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The Price of Kindle Books

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

(Sorry if this has been done - I didn't see an explicit thread)

I was just wondering how people felt about the price of ebooks in comparison to paperback and even hardback editions. It seems like they routinely track the paper edition, so for example, when Freedom (TM) came out, it was pretty much the price of the hardback edition; I look now and it's a bit more than the paperback. That's the same file? Paying more for a hardback I understand - I don't buy them personally, but I understand the attraction. This pricing I don't understand at all. I'm guessing it's down to the publisher though.

Somewhat related was a flurry of recent posts Amanda Hocking (http://www.novelr.com/2011/02/27/rich...) which seems to show people eking out a living (and supporting an agent) for far less.

I'm not an "everything should be free!" proponent, I think people have a right to money for the article if thats the business model they're using, but this doesn't seem to make much sense.

Opinions? Has this ever stopped you buying a book?


message 2: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 178 comments Personally the price of Ebooks in the kindle store has vary rarely stopped me from buying a book. The few times it has is more because its a book I'm not sure about rather than the price. If it was an author I liked I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

The authors who put their books on Amazon for under $4 are the ones that get me to take a risk on them. If its a 6.99-8.99 ebook from a self published author I have never heard of I am a lot less likely to give them a try vs a 2.99 ebook.

I am used to buying books at retail at a big box store and the amazon prices are the same or less than what I would pay at B&N and other local stores so I personally don't have a reason to complain about the pricing.


message 3: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Here's the dirty little secret of publishing -- hardcovers don't cost that much more to produce than paperbacks. Publishers charge so much for them as a way of covering overhead -- Kristine Kathryn Rusch did a great blog post a few months back explaining how publishers have locked themselves into really bad contracts, viz. real estate, printing, and distribution. Now that ebooks have come along, publishers still need to cover that overhead, so they insist upon charging hardcover prices for new ebooks. Lots of readers don't like this -- as Rusch points out, the inflation rate on even paperbacks has been insane -- but publishers don't seem to understand that people see ebooks as worth less.

On the other hand, the EU now believes that publishers are engaged in price fixing with ebooks. The crux of the matter is the "agency model" which allows publishers to set the price for books instead of offering an MSRP which booksellers are free to ignore as long as they pay the publisher wholesale.


message 4: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6194 comments Sean wrote: "Here's the dirty little secret of publishing -- hardcovers don't cost that much more to produce than paperbacks. Publishers charge so much for them as a way of covering overhead -- Kristine Kathryn..."

Does that mean bookstores rip the covers off of hardcovers and throw them away when they don't sell them, like they do with paperbacks?


message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 05, 2011 01:22PM) (new)

I've mentioned this in a couple different threads, but Smashwords.com is a great place to find cheap reads by new authors. If you enjoy that sort of thing, check them out.


message 6: by Adam (new)

Adam Hansen (adamhansen85) | 8 comments While I am all for the author/agent/publisher/seller earning a living off of their work, I still feel that the price of any ebook should be less than the cost of the corresponding hardcover or paperback as ebooks should have little to no printing or shipping costs.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I didn't really understand the agency model until someone explained it in a comment to a blog post I made, or at least I didn't understand what it is called. I know there are still overheads to ebooks like promotion, and hell, even storage and bandwidth, but combined with a lack of pulp, it has to be a degree cheaper, but how indeed to price that.

I'm still at the phase of seeing if the books I want are available in Kindle format (several aren't), and even fewer are lendable to friends, but I'm still committed to the concept.

Perhaps the publishers can offer a premium ebook at the paperback price, with author notes, interviews and such - one idea I saw was actually a playlist of what music authors listened to when writing, and then offer a standard edition with just the novel.

I can't see up to 20USD for a hardback priced ebook edition selling anything, but since it doesn't cost anything relatively to sit on the server, why not put it out and see if the fans pick them up?


message 8: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Nanikore wrote: "Nophoto-u-25x33 I didn't really understand the agency model until someone explained it in a comment to a blog post I made, or at least I didn't understand what it is called. I know there are still overheads to ebooks like promotion, and hell, even storage and bandwidth, but combined with a lack of pulp, it has to be a degree cheaper, but how indeed to price that."

If you read the Kristine Kathryn Rusch article I linked to, you'll see that the actual physical manufacture of the books is a tiny percentage of costs. Most of it is eaten up by overhead -- Manhattan real estate is expensive, and many publishers signed leases/mortgages at a bad time -- and editorial work.

Also keep in mind that the business model for most publishers doesn't include turning a profit on each book -- they invest in a hundred new authors expecting to lose money on 99 of them and cover the loss by finding the next Robert Jordan.


message 9: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Curt wrote: "I've mentioned this in a couple different threads, but Smashwords.com is a great place to find cheap reads by new authors. If you enjoy that sort of thing, check them out."

Indeed, if I may be permitted a moment of gratuitous self-promotion: Buy my books! Buy my books! (Actually all I've published so far are short stories, and I've set the price at free.)


message 10: by John (new)

John Bullock (beagrie) | 120 comments I kind of see hardcover books as an analogue to theatrical releases in the film world. They have an initial run at a premium price with a slightly better experience, and then they release it in a mass-market format (DVD/Blu-ray/TV).

I imagine that, if the movie industry were to allow new movies to be streamed over the Internet from the same day as the theatrical release, they would charge £8 a pop to view it. It's a flat out reluctance by companies built on older media to accept new business models.

Ultimately, I think clinging onto older business models may make them more money in these early stages, but will ruin them in the long term.

Side note: A little like Sean, I'm currently experimenting with episodic short stories released through the Amazon Kindle Store.


message 11: by Tashfeen (new)

Tashfeen (tbhimdi) | 28 comments It's pretty much the Agency Model. Kindle books were relatively cheaper before, but since Apple came in with iBooks and agreed on following the Agency Model (to allow publishers to set the price and not the retailer) so that they could get into the market, Kindle ebook prices can't be set by Amazon anymore.

Kind of dumb I think, if a person is going to spend ~$100/month on books, this just means less books read and the mid-lower tier writers get hurt (since the upper tier one's most likely get the sales).

The average slow reader now has to pay more for an ebook and Amazon can do nothing about it, unless they want to stop offering that ebook for sale. Publishers make more, retailers make more (even if they would rather make less and sell for cheaper) and the customer pays more.

This blatant greed pretty much angers me to the point of sticking to library ebooks and possibly even pirating if the price for an ebook is stupidly high, i.e. hardcover price. Luckily I'm a slow reader, so by the time I get around to a book in my to-read list, it's cheaper... hopefully.


message 12: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6194 comments Crime Writer Makes a Killing With 99 Cent E-Books

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/03/...


message 13: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Wow, that's absolutely amazing!

Who knew people still read Slashdot ;-)


message 14: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6194 comments Digg is losing its lustre. :p


message 15: by Levi (new)

Levi Tinney (levis) | 41 comments When an eBook I'm looking at is priced higher than the same book on Amazon in physical form, it makes it really hard to justify buying either version. If it's equivalent, I'll buy it if I really want it. If it's inexpensive, I'll buy it on a whim. If it's not available electronically, I probably won't read it.

I used to buy every Star Wars fiction book published the first day it was available, HC or paperback, but since I've made the switch to eBooks I read only a few a year, since most aren't released as eBooks. There are some very tempting torrents with every book I've missed in eBook form, but I'm still hoping the publisher will wise up before I start stealing from a franchise that has given me so much enjoyment for so many years.


message 16: by Adam (new)

Adam (jademason) | 23 comments I've found eBook pricing to be a bit of head scratcher as well. I'm a nook owner, but the prices of eBooks from B&N seem to be in line with those from Amazon. I like that at release a book, such as Full Dark, No Stars, will be much less in eBook form ($14.99) than in hardback ($27.99). The game changes once the book goes to paperback, though, where the paperback version is typically $6.99 while the eBook is $9.99.

What I would really like to see is for B&N or Amazon or whoever to come up with an all-you-can-read monthly subscription. Sort of like the ZunePass for music, or Netflix for movies, let me pay a set monthly fee to have access to your entire eBook library. Something like this is available now from Safari Books Online, but they are focused on technical books.


message 17: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2471 comments I pretty much only bother with 99c or free ebooks. Paying as much as for the paperback just makes no sense economically and paying more (hardback price) is just plain crazy. For the most part you are not buying the book, you are only buying the right to read it. Hence, with a few exceptions, you cannot gift it, lend it or resell it.
As Tashfeen pointed out above, Apple are to blame for some of the current pricing. With their new plan to take a 30% cut of everything sold through iTunes this is only going to get worse. Hopefully some of the big names will tell Apple to take a hike and set up their own sales network.


message 18: by Ed (last edited Mar 12, 2011 08:28PM) (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments Actually, it was 4 of the Big 6 publishers who wanted the Agency model. Apple was just willing to give it to them in exchange for getting a leg into the market and other concessions. With their contracts expiring with Amazon, they were able to use Apple as leverage to get what they wanted. Publishers wanted to be able to set the prices on their ebooks, not allow a third party (Amazon) to set it them for them. Prior to the Agency model, Amazon sold many ebooks at a loss in order to make the Kindle an attractive platform to customers. You probably think, well, that's Amazon's business if they want to lose money, but publishers didn't like it because customers started to expect cheaper prices for ebooks than publishers were willing to sell them at. You only have to look at Andrew's previous post for evidence of that.

The truth of the matter is that printing, storage, and physical delivery of a hardcover to a store costs publishers about $3 per book. A paperback costs less than $2. And yet hardcovers costs more than twice as much as paperbacks. The hardcover hits the market first at a premium price. People who are most interested in a book will buy it at that price. People who are less interested wait until it's cheaper (paperback). As a result, publishers figure they make the most profit this way. And so ebooks are discounted in a similar fashion to the hardcover/paperback release schedule.


message 19: by Dominik (new)

Dominik Lukeš (dominiklukes) | 12 comments My personal policy is that if the eBook is the same or higher price than the paperback, I do not buy it. I'll wait till it's available in my local library or buy a used copy.

The line that the paper and delivery cost is only a fraction of the cost of the book is nonsense. It's at least 30% of the cost of a paperback (which I can gift, lend and/or resell) so I expect at least that amount of money off.


message 20: by Ed (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments Do your own research. It's called economies of scale. The publishing industry has had a century to eliminate inefficiencies in their production and distribution costs.

http://ireaderreview.com/2009/05/03/b...
http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/calcul...
http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feat...

As for borrowing and lending ebooks, check out http://lendle.me/


message 21: by Mlybrand (new)

Mlybrand Lybrand | 22 comments Wow, that sounds like how my eBook consumption goes. I am generally willing to shell out .99 to 2.99 without given it a second thought. I am willing to go up to 5 or 6 bucks depending on what the book is, how much I want it and how difficult it is to get at the library or used book store or on audible. The big change for me, though, is that I no longer purchase "classics". Anything that is in the public domain is much better on my Kindle that it ever was as tattered and highlighted used books.


message 22: by Bob (new)

Bob (shack) | 103 comments Here is how I see it should be:

Hardback books should be the most expensive version of a book. Hardbacks are essentially collectible and may maintain value over time.

Softback or paperback books are mass distributed versions of the hardback books and should cost no more than half the hardback price, $7~$8

Ebooks are electronically distributed and have the same cost no matter how many copies they sell, one or one million. There are no materials needed to make these, there is no transportation cost and there is no cost for warehousing them. There is also no cost such as floor space to a store for carrying them. Ebooks should cost no more than half the price of the softback books at a sub $5 range. I find it disgusting to see an ebook on Amazon for $15 and the softback for $8.

I've heard the argument there is cost to scan books to an electronic format and I think that is just BS. Many books are written on a computer and are already in an electronic format. All that needs to be done is convert the format to another format and there is automated software for that. A simple proofreading afterwords to correct any formatting errors that may have occurred is all that may really be needed.


message 23: by Larry (last edited Mar 13, 2011 02:49PM) (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Bob wrote: "Here is how I see it should be:

I've heard the argument there is cost to scan books to an electronic format and I think that is just BS. Many books are written on a computer and are already in an electronic format. All that needs to be done is convert the format to another format and there is automated software for that. A simple proofreading afterwords to correct any formatting errors that may have occurred is all that may really be needed. "


One would think it is that simple, but it is not. The ebook format isn't just a basic scan because you have formatting and other issues including type legibility, text flow. A good example is trying to convert a pdf to an ebook is a big process. i've done it and it took hours of manual work to fix the issues. The automated software is not 100% there yet.

The main costs with the ebook are in the conversion, formatting, and the bandwidth costs I'd imagine. But you also still need to factor in the cut everyone takes. It should be cheaper but I don't know how much cheaper is fair. Also how do you factor in all the up front costs for a book into the format? I mean editors, marketing, and whatever else it costs to make a book prior to printing.

Also the current model is setup to allow for a lot of failures with one or two big sellers to cover it. A concern I'd have is hurting this model to the point where we have the hollywoodization of books and no one take a chance.


message 24: by Bob (new)

Bob (shack) | 103 comments Larry wrote: "One would think it is that simple, but it is not. The ebook format isn't just a basic scan because you have formatting and other issues including type legibility, text flow. A good example is trying to convert a pdf to an ebook is a big process. i've done it and it took hours of manual work to fix the issues. The automated software is not 100% there yet.

The main costs with the ebook are in the conversion, formatting, and the bandwidth costs I'd imagine. But you also still need to factor in the cut everyone takes. It should be cheaper but I don't know how much cheaper is fair. Also how do you factor in all the up front costs for a book into the format? I mean editors, marketing, and whatever else it costs to make a book prior to printing.

Also the current model is setup to allow for a lot of failures with one or two big sellers to cover it. A concern I'd have is hurting this model to the point where we have the hollywoodization of books and no one take a chance. "


I think at this point the publishers and distributors are gouging the ebook users and it will continue until an alternative becomes available. Authors will realize they can self publish books in electronic format, cut out all the other crap, lower the price and still make a nice amount of money. Print books will not stop being published but will be purchased more by collectors and enthusiasts. Established authors could sell the ebook format for $3 and print up 1000 hardbacks copies, sign them all and sell them for $50 and make a very nice living doing so.


message 25: by Pol (new)

Pol Llovet (_pol) | 5 comments I think that authors/publishers should take a note from the music industry with the recent resurgence in vinyl. I buy vinyl records of new music whenever I can, and I'd say about 60% of them come with a code to download the digital version of the album. I pay a bit of a premium for the vinyl, but I like the large format of the art and the collectibility of it.

So, I think that authors/publishers should include a code for ebook download inside the hardcover book. This would mean that they would have to seal the books to keep people from filching the codes, but I don't think that would be too much of a barrier. I like the hardcovers for some of the same reasons I like vinyl, but I don't like buying the same book twice just for the electronic version. As a result, I generally find the ebook version elsewhere (sorry authors, but that's how it goes, expecting me to buy your book twice is unreasonable).


message 26: by Bruce (new)

Bruce (grymoire) | 14 comments Nanikore wrote: "Somewhat related was a flurry of recent posts Amanda Hocking (http://www.novelr.com/2011/02/27/rich-in...) which seems to show people eking out a living (and supporting an agent) for far less"

Warning: My browser (w/Google Safe Browsing) says 7 out of 32 pages on this website have malware installed on it.


message 27: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Bob wrote: "Authors will realize they can self publish books in electronic format, cut out all the other crap, lower the price and still make a nice amount of money..."


I don't think cutting out "all the other crap" is necessarily a good thing. Someone to edit and proof the book is a huge thing. So is having someone typeset the thing for you.

I do agree they need to drop their prices in line with actual costs. I don't know the full breakdown on what it costs to make a book prior to printing though. I'd love to know what that is then a fair price can be figured out.

Also what is the marketing of a book worth? I don't want to spend the time trying to find all sorts of books. I don't have the time. Who would organize book tours? Meeting the author with signing of some kind? What is the equivalent? Who would manage that? It's all these costs that we have to look at when figuring out what is a fair price.

A finished book isn't just some word doc that someone ran through a filter. What aspects here could change? What needs to change and stay the same?


message 28: by Bob (new)

Bob (shack) | 103 comments Larry wrote: "Also what is the marketing of a book worth? I don't want to spend the time trying to find all sorts of books. I don't have the time. Who would organize book tours? Meeting the author with signing of some kind? What is the equivalent? Who would manage that? It's all these costs that we have to look at when figuring out what is a fair price."

You think these things should be included in the price of the book? I think all we all really want is a fair price. Right now publishers are gouging ebook customers because they can and to make up for lost sales on the paper versions. They can't have their cake and eat it too forever. Something has to give.


message 29: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Bob wrote: "Larry wrote: "Also what is the marketing of a book worth? I don't want to spend the time trying to find all sorts of books. I don't have the time. Who would organize book tours? Meeting the author ..."

Well if we move to a bigger ebook model it has to be paid for right? Or should that price only be included in print books? If so how do we justify the ebook then? Should a trade paperback cost $15 so we can ensure lower cost ebook prices? Of course we all want a fair price, but a fair price has to be one that doesn't destroy the industry as well.

What would you consider a fair price? What part of the current setup do you think is not needed that publishers provide?


message 30: by Bob (new)

Bob (shack) | 103 comments Larry wrote: "What would you consider a fair price? What part of the current setup do you think is not needed that publishers provide? "

See there I'm not sure, but I do know $12 for an ebook is way too high. I would feel comfortable paying $5 for an ebook from a known author. Any more than $5 and I would have to consider the book for a while and possibly not buy it. At $5 it would be easy to buy and even buy more at that price.


message 31: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Bob wrote: "You think these things should be included in the price of the book?"

That is how businesses usually work. Even self-publishing authors are doing it, though being freelancers they don't have as much overhead as traditional publishers.


message 32: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments Personally, I don't think $9.99 or $12.99 is too much for a new release that is only available in dead tree version as a $25+ hardback. The next step in paper books is usually trade paperback at $13-$16. Once a book is released in that version, I think that the price of the ebook should be $7.99-$8.99. Mass market paperbacks are now going for $7.99-$9.99 (at least $9.99 when they're that new tall format). At that point, I think $4.99-$5.99 is fair.

I agree that marketing accounts for a lot in book pricing and it should. That's why a writer wants to be picked up by a major publisher. Major marketing = more sales = more royalties.

Speaking of royalties, I don't see much mention of that here. How much should an author make off the sale of each book regardless of format? In my opinion, an author's royalty for an ebook should be equal to whatever they would make off the sale of the current format paper book. I've heard that authors get lower royalties for ebooks and that just doesn't seem right to me.


message 33: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Sandi wrote: "Speaking of royalties, I don't see much mention of that here. How much should an author make off the sale of each book regardless of format? In my opinion, an author's royalty for an ebook should be equal to whatever they would make off the sale of the current format paper book. I've heard that authors get lower royalties for ebooks and that just doesn't seem right to me."

Depends on how good a deal the author got from his publisher, but it's certainly under 12%. I know a lot of SF authors are taking their old, out-of-print books, converting them to ebooks and selling them directly through etailers where they get 70% -- they can set prices low and still make more per book than they ever did through their publishers.


message 34: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments That's great for out of print books. There are a lot of books that are now unavailable that I would love to get on my Nook. What I'm talking about though was new releases and current titles.


message 35: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Yeah ebooks are great for out of print books. I wish more places would put their back catalog out in that format. I know I'd buy a bunch that are hard to find even as used books.

Sandi, your idea makes a lot of sense regarding pricing. I'd pay that with no qualms myself. I'll pay any fair price under the assumption it is not gouging and everyone who needs to get their share does so.

I suspect that the publishers figured they'd keep the pricing equivalent to not cannibalize sales of paper books and because they assumed the market was already trained to accept that price. "More money in that case in our wallets!" was the idea.


message 36: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2471 comments Larry wrote: "One would think it is that simple, but it is not. The ebook format isn't just a basic scan because you have formatting and other issues including type legibility, text flow. A good example is trying to convert a pdf to an ebook is a big process. i've done it and it took hours of manual work to fix the issues. The automated software is not 100% there yet."

I don't see why anybody would be converting a .PDF into an e-book. A .PDF file is a distribution/display format, not really designed to be manipulated in any way. I am sure the formatting and typesetting programs that a publisher uses do not have a .PDF as their initial input.


message 37: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6194 comments Andrew wrote: "I don't see why anybody would be converting a .PDF into an e-book."

Word wrapping. I'd like to be able to make the font bigger, and have the words wrap properly.


message 38: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments I was throwing out an example. Also on the kindle pdf support has always been lacking. So if you want to read a pdf you need to convert it.


message 39: by Dominik (new)

Dominik Lukeš (dominiklukes) | 12 comments @Ed I think this post http://ireaderreview.com/2009/05/03/b... shows perfectly that the e-books should be cheaper:

Printing: 10%
Wholesaler: 10%
Retailer: 45%

Given that Amazon now charges a 30% flat fee (mostly), I count 35% decrease in cost per copy. Even more for books published just as e-books since prepress is much cheaper.

I wouldn't even have a problem with an e-book being more expensive for the run of the hardback. But I still find old books more expensive than paperback. And I simply refuse to buy those. When I remember I tweet about it @ the author and publisher.

I think there's a limited market of consumers who are willing to pay these prices just for the convenience (as I have occasionally done before I staged an internal revolt) so in the long run the publishers and authors will deservedly suffer, except now the authors have somewhere else to go.


message 40: by Ed (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments I never contended that ebooks shouldn't be cheaper, just the opposite in fact. I just don't think they should be a lot cheaper. I think 25-35% cheaper seems reasonable, and mainly, my contention was that, if a book is only available in hardcover, people shouldn't expect to pay discounted paperback prices for the ebook.


message 41: by Bob (new)

Bob (shack) | 103 comments Ed wrote: "I never contended that ebooks shouldn't be cheaper, just the opposite in fact. I just don't think they should be a lot cheaper. I think 25-35% cheaper seems reasonable, and mainly, my contention was that, if a book is only available in hardcover, people shouldn't expect to pay discounted paperback prices for the ebook. "

I think this is one of the problems. I agree a newly published book in electronic format should cost more than an older book would. One of the problems right now is a publisher sets the price of an ebook and leaves it no matter how old the book is or gets. A book that has been out for past ten years and a new release book should not cost both cost $12 for the ebook version. When the softback version is released, the price of the ebook should diminish.


message 42: by Dominik (new)

Dominik Lukeš (dominiklukes) | 12 comments Ed wrote: "I never contended that ebooks shouldn't be cheaper, just the opposite in fact. I just don't think they should be a lot cheaper. I think 25-35% cheaper seems reasonable, and mainly, my contention wa..."
But I think ebooks should be cheaper still (about 25% or less of their current cost) because of the limited value they offer.

I own about 2,000 books (over half academic) and I've probably read about that many works of fiction I don't own (avg 2 books a week since I was 7). Most of the books I own were bought second hand, given as gifts or review copies. Most of the books I've read that I don't own were borrowed or lent by a library. (I've also sold and given many away.)

I could not have done this if the e-book model mendaciously advocated by publishers as necessary to preserve their inflated profits had been in existence. A DRMed e-book is at best a limited sale, at worst a loan.

The thing is, I am a voracious reader but because I grew up like this in a sane world, the publishers only got a tiny bit of money from me - about as much as they deserve. I'd be willing to pay a monthly all you can read fee (like Audible) but I simply cannot afford to buy all the books I read.

The lie the publishers are telling is that all their past readers also bought their books. My guess is that for every 10 copies of a popular book read there was 1 sold. If they want to continue to keep a reading ecosystem, they need to take this into account.


message 43: by Ed (last edited Mar 18, 2011 09:34PM) (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments While it's true you can't resell ebooks or buy them used, you can check ebooks out of public libraries without actually driving to the library and you can conveniently loan ebooks to friends on the other side of the planet and these friends can loan their ebooks to you (Kindle only and only certain ebooks, technically). You can also do things with an ebook that you can't do with physical books. You can search the whole ebook for a word or passage in about the time it takes you to type the word or passage. You can look up ebooks words in a dictionary more conveniently than with a physical book. You can buy an ebook and have it delivered nearly instantaneously to your ebook reader. With a voice synthesizer, you can have the ebook read to you. Ebooks can be rendered as braille for the blind. The biggest advantage for many is that you can take your whole ebook collection with you in your pocket everywhere you go. Maybe ebooks have limited value to you, but they actually have greater value to some people.


message 44: by Ed (last edited Mar 18, 2011 09:45PM) (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments Bob wrote: "I agree a newly published book in electronic format should cost more than an older book would. One of the problems right now is a publisher sets the price of an ebook and leaves it no matter how old the book is or gets. A book that has been out for past ten years and a new release book should not cost both cost $12 for the ebook version. When the softback version is released, the price of the ebook should diminish."

That's what happens in many cases. Not all publishers are on board with that yet clearly. Unfortunately, it's a relatively young market and there are still some kinks. I think it's only a matter of time before ebook prices fall into line with the hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market paperback pricing scheme and release schedule. We're already starting to see that from some publishers/books.


message 45: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6194 comments Ed wrote: "Ebooks can be rendered as braille for the blind"

How does that work?


message 46: by Ed (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments Tamahome wrote: "Ed wrote: "Ebooks can be rendered as braille for the blind"

How does that work?"


Check out this Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refresha...


message 47: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6194 comments Ed wrote: "Tamahome wrote: "Ed wrote: "Ebooks can be rendered as braille for the blind"

How does that work?"

Check out this Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refresha..."


Neat.


message 48: by Dominik (new)

Dominik Lukeš (dominiklukes) | 12 comments Ed wrote: "While it's true you can't resell ebooks or buy them used, you can check ebooks out of public libraries without actually driving to the library and you can conveniently loan ebooks to friends on the..."
Believe me, e-books have a tremendous value to me. I'd also include being able to travel with all your books in one slim device as a huge advantage. But the publishers are asking us to give up our rights of ownership while lying to us about the economics of the situation.

BTW: If there really was a lawful and easy way to loan, gift and borrow for e-books that isn't tied to one device, I'd trade those rights for the right of resale. But there isn't - and the only reason for that is ignorance and greed.


message 49: by David (new)

David (dereich) | 2 comments Nanikore wrote: "(Sorry if this has been done - I didn't see an explicit thread)

I was just wondering how people felt about the price of ebooks in comparison to paperback and even hardback editions. It seems lik..."


Well its never made me not buy a book, but it does make me wait. I've found that a lot of new releases come out close to hardback pricing, but after several months they'll drop down to paperback or lower. So as long as you don't "need" it immeadiately you won'y pay a fortune.
-dave


message 50: by Dominik (new)

Dominik Lukeš (dominiklukes) | 12 comments The first 20 minutes of the latest Digital Campus podcast are devoted to this subject with a focus on public libraries - well worth a listen: http://digitalcampus.tv/2011/03/17/ep...


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