and the FTC


message 8: by Ralph (new)

Ralph (sunwriter) | 327 comments Mod
The big NY publishers are trying to fight epublishing any way they can. By charging outrageous prices they think they're winning. Either people will pay $15 for an ebook and the publisher makes a fortune, or people will buy the hardback and the publisher defeats epublishing.

I will refused to buy either copy of the book if the ebook is outrageously priced (over $9.99). If the paperback and ebook are within a dollar of price, I'll usually just buy the paperback. If I'm paying roughly the same price, I might as well get a physical book for it.


message 9: by Wonderkell (new)

Wonderkell | 12 comments I have found that compared to the price of Aussie paperbacks & hard civers, Kindle prices are often more than half the cost. With the Aussie dollar good at the moment, I've made some amazing bargains!


message 10: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (AndreJute) | 57 comments Ralph wrote: " If the paperback and ebook are within a dollar of price, I'll usually just buy the paperback. If I'm paying roughly the same price, I might as well get a physical book for it."

I see two considerations in this case that Ralph posits:

1. Convenience, favouring the ebook.

2. Longevity, favouring the physical book. (You just don't know how long your Kindle will last, or how long before Amazon orphans the AZW format.)


message 11: by Helen (new)

Helen AZW? If your kindle was to die, wouldn't your previous books just download to your next kindle?


message 12: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (AndreJute) | 57 comments Helen wrote: "AZW? If your kindle was to die, wouldn't your previous books just download to your next kindle?"

AZW is a proprietary operating system belonging to Amazon, who also owns AZW's open architecture superset, MOBI. If your Kindle died, your books would download from the archive to your new Kindle. But, because AZW is a proprietary OS (no other device can operate it), if you decide to buy a Nook instead, your books will all be lost. (Well, unless you bought MOBIs for your Kindle from Smashwords, which gives the buyer of a book in one format free access to all other formats for life.)


message 13: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments there are ways to circumvent the DRM but its illegal, although people do it - but wiht the ability to read on kindle 4 pc, pretty mcuh all the smart phones, and now android, you had lots of various ways you can read should anything happen to your kindle


message 14: by Helen (new)

Helen Well I never, (not the first thing I said!) I assumed I 'owned' my version of the e-book!


message 15: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (AndreJute) | 57 comments Helen wrote: "Well I never, (not the first thing I said!) I assumed I 'owned' my version of the e-book!"

Not on Amazon you don't. If you decide not to replace your Kindle, or replace it with someone else's hardware, your books are lost. As Dee says, you would still be able to read them on your phone and PC. Amazon did this in order to tie you exclusively to them. In a Kindle book bought from Amazon you have fewer rights than you did in paperbacks.

You can buy the same book from Smashwords and it is a) DRM-free and b) you automatically get free access to all the formats, so that you can read the book on multiple formats, or change devices without penalty. This is a book of mine on Amazon
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth
Available on in Kindle format, but you can read on your PC and phone. Now check it out on Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
For Kindle, the format from that list is MOBI, which is the generic AZW. Note the other formats you get on Smashwords, in particular the open formats, especially EPUB and PDF, and the ability read online too.

I like the electronic ink of the Kindle, but to me Smashwords seems a better deal as book buyer than Amazon does.

Apple and Sony didn't think it was necessary to do what Amazon did and tie customers to a single, limiting format. Apple and Sony and others use the open EPUB format.

I didn't restrain myself to "Well I never," when I found out that books I bought from Amazon aren't portable. BTW, to return to the topic of this thread, it seems to me that Kindle books, being more limited, should be *cheaper* than other electronic books, not more expensive.


message 16: by Ralph (new)

Ralph (sunwriter) | 327 comments Mod
Andre Jute wrote: "Helen wrote: "Apple and Sony didn't think it was necessary to do what Amazon did and tie customers to a single, limiting format. Apple and Sony and others use the open EPUB format."

I'm pretty sure Apple and Barnes & Noble have their books DRM locked too. Not sure about Sony though.

I also don't purchase my books from Amazon unless they're significantly cheaper. I prefer to use fictionwise where I can download them in many formats. Smashwords pretty much only sells self-published books so you can't purchase from them exclusively.


message 17: by Heather (new)

Heather (Heatherschultz) Andre Jute wrote: "Helen wrote: "Well I never, (not the first thing I said!) I assumed I 'owned' my version of the e-book!"

Not on Amazon you don't. If you decide not to replace your Kindle, or replace it with someo..."


Not sure what's in the works or how reliable this source is but it appears that Amazon may start selling ePubs in addition to mobis.
http://bit.ly/iyY4YW


message 18: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments and lots of the popular fiction - if that is what you read - are not available from fictionwise in the multiple format...only in secure mobi


message 19: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Ralph could you give me a link to fictionwise? Do they have the same quantity of books that Amazon has for Kindle? Are they in a format that goes right into the Kindle without changes? Do you download by using the USB cable? I am still pretty new with the Kindle.


message 20: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments www.fictionwise.com

they have a pretty good range of stuff and have good sales...but the more recent popular fiction, is normally in a secure mobi format and can't work on kindle (without some tweeking)

but the ones that are in multi-format work on kindle without changes...you buy in the multi-format and when you go to download it asks you which format you want - if you select the one that ends with .prc or .mobi, they will go directly to kindle with no changes...plug your kindle into your computer and then put the files in the documents folder on your kindle and voila


message 21: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Thank you Dee!


message 22: by Ashley (last edited May 20, 2011 03:19PM) (new)

Ashley (ashleylaura87) | 89 comments Andre Jute wrote: "Helen wrote: "Well I never, (not the first thing I said!) I assumed I 'owned' my version of the e-book!"

Not on Amazon you don't. If you decide not to replace your Kindle, or replace it with someo..."


I semi agree with you. But one point is...if your Kindle went belly up and you replaced with a Nook, your books wouldn't be "lost". They are still tied to your Amazon account and would be in archives ready to re-download on a compatible device, you just couldn't get them on your Nook...

Just wanted to make sure everyone understood they aren't just gone forever...

It also seems that this won't be the case forever as multiple places have been citing that Amazon will be going the E-PUB route soon.

To the topic at hand: a main reason why they are so expensive is that publishers now dictate price of ebooks. When the iPad was in production and Apple was making new agreements with the publishers for iBooks, they were the first to offer this model to the publishers. Since they liked the agreement so much, they basically went back to Amazon and said change your policy or don't sell our books. Amazon tried to hold out for awhile but ending up caving. That is also why it's extremely rare to find any differences in prices between the Nook store and the Kindle. This "agency-model" pricing went across the board. I love my Apple products, but Apple is to blame for this shift.


message 23: by Helen (new)

Helen Surely, logic will prevail and e-book prices will come down as there aren't many production costs attached.


message 24: by Dee (last edited May 21, 2011 07:01AM) (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments but since when has production costs been tied into the price of anything...can I honestly say that my Coach handbag cost $220 to make, probably not...or my Nike sneakers $120...nope...

someone posted some stats about the price of hardcover books and production costs themselves only factored into like 10% of the overall cost


message 25: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (AndreJute) | 57 comments Dee wrote: "someone posted some stats about the price of hardcover books and production costs themselves only factored into like 10% of the overall cost "

So as to avoid upsetting the Amazon partisans on this forum, I've published my analysis of the pricing issue on my blog at
http://coolmainpress.com/ajwriting/ar...
or for those who want to stay on Goodreads, on the ROBUST forum where objective discussion is welcome
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/5...


message 26: by Ralph (new)

Ralph (sunwriter) | 327 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "Andre Jute wrote: "Helen wrote: "Well I never, (not the first thing I said!) I assumed I 'owned' my version of the e-book!"

Not on Amazon you don't. If you decide not to replace your Kindle, or re..."


I can't see Amazon switching over to ePub any time soon when they own the Mobi format. Also, I don't trust a site that won't name it's sources. All it said was "publishing companies" which could be anything from Harper Collins to a kid with an Inkjet printer. There was no word of verification from Amazon, just some anonymous publishers.


message 27: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Schmitz | 22 comments I'm curious what people think a fair price for an eBook by an established author would be.


message 28: by ☺~Tina~☺ (last edited May 22, 2011 07:18PM) (new)

☺~Tina~☺ (Tina007) The price for me depends on the size of the book. When I look at a book if it doesn't tell me the size in pages I usually look at the number of pages in a paperback then determine if I think the ebook is worth what it's priced. But I won't pay over 9.99 for an ebook (again depending on he number of pages).


message 29: by *Dr (new)

*Dr  DLN (DrDLN) | 12 comments "In general kindle or ebooks are less expensive than printed versions. Because there is minimal cost to download and no shipping is involved.

For example, the printed books that sell for over $20 are less than $5.


message 30: by Helen (new)

Helen An average paperback is £6, so I'd like my e-book to be no more than £4.50. I feel it should be cheaper as there are no printing etc involved.


message 31: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Schmitz | 22 comments Hmmm. So in dollars, about $7.25. My top-of-the-head thinking was that I'd pay about $7.99 for a novel by a well-known writer — someone in the Philip Roth, JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan range. For lots of others, $4.99 might be my top end. But in terms of hours-of-enjoyment per dollar, this seems even to me a bit unfair to the writer. A bottle of beer in a bar is $4 and might last for 20 minutes; a 300-page novel can occupy me for hours.


message 32: by Ralph (new)

Ralph (sunwriter) | 327 comments Mod
I tend to follow the pricing guidelines that the M/M Romance publishers have pretty much agreed on:

$.99-1.59 for a short story, depending on length
$2.99 for a novella
$5.99 for a full length novel.
$7.99 (rare) for what's called a "super" novel - usually a story that's over 90k or 100k words.


message 33: by ☺~Tina~☺ (last edited May 23, 2011 11:08AM) (new)

☺~Tina~☺ (Tina007) I like your prices Ralph and they are totally fair. :)
I've seen some that were like over 700 pages (not sure how many words that would be) now if the ratings are good and they are an established author with a book that thick I don't mine 9.99. But usually they are just 7.99.


message 34: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments I don't necessarily have a set price that I'll pay for a book, if i want it, i'm going to buy it...if its a long book, then I don't mind extra cost...i.e. Washington: A Life is 960 pages - I got no problems paying $19 for the kindle edition (although I did buy the audio instead) because it will probably take me a significant amount of time to get through...

however, there are publishers who I am wary of based on their prices and lengths of books from experience


message 35: by MsBeaglely (new)

MsBeaglely | 7 comments You know, you'd think the publishing companies would have learned from the recording industry's mistakes. If they continue to price the e-books at such high prices, some people will go elsewhere (illegally) to get them.


message 36: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Brooke (FrederickLeeBrooke) | 32 comments I agree with all those who think Kindle books should be cheaper than printed books - no paper and printing costs, and no overhead. I'm a kindle author, and I believe in future readers will be able to buy three times as many books simply because they're cheaper. My book costs $6.00 on Kindle. I priced it like that because I thought if it was too cheap people might perceive it as lower value. What I love most about kindle, though, is the idea of how many trees are being spared and how much gasoline is being saved by the fact of not having to transport heavy printed books around by truck or airplane. Welcome to the future!


message 37: by Helen (new)

Helen I hadn't thought about fuel costs etc, I do like to be environmental. I might have to buy an e-book to celebrate.

Illegal music sites became very common, it's inevitable e-book sites will do the same. HMV are running at a loss again this year, and selling off Waterstones, it would be a shame if they didn't learn quickly before it is too late.


message 38: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Brooke (FrederickLeeBrooke) | 32 comments Helen - you're right, buy an e-book to celebrate. The only problem with having money left over to buy three times as many books as before is: where do you find the time to read so many? Suggestions anyone?


message 39: by Helen (new)

Helen Waterstones has trained me to buy in 3s even when the books don't have offer stickers on!


message 40: by ☺~Tina~☺ (new)

☺~Tina~☺ (Tina007) Frederick,
Are you asking for suggestions on finding time to read?
If so, I read every spare moment. Waiting in the doctor's office, waiting in line to pick up the kids, after the kids are put to bed, driving-I turn on the text-to-speech, I even turn the text-to-speech on sometimes when I'm cooking.

I go through at min about 3 books a week.


message 41: by Clare K. R. (new)

Clare K. R. (Clare-Dragonfly) Here's a website specially designed for complaining about ebooks that cost too much!

http://www.lostbooksales.com

I think it's great, if only publishers would pay attention to it--I doubt they will.


message 42: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Brooke (FrederickLeeBrooke) | 32 comments Tina, thank you for those suggestions. I have to confess I have never tried the text-to-speech function before. I ride my bike a lot. I think listening to the story would be a heck of a lot more pleasant than hearing the bus in front of me rev its engine or the guy in the Corvette honking.


message 43: by ☺~Tina~☺ (new)

☺~Tina~☺ (Tina007) No problem Frederick. I forgot the gym. I use headphones and the text-to-speech for that too. I'm to lazy to turn the pages while on the treadmill or bike lol. I think you will like it while riding your bike if you can get a little over the shoulder bag to carry it.


message 44: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ashleylaura87) | 89 comments ☺Tina☺ wrote: "No problem Frederick. I forgot the gym. I use headphones and the text-to-speech for that too. I'm to lazy to turn the pages while on the treadmill or bike lol. I think you will like it while riding..."

I can't get into the text to speech. I tried and it just brings me out of the story...


message 45: by ☺~Tina~☺ (last edited May 25, 2011 01:47PM) (new)

☺~Tina~☺ (Tina007) Ashley
It is wierd, it took me sometime to get use to Robowoman/man but I like that the page flip by themselves. When I'm driving it doesn't bother me as much but when I'm at the gym I end up reading along with them anyway. I know quite a few people that said they can't do text-to-speech. It took me a while to get use to audiobooks to and some of them I still don't like.


message 46: by Marcela (new)

Marcela | 1 comments If you haven't done this yet, please contact Kindle customer service to complain about it. I e-mailed yesterday telling them I felt stupid and cheated for having to pay more money to read a book on a device I had to pay $139 for, specially when their advertising states that Kindle books are cheaper.

Unless this changes, I will be selling my device and will buy a Kobo.


message 47: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 338 comments Marcela - please tell me where exactly it says that kindle books are cheaper? and unfortunately, due to the agency pricing (big 6 publishing houses and their subsidaries) you aren't going to find cheaper prices for any books from those publishing houses...they set the price not amazon, not B&N etc


message 48: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 539 comments I hear that you are upset, but ...

It's the publishers, not amazon that sets prices.

Kobo prices are similar.


message 49: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) They have to pay all those people who help to publicize the books, like the publicist, and then you've got the transportation they have to provide for the authors to go for tours and things like that. The more services the author/publisher pays for, the more the prices will go up. Sometimes I do think they set the prices because they know they can get them. When the e-book is priced 3 or 4 dollars more than the paper book, thats ridiculous!


message 50: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) I had to laugh. I followed the link you have up there; a lost sale from ...Preston &Child's Cabinet of Curiosities. I wanted this and was holding off with the paper edition because I wanted to buy a USED LARGE PRINT edition. Well Monday I picked it up on Amazon (e-book) for 99 cents. When the authors/publishers become aware of the fans they are losing, it has to make an impact. But I think we need to write to the publishers and tell them.


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Books mentioned in this topic

IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth (other topics)
Washington: A Life (other topics)