Kindle British Mystery Book Club discussion

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General Chat > The Big Debate (December) - Should EBooks Cost The Same As paperback/hardback?

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message 1: by David (new)

David Gooch | 3976 comments Mod
The debate this month is;
Should E-Books Cost The Same As Paperbacks/Hardbacks?

Publishers now set the prices as "the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Amazon.com Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies."
This means greater parity if not same pricing on books and certainly new books. However should this be the case? The publishers will argue costs of books are similar on whatever format in that they pay upfront for book deals etc and print costs are not that great in the total costs. They will also point to authors getting a fair price for their product so that they will continue investing their time/imagination etc. into writing.

Others will say surely it is up to the retailer to sell at the price he sees fit to get profit as after all he has paid for the book to the publishers and supply and demand will help dictate the prices.

Others will point to benefits of each some of which are with proper books you get to hold and turn real pages see the cover and of course the smell plus many more. Alternatively e-books take up less space as readers hold hundreds if not thousands in one little reader. They are also available instantly no shoe leather involved or hunting around finding the book.
Other real book benefits are you own the book it is yours and ultimately you can pass it on, give it away, lend it to someone if you wish.
E-books are never yours, you don't own them, you can't lend them or pass them on etc.

So they are different in many ways so should they be priced the same?


message 2: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 499 comments I didn't know the cost of producing an ebook was comparable to a physical book, always thought they must be cheaper. No doubt opinions will be influenced by personal preference.
For me, recycling is a big issue. I rarely keep a book once I've read it, regardless of format. Books are meant to be read so if it's a physical book, it goes to friends, a charity, as a trade-in at used bookstores or donation to the public library.
So I want to pay less for an ebook as I can't give it away once I'm done. Price is a big deal for me as I couldn't possibly afford to purchase the number of books I use to feed my habit.


message 3: by Sue (new)

Sue Anderson | 21 comments The publishers don't have to pay the printing costs, or the mailing costs to get them in house for distribution.
I do think they should cost less.

I still prefer paper books, but I do buy an occasional ebook.


message 4: by David (new)

David Gooch | 3976 comments Mod
For my sixpenneth, I am in the e-books should be cheaper camp.
That is not to decry and creative charge for the author but it is solely on the premise you never own the book. You can't sell it on, give it away etc because it is never yours.

Well I don't know many things that you don't own when you buy them (retailing that is) and so if it isn't mine surely I am in effect lending it so why should I pay the same as to buy and keep as to lend?
Now for those who don't know please do check your e-book terms as it will say that they can remove the book any time they want. Obviously they don't as it wouldn't go down well but just think if your e-book supplier goes bust then your books go with them as they aren't yours.

The best example I can give is you can rent a film to watch but it doesn't cost the same as the DVD to buy, or at least not in the UK. On average a film to buy is £10-15 whereas to rent is £4-£5 these days. Here the loan product is cheaper.
Now I accept with the book I get to keep it longer, certainly with Amazon as it is indefinitely there but it still remains it is in effect a loan so for me the price should be a little lower.


message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary (broomemarygmailcom) Ok, This may sound crazy but I have always had my library to check books from if I could not afford. In other words reading was available..most libraries will even buy or borrow a book from another , even in a different state, In both bookstores and libraries you can wander and see what captures your eye. But, I have trouble finding a new author or a book out of my comfort zone if I am browsing in my nook. I assume it is cheaper to make a e-book so it should be cheaper out of fairness. But also fear physical books might disappear one day. I wonder if people who cannot afford e-readers will be on the outs.
But most of all I am frightened that down the road I won't have the pleasure of picking up a book, feeling it, smelling the binding, the pages, peanut butter, chocolate and coffee stains and just know that someone else out there was drawn to the same book.


message 6: by David (new)

David Gooch | 3976 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Ok, This may sound crazy but I have always had my library to check books from if I could not afford. In other words reading was available..most libraries will even buy or borrow a book from another..."

Great Mary and it doesn't sound crazy. That is exactly why books, the physical variety, are still here as that feel of a book is something you can't reproduce in an e-book.
They have forecast the demise of the book a few times as e-readers got popular but then they seemed to fall back as books held their own. I think books will be here in physical form alongside e-books for a long time to come.


message 7: by David (new)

David Gooch | 3976 comments Mod
No the Sale of Second Hand books doesn't get royalties Pam but if you give away a book to a charity shop or sell it on second hand or give it to a friend then you might just introduce someone to that author who then likes them. From that they start to buy the authors other books or tell other people about the book and author and so it builds. Those new people who the find out about the author will when they buy the other books or new books then increase the royalties as they wouldn't have bought it if they hadn't been introduced to the author from the second hand book.


message 8: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 499 comments David wrote: "No the Sale of Second Hand books doesn't get royalties Pam but if you give away a book to a charity shop or sell it on second hand or give it to a friend then you might just introduce someone to th..."

Absolutely, I'm proof that works. I've given books to friends that I thought would enjoy a certain book/new author to them & they've gone on to continue the series. Also, I've picked up some that look interesting in a 2nd hand store (where the prices allow me to get 2 or 3) & found some authors that are now on my favourites list.


message 9: by David (last edited Jan 22, 2016 07:59AM) (new)

David Gooch | 3976 comments Mod
Well there are ways around it Pam but in the interest of piracy etc. I had best not describe how on the forum.

However I will say that on Amazon you can register you family and allow them to receive your e-books. My daughter and I do it and every book she buys appears on my kindle and vice versa.

It is called Family Library and you can read about it and how to do it here
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/cust...


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