View Full Version : Ebook prices all over the place


JSWolf
10-15-2007, 07:00 AM
Why is it that ebook prices are all over the place. I'm not talking a dollar or two. This can be significant. Take a look at the book The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs.

At the Sony Connect Store (http://ebooks.connect.com/product/400/000/000/000/000/058/932/400000000000000058932.html) the price is $13.59 for BBeB
At Simon & Schuster (http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?tab=1&pid=537626) the price is $11.04 for Adobe, MS Reader, and eReader
At eReader (http://ereader.com/product/detail/27763?book=The_Year_of_Living_Biblically:_One_Mans _Humble_Quest_to_Follow_the_Bible_as_Literally_as_ Possible) the price is $15.29 for eReader
At BooksOnBoard (http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php?BODY=viewbook&BOOK=156748) the price is $10.99 for Adobe, MS Reader, and eReader while Mobipocket is $20.75
At Mobipocket (http://mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/BookDetails.asp?BookID=64075)the price is $25.00 for Mobipocket
At Fictionwise (http://fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook51670.htm) the price (non-club) is $13.59 for MS Reader and eReader.
And for reference at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Year-Living-Biblically-Literally-Possible/dp/0743291476/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-5962992-1904004?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192441599&sr=8-1) the price is $14.99 + $3.99 (roughly) shipping for a total of $18.98 for the hardcover

Why is it the price is all over the place? Why is it Mobipocket is the most expensive format? The ebook prices range from $10.99 - $25 for the very same content in an electronic file. I cannot see how it would be that much more expensive to create one format vs. another. Is it that much more time consuming ot make a Mobipocket edition that they have to charge so much more then the others? Heck, Mobipocket themselves are charging the cover price for the book even.

This illustrates one of the major issues we face today with ebooks. There is no such thing as a standard price. And to find the best price, you have to go looking on a number of different sites and possibly be willing to do some DRM removal and format conversion to get the best price. Can something be done to bring the prices more in line with what we expect of them?

HarryT
10-15-2007, 09:21 AM
This illustrates one of the major issues we face today with ebooks. There is no such thing as a standard price. And to find the best price, you have to go looking on a number of different sites and possibly be willing to do some DRM removal and format conversion to get the best price. Can something be done to bring the prices more in line with what we expect of them?

But the same is true with pbooks - why should eBooks be any different.

In the UK at least, book stores charge the "cover price" for the majority of books. Sometimes they have "special offers" such as "three for the price of two". Go online and you'll often find that Blackwells (a large UK online book store) charge a completely different price to Amazon for the same book.

It's a free market - a seller is free to charge whatever they wish for a book.

In the UK at least, price fixing is illegal. I guess from what you're saying, this isn't the case in the US?

JSWolf
10-15-2007, 09:59 AM
Yes, price fixing in the USA is illegal. If the price on a book is listed at $25, then $25 before sales-tax is the most that can be charged.

But in this case, given that the ebook market is small and they want your business, they need to set more reasonable pricing overall. Also, if people go to say Mobipocket's site and see such high prices, that may put them off from buying a reader. "Why should I spend $350 on a device to read ebooks that cost as much as the pbook?" That's what can happen. It's not that they'll go and look on the net at PG or other sources of free books. They'll look at the shops and see what's there. I'm not talking tech savvy people. I'm talking regular people that don't know all that much about ebooks, but enough to sorta get them.

Liviu_5
10-15-2007, 10:07 AM
But the same is true with pbooks - why should eBooks be any different.


It's a free market - a seller is free to charge whatever they wish for a book.



Completely agreed here. However for p-books there are some standard "cover" prices (hc usually 25-28$, tp 15$, mmpb 7-8$), and then each bookstore chooses if and how to discount it, and I guess that's the core of the issue, where to "cover" price e-books. At hc levels, at tp levels, at mmpb levels, based on how the p-book is released with possible some discount (30% of hc...)??

Baen has a uniform policy, e-books of current print books are by and large 6$ with some 4$ or 5$, e-arcs of books to be released in several months hence 15$ and the serialized Webscriptions 15$ too, with "specials" bundles priced accordingly, and I find it quite fair, so I do not mind paying 15$ once in a while for an e-arc that I really want for the privilege of reading the book in advance.

jasonkchapman
10-15-2007, 10:47 AM
You can blame that one on MobiPocket. They're the ones who don't seem to be keeping up. I'm assuming it's DRMed, so anyone else selling the MobiPocket version is going to have a price based on MobiPocket's wholesale price. Either MobiPocket missed a price drop, or their contract with S&S stinks.

The thing I find surprising about that list is that S&S is willing to undercut other e-book dealers with direct sales. If I were an e-bookseller, I would be incredibly ticked that my own supplier was cutting me off at the knees. I suppose it's possible that S&S had a price drop on the Adobe/MSReader/eReader formats and people like Fictionwise just haven't reacted yet, but I don't know. That would certainly make me feel better about S&S.

HarryT
10-15-2007, 11:00 AM
You can blame that one on MobiPocket. They're the ones who don't seem to be keeping up.

I'm not certain it's down to them. I have a feeling that the price is set by the publisher.

JSWolf
10-15-2007, 11:02 AM
You can blame that one on MobiPocket. They're the ones who don't seem to be keeping up. I'm assuming it's DRMed, so anyone else selling the MobiPocket version is going to have a price based on MobiPocket's wholesale price. Either MobiPocket missed a price drop, or their contract with S&S stinks.

The thing I find surprising about that list is that S&S is willing to undercut other e-book dealers with direct sales. If I were an e-bookseller, I would be incredibly ticked that my own supplier was cutting me off at the knees. I suppose it's possible that S&S had a price drop on the Adobe/MSReader/eReader formats and people like Fictionwise just haven't reacted yet, but I don't know. That would certainly make me feel better about S&S.
If you notice, BooksOnBoard is cheaper then S&S. And S&S does not sell Mobipocket format ebooks. But most of the time, I see S&S books cheaper.

jasonkchapman
10-15-2007, 11:22 AM
I'm not certain it's down to them. I have a feeling that the price is set by the publisher.

In a sense, yes, in that everything is based on percentages of the retail price.

In the MobiPocket case: S&S sets the retail price. MobiPocket, as a distributor, gets a discount from that as a distributor. They mark it up to a wholesale price, which is what the booksellers pay per sale. The booksellers add their markup and sell it. As a dealer, they keep their direct prices high enough to avoid undercutting their dealers.

In the case of the Adobe/MSReader/eReader format, it's different. If S&S is acting as its own distributor, then dealers selling those formats are paying a wholesale price set by S&S and dealers are free to price it from there. That's what makes it irksome that S&S would undercut them. It may all just be a matter of timing, that S&S dropped the price and word hasn't yet gotten through the distribution chain, yet, but I don't know.

The Sony case is a little different, in that they're contracted directly with S&S for a unique format. I have no idea where their wholesale price falls relative to what MobiPocket pays, but I'm certain that Sony is free to set its retail price wherever they want based on that wholesale price.

I have no idea how the eReader deal works.

HarryT
10-15-2007, 01:17 PM
Thanks, Jason - that's very interesting.

Robert Marquard
10-15-2007, 01:27 PM
Here in Germany the price for German books are fixed. The publisher sets the price and all sellers have to charge it.

HarryT
10-15-2007, 01:34 PM
I'm surprised that's legal under EU competition laws, Robert. We used to have a similar law in the UK, but it was ruled to be illegal about 10 years ago, and since then the UK's book market has completely opened up to competition.

jasonkchapman
10-15-2007, 11:36 PM
So I've done a little more research now.

In the pbook world, the large publishers generally work through distributors, who then sell to the bookstores. Dealing directly with a ton of individual stores just isn't cost-effective for the publishers. So it's no surprise to find that they're using the same approach in the e-book world.

From what I've found, if you want to set up an e-book store that sells DRMed books from the major publishers (assuming you don't have the size, money, device, and unique format of a Sony) you sign up with any or all of the following list of e-book content distributors: MobiPocket, LightningSource, or Overdrive.

MobiPocket we all know. They distribute books in the MobiPocket format and also operate their own retail site. Anyone selling DRMed MobiPocket books is likely buying them wholesale from MobiPocket.

Lightning Source is part of Ingram Digital Group, which is part of Ingram, the largest pbook distributor in the US. Lightning Source also sells POD services, by the way, as well as e-book conversion services. Lightning Source distributes e-books in Adobe, MS Reader, and eReader format. So any e-booksellers selling DRMed books in those formats from major publishers is most likely buying them wholesale through Lightning Source. Here's their FAQ for booksellers: https://www.lightningsource.com/FAQbookseller.htm

Overdrive is the company providing the services for many of the public library e-content lending systems. I couldn't make much sense out of their offerings for resellers, but one of there services is to provide an entire hosted, brandable store (http://www.overdrive.com/products/midas.asp).

So, let's say S&S drops the list price of a title. That price change has to go to Lightning Source, MobiPocket, and Sony. MobiPocket and Sony have to update their price lists. Lightning Source and MobiPocket have to pass the new price on to their dealer networks who each have to update their price lists. There's all kinds of room for delays and drags in that process.

Anyone for starting an e-bookseller site?

AnemicOak
10-16-2007, 01:21 AM
I'm new to all this & still looking into things, but one problem I'm seeing, for me at least, is books that were priced at HC prices 2 or 3 years ago ($25ish) are still priced that high while others have had their price lowered to MMPB prices ($8ish) once that release hits a year or so after the HC. I can understand why they're charging HC prices for a new release when the PBook version is a HC release, but have a problems paying that price years after release.

hamh
10-16-2007, 01:53 AM
wow, I never know there is such big difference on price....

may be the sony ebook reader is the best to get economically

silvania
10-16-2007, 09:14 AM
The thing I find surprising about that list is that S&S is willing to undercut other e-book dealers with direct sales. If I were an e-bookseller, I would be incredibly ticked that my own supplier was cutting me off at the knees. I suppose it's possible that S&S had a price drop on the Adobe/MSReader/eReader formats and people like Fictionwise just haven't reacted yet, but I don't know. That would certainly make me feel better about S&S.

Yes, it's called "channel conflict". S&S is making it impossible for any ebook retailer to discount to match S&S's own ebook store prices and still turn a profit. BoB is losing money on every sale at that price after factoring in support costs. If that's a typical BoB discount, then they are making every single S&S title a "loss leader."

Ebook retailers are horrified that S&S does this and privately complain about it all the time. But no single retailer has enough power to force the issue. And if two ebook retailers joined forces to try to force the issue, then they would run afoul of "price fixing" laws in the USA. It is literally illegal in the USA for one ebook retailer to call up another one and even mention the word "price" or discuss discount levels in any way, shape or form. The result is, until there is an ebook retailer large enough that they can independently put the screws to S&S, it isn't going to change.

You might think this is good for S&S, but really it isn't. It means any intelligent ebook retailer will give them little or no front page or newsletter space except perhaps for the super-blockbuster type releases. And because most people who read ebooks don't like buying from 10 different places, that means all their smaller releases (and there are tons of them) get no exposure on all those retail sites. This is really costing S&S a lot of money.

silvania
10-16-2007, 09:22 AM
wow, I never know there is such big difference on price....

may be the sony ebook reader is the best to get economically

As long as they're still in the ebook business a year from now, yes.

A lot of people think large companies are safer to buy from than small. Keep in mind that large companies will drop product lines after spending millions on them the first time they have 2 bad quarters in a row. A smaller company who has been alive for a few years and whose only business is ebooks has other risks, but at least you know they aren't going to just choose to exit the ebook business based on short term bumps in the road.

I could rattle off several prominent examples, but i think you all are familiar with the history of ebook roadkill ;)

JSWolf
10-16-2007, 11:01 AM
Amazon is a good example. Try to redownload any of the ebooks youi've pruchased from them. Good luck.

junkml
10-16-2007, 08:40 PM
Amazon is a good example. Try to redownload any of the ebooks youi've pruchased from them. Good luck.

Exactly. I bought quite a few ms reader books from amazon. Now, if anything happens to the copies on my machine, I'm SOL.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-17-2007, 02:57 PM
As long as they're still in the ebook business a year from now, yes.

I think that's the crux of the problem: All of this is too new for sellers, distributors and publishers to have come up with a workable, profitable sales model, and it's further skewed by publishers and/or authors reluctant to participate in the e-book market due to concerns about piracy and just plain lack of information. Everybody's still trying to figure out what works, and a lot of them will turn out to be dead wrong.

I'm pretty sure the beginnings of the print industry went through a lot of this inequality, thanks to new marketers trying to figure out what worked and what didn't. Eventually, workable e-book models will also be worked out, and the industry will settle into predictable patterns, and more homogenous sales models. It should happen sooner, once the publishing industry begins to ease up on its innate fear of change (or is forced to embrace it, whether they like it or not), and begin to honestly try to support and pursue the e-book market.

Alisa
10-17-2007, 03:46 PM
Amazon is a good example. Try to redownload any of the ebooks youi've pruchased from them. Good luck.

I was just reading this thread over at the Adobe Digital Editions forum:

http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.3bc4a07a

People upgraded to a different version of the reader software and now can't open their books. There are students that couldn't read their textbooks, people who had large libraries of purchased material that they can only read by downgrading to the old version. It's been over two months and not a peep out of Adobe on fixing this. My public library's Overdrive portal flatly warns people about upgrading versions. Sadly it seems more and more of their new offerings are Adobe rather than Mobipocket. So many people in that thread are screaming that they'll never buy another ebook again. It's hard to heat up the ebook market when you have some of the biggest players actively cooling it with poor customer service.

JSWolf
10-17-2007, 07:16 PM
WOW! Adobe is really screwing people over but good. They are not even trying to help with a problem that they themselves caused. I'm glad I've had the foresight to never purchase any books in PDF.

brecklundin
10-25-2007, 02:07 AM
I think that's the crux of the problem: All of this is too new for sellers, distributors and publishers to have come up with a workable, profitable sales model, and it's further skewed by publishers and/or authors reluctant to participate in the e-book market due to concerns about piracy and just plain lack of information. Everybody's still trying to figure out what works, and a lot of them will turn out to be dead wrong.

I'm pretty sure the beginnings of the print industry went through a lot of this inequality, thanks to new marketers trying to figure out what worked and what didn't. Eventually, workable e-book models will also be worked out, and the industry will settle into predictable patterns, and more homogenous sales models. It should happen sooner, once the publishing industry begins to ease up on its innate fear of change (or is forced to embrace it, whether they like it or not), and begin to honestly try to support and pursue the e-book market.

Valid points...but dude...the industry has had 25+ years to prepare for this...I simply do not buy into the "...we are all so confused by this new fangled digital format called a...a..???...ebook...is that it?..."

horse pucky...hehehehehe....but I hear what you are saying and it's the authors I feel sorry for...that is who has always gotten the short end of the stick.

HappyMartin
10-25-2007, 05:06 AM
Valid points...but dude...the industry has had 25+ years to prepare for this...I simply do not buy into the "...we are all so confused by this new fangled digital format called a...a..???...ebook...is that it?..."

horse pucky...hehehehehe....but I hear what you are saying and it's the authors I feel sorry for...that is who has always gotten the short end of the stick.

The digital wave has been sweeping over various industries for some time.

Graphic designers, repro, photography and so on. Every industry seems to think firstly that they are a special case and so for them nothing will happen. Then they think the technology will fail, that the price will remain too high, that no one will adopt the technology and if they ignore it it will all just go away. Then the wave dumps a whole lot of them on the beach with sea sand up their bums while their smarter brethren swim off into a successful financial future.

jasonkchapman
10-25-2007, 08:19 AM
Valid points...but dude...the industry has had 25+ years to prepare for this...I simply do not buy into the "...we are all so confused by this new fangled digital format called a...a..???...ebook...is that it?..."


Spend some time inside the book publishing industry. After that, it's not that hard to believe, really. Denial is a powerful force.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-25-2007, 11:02 AM
Valid points...but dude...the industry has had 25+ years to prepare for this...

Well, 25 years may be a stretch. After all, PDFs can arguably be called the first e-books (in potential, at least), and they didn't start to become prevalent until the mid-nineties. But yes, the publishing industry panicked and collectively stuck their heads in the sand, when they could have jumped into the driver's seat and showed everyone how to do it.

The rest of the print industry (as HappyMartin pointed out, and as a fellow alumnus of the print industry, I concur) has fallen into 2 factions: Those who followed the wave, and became digital printers and web producers; and those who have steadfastly remained in the traditional press business, and who have seen their numbers dwindle to a bare fraction of what they were pre-1970.

The publishing industry faced the same challenges, but instead of some of the publishers taking it on, it seems almost all of them passed, leaving the challenges to be tackled by new players. Therefore, any of the problems they suffer as a result of technology steamrolling over them is certainly their own fault.

That said, it doesn't help us get over the issue, which is a chaotic and uneven market, too many formats, and multiple DRM-damaged sales models. And we will continue to have these issues, as long as the traditional publishing industry fights the progression of e-books through their hold on an old and unresponsive system.

Instead of spending too much time berating the publishing industry, and getting nowhere, it would help if we could find some way to finally get them on-board with us, and work together to a common goal. If we can't do that, we will be faced with many more years of a screwed-up book market, until the publishers finally roll over or die off, leaving the rest of us to pick the gems out of the ashes.

DaleDe
10-25-2007, 11:58 AM
Instead of spending too much time berating the publishing industry, and getting nowhere, it would help if we could find some way to finally get them on-board with us, and work together to a common goal. If we can't do that, we will be faced with many more years of a screwed-up book market, until the publishers finally roll over or die off, leaving the rest of us to pick the gems out of the ashes.

Well, said. Telling them to just remove DRM and all will be well is not a solution that they will accept currently so it is beating a dead horse which happens a lot around here. Better solutions need to be found considering all the goals, including the use of these documents in a public library.

Dale

JSWolf
10-25-2007, 12:06 PM
The best solution would be for one reflowable format to be prevalent without DRM. That would solve the Tower of eBable issue we currently have. I receive email from Sony telling of new books. One of them looked interesting... The Last Days of Kryptoni/i] by Kevin J. Anderson. Anyway, I went looking for it elsewhere and found it's notreally out that much in ebook form. Most of the shops don't have it.

Also I was looking at the book [i]Strange Candy by Laurel K. Hamilton and found they ebook shops have it at the HC price and it's in a god awful PB format (but cheaper then the HC) and I sent email to PaperBackDigitial, BooksOnBoard, and Fictionwise. PaperBackDigital & BooksOnBoard both got back to me saying it's the publisher who sets the price, nothing they can do. And Fictionwise has yet to reply. But what they could do is go to the publisher and mention the price issue with see if they will lower their price.

AnemicOak
10-25-2007, 12:23 PM
I receive email from Sony telling of new books. One of them looked interesting... The Last Days of Kryptoni/i] by Kevin J. Anderson. Anyway, I went looking for it elsewhere and found it's notreally out that much in ebook form. Most of the shops don't have it.

Fictionwise, eReader, Mobipocket, BooksOnBoard, Diesel & Connect all have it in their various formats. Didn't see it at PaperBackDigital.



Also I was looking at the book [i]Strange Candy by Laurel K. Hamilton and found they ebook shops have it at the HC price and it's in a god awful PB format (but cheaper then the HC) and I sent email to PaperBackDigitial, BooksOnBoard, and Fictionwise. PaperBackDigital & BooksOnBoard both got back to me saying it's the publisher who sets the price, nothing they can do. And Fictionwise has yet to reply. But what they could do is go to the publisher and mention the price issue with see if they will lower their price.

This is the biggest problem I've had with some ebooks. I've been looking for certain books & I just can't get myself to pay HC price, sometimes as high as $28, for a book that's been out in PB for sometimes years.

DaleDe
10-25-2007, 12:40 PM
The best solution would be for one reflowable format to be prevalent without DRM. That would solve the Tower of eBable issue we currently have.

Best solution for who? DRM is a fact of life and unless someone can find a better way to satisfy publishers we are stuck with it so get over it. There are ways to improve DRM.

Long before I started using mobile books I was using Bible programs on my computer. There is an interesting phenomenon in that market that may be applicable here. All major publishers in that market use DRM - so if you can't trust a Pastor who can you trust? No one that I know complains about DRM in that camp since it is a fact of life. Now having said that there was a movement many years ago to adopt a single format among the manufactures, publishers of these programs. It was called STEP and I bought into it. The DRM was actually the same in all STEP books no matter who you bought from and the books could be freely moved between applications as well. It worked wonderfully.

Then Parsons (the company behind STEP) was purchased a couple of times and the impetus of XML appeared and every programmer on the planet wanted to adopt the format so slowly the STEP support eroded and will likely disappear completely, to be replaced by several other "standards." Vendors provides upgrades for customers to their new format and even upgrades to competitor books. In some cases these were free and in some cases these were cheap to cover the copyright expenses for the author so I ended up spending quite a bit of money upgrading considering the number of books I own. Since these are study books, not just reading books, you never really get done with them.

I am not exactly sure where I am going with this but to say that even when there is a solution it may fall apart after a few years. By the way, these same companies are in the mobile market as well but they don't allow the same license to cover the mobile version and you have to rebuy books you already own although discounted. There is quite a bit of work needed in this market as well. I really wish I could integrate my mobile reading to include these books too. (For more information on this topic see my web site.) Sorry for the rambling but mobileread does not have a forum topic for this kind of discussion. Thanks for reading.

Dale

nekokami
10-25-2007, 01:34 PM
I don't think you were rambling, and I think you're right, the STEP system is relevant as history to our current situation. And you're right about the warning of eroding format support, too. Which is part of why so many of us feel uncomfortable accepting DRM at all (especially those of us who re-read heavily).

I personally don't see a need for DRM outside of library loan systems and the like, but I know most publishers aren't there yet. I guess we'll see if what's happening in the music industry changes their minds at all.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-25-2007, 02:20 PM
...if you can't trust a Pastor who can you trust?

A loaded question if I ever heard one, but... moving discreetly on :D...

Best solution for who? DRM is a fact of life and unless someone can find a better way to satisfy publishers we are stuck with it so get over it.

It really doesn't sound like STEP was a good solution, any more than the presently-used DRM systems... so why should we expect that DRM is "a fact of life" when no one's set up DRM that results in a profitable system?

In the same way that publishers figured out a way to deal with loss, used book sales, library borrowing, etc, with printed books, they can work out methods to deal with/roll with e-books without DRM. If they can't, they will adopt the system created by someone else (like the independents) that does work. Big industries (like IBM, GM) seem to be on this track now, anyway--allowing someone else to spend the money on R&D and trial-and-error, then stepping in and licensing their product at less overhead cost.

My impression is that this is exactly what publishers are waiting on, and when somebody demonstrates a DRM-free and profitable system, they'll adopt it. It will take more time without their cooperation, unfortunately, but it will still happen.

JSWolf
10-25-2007, 02:35 PM
Baen is successful without DRM. And we can demonstrate it now. So why hav not the big guys given in yet?

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-25-2007, 03:08 PM
Baen is successful without DRM. And we can demonstrate it now. So why hav not the big guys given in yet?

I can only guess that Big Pub sees Baen as a niche publisher, and is not convinced their success will be paralleled by mainstream book sales (the meat of their market). They'll want a direct comparison model, one they can license lock, stock and barrel, and use as-is without having to futz with it (because that would still be R&D for them).

cherdman
10-25-2007, 03:31 PM
Ebook prices are all over the place within each format as well. If you go hunting for an eReader, LIT, or PDF book you will see a wide price discrepancy from store to store. This isn't just limited to Mobipocket books and Mobipocket is not turning people off to reading ebooks due to their pricing. This is an industry level pricing issue.

Xenophon
10-25-2007, 06:03 PM
I can only guess that Big Pub sees Baen as a niche publisher, and is not convinced their success will be paralleled by mainstream book sales (the meat of their market). They'll want a direct comparison model, one they can license lock, stock and barrel, and use as-is without having to futz with it (because that would still be R&D for them).

I s'pose that Baen is a niche publisher. Pretty big as niches go, with multiple books hitting the best-seller lists each year... but they only publish SF & Fantasy, and only 4-8 new books per month.

On the other hand, negotiations for e-Publishing rights with Tor (and their parent company) have been back on for a while, so we may yet see motion from one of the larger publishers.

MaggieScratch
10-26-2007, 05:49 PM
I personally have no problem with DRM as such; I just want, no, DEMAND portability between devices. I don't know if that is an unusual stance, or if there is an argument against DRM that I'm missing besides lack of portability.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-26-2007, 05:54 PM
I personally have no problem with DRM as such; I just want, no, DEMAND portability between devices. I don't know if that is an unusual stance, or if there is an argument against DRM that I'm missing besides lack of portability.

Well, it was mainly a fear of too much portability that drove the publishers to use DRM in the first place.

NatCh
10-26-2007, 05:57 PM
I don't know if that is an unusual stance, or if there is an argument against DRM that I'm missing besides lack of portability.The other biggie is expiration, either built into the DRM, or incidental because the company folds and no one support their DRM anymore.

Of course, a "standard" format and DRM would address both of those issues.

Then you're just left with the annoyance many feel because they regard the DRM as having to have specific, express permission every time they access the content they paid for.

Personally, if it stays out of my way when I'm doing normal, legal, moral and ethical stuff, most of my objections to DRM go away too. :shrug:

JSWolf
10-26-2007, 08:20 PM
I have purchased a Mobipocket format book not too long ago. When I did so, I have to put in my PID. I can have up to 2 PIDs from books downloaded at PaperBackDigital. But I can edit the PIDs and redownload it looks like. So I'm not totally screwed. But it could be possible I'd need to maintain two copies. Like it I had a Gen3 or iLiad and say a PDA and a laptop plus desktop. Is this silliness really necessary

cherdman
10-26-2007, 10:13 PM
I have purchased a Mobipocket format book not too long ago. When I did so, I have to put in my PID. I can have up to 2 PIDs from books downloaded at PaperBackDigital. But I can edit the PIDs and redownload it looks like. So I'm not totally screwed. But it could be possible I'd need to maintain two copies. Like it I had a Gen3 or iLiad and say a PDA and a laptop plus desktop. Is this silliness really necessary

Mobipocket is doing nothing different than any of the other DRM-laden formats. Each form of DRM comes with it's own set of shackles.

JSWolf
10-27-2007, 02:56 AM
We shall remove the shackles and read freely.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-28-2007, 10:16 AM
The industry has come to understand and accept print loss, through theft, borrowing, used sales, "pulping" unsold stock, etc. They have adjusted their operations and profit models accordingly, to make the realities of the market work for them.

There is a clear need to similarly understand and finally accept the economics of e-book loss, and adjust their operations and profit models again. It may not be fun, but it's not impossible. And I think the publishers know that.

Their main concern for publishers, I'm sure, is more immediate: That sea-change in their operations will cost them revenue and profit short-term, something owners and investors are loathe to see in this "instant gratification" world of ours. When everyone involved knows that change means their bank accounts are going to be smaller, they tend to avoid change as long as they can. Many of them won't move to change until the present market finally slips through their fingers. Then they'll either decide to change, or they'll retire from the publishing industry.