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Old 09-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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Print vs Pixel: retailers experiment with print/ebook bundles

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/te...02couples.html
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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Interesting! I think more and more people are waking up and smelling the coffee.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:51 PM   #3
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I think bookstores face the problem that many other specialty stores do. The book market has gotten too top heavy, reliant on the "blockbuster". Like movies and music, it's only the top stuff that really sells (and thus makes them money).

They have to compete with the larger big box stores carrying the top stuff, and now on another front, e-books.

So no, it doesn't matter that whatever book Oprah and the NYTimes is pushing at the moment also comes with an ebook. They will still be competing with other sources, and they are always going to lose. And they've lost out on the niche market, just like the music and movie stores have, by their focus on the blockbuster to the exclusion of all else.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
I think bookstores face the problem that many other specialty stores do. The book market has gotten too top heavy, reliant on the "blockbuster". Like movies and music, it's only the top stuff that really sells (and thus makes them money).

They have to compete with the larger big box stores carrying the top stuff, and now on another front, e-books.

So no, it doesn't matter that whatever book Oprah and the NYTimes is pushing at the moment also comes with an ebook. They will still be competing with other sources, and they are always going to lose. And they've lost out on the niche market, just like the music and movie stores have, by their focus on the blockbuster to the exclusion of all else.
Yes and no. For the publishers, bestsellers may mean the difference between making money and losing it. Most books never "earn out" - that is, sell enough copies to cover the cost of producing the book, and the author's advance, and sell enough more that the author sees additional money beyond the initial advance. And some books hoped to be bestsellers and given advances and promotion in proportion tank and lose a lot of money.

But bookstores face additional challenges. One is as you mentioned: that they aren't the only places that sell books. Barnes and Noble and Borders are in competition with CostCo and Sam's Club, which have enormous clout in the industry because of the volume of books they sell. Another is the special challenge presented by ebooks. With an ereader or other device that can connect to the Internet, you don't have to go to a store to buy the books. You can get them at any time wherever you happen to be. The question in my mind when Sony was releasing its reader and attempting to partner with brick and mortar retailers to sell it was how to create a continuing engagement with the customer. If you're a bookstore selling readers, what brings the customer back to the store once they have the reader?

I think it's precisely that continuing engagement that is the focus here.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:07 PM   #5
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Why does everyone think the iPad is an ereader? Sure it has ereader capabilities but it is not an ereader! For some people it works great (because they only read on it for a little while) but for any long periods, it will kill your eyes (you can even see the backlight glow in the main picture in the article). At least the article mentions the Kindle. So why the iPad obsession?
(Then again, maybe I'm just ranting because the chances of my owning an iPad are rather small...)
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MR. Pockets View Post
Why does everyone think the iPad is an ereader? Sure it has ereader capabilities but it is not an ereader! For some people it works great (because they only read on it for a little while) but for any long periods, it will kill your eyes (you can even see the backlight glow in the main picture in the article). At least the article mentions the Kindle. So why the iPad obsession?
(Then again, maybe I'm just ranting because the chances of my owning an iPad are rather small...)
It you can read ebooks with it, it's an ereader. It may simply also do other things.

My device of choice for reading ebooks is a Palm OS PDA. I like it precisely because it performs a number of other functions as well as displaying ebooks, and want any device that night replace it to do likewise. A friend who has one and is a content developer calls the iPad a "media consumption device", and I think he nailed it. Media encompasses a wide variety of things, and so will a generalized device for consuming it. You can't watch YouTube on a Kindle...

Whether you can comfortably read on a backlit screen is highly subjective. I've been doing so for years and never had a problem with it. Others can't, and find eInk displays the only things that make ebooks tolerable, because they [i]can[i] read them for extended periods comfortably.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
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Good to see some bundling. I've said for ages, if Amazon, for example, offered the hardcover of a book, plus an ebook version for another dollar or two, I wouldn't buy books anywhere else.

In fact, I was waiting for this kind of thing to happen before buying an e-reader (because I hate DRM).

I still love the idea. I'd even put up with DRM on the ebook if we got a real hardcover that we could loan out / have as a backup / etc.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:53 AM   #8
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as for matters of storage and price I always preferred pback than hardcover and am continously annoyed by the fact that I've to wait until the pbacks come out.

I'd rather prefer to get a paperback+ ebook bundle for the price of the hardcover than the hardcover. so i could get em without waiting
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:45 AM   #9
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It you can read ebooks with it, it's an ereader. It may may simply also do other things.

My device of choice for reading ebooks is a Palm OS PDA. I like it precisely because it performs a number of other functions as well as displaying ebooks, and want any device that night replace it to do likewise. A friend who has one and is a content developer calls the iPad a "media consumption device", and I think he nailed it. Media encompasses a wide variety of things, and so will a generalized device for consuming it. You can't watch YouTube on a Kindle...

Whether you can comfortably read on a backlit screen is highly subjective. I've been doing so for years and never had a problem with it. Others can't, and find eInk displays the only things that make ebooks tolerable, because they [i]can[i] read them for extended periods comfortably.
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An e-book reader, also called an e-book device or e-reader, is an electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_e-book_readers

While the terms "ereader", "ebook reader" etc, are still not clearly defined, that definition (the complete wikipedia definition is a little narrow) is what I consider an ereader to be. The iPad clearly does not fit that definition. I'm not trying to be in your face/argumentative. I just have a problem with people calling the iPad (or other tablets) an ereader.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:49 AM   #10
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Unless it was the only way I could get an unDRMed e-book, I would rather NOT buy a bundle. All I would want would be the e-book and I would have to get rid of the the p-book. The question here would be, is the e-book considered a separate book or is it the same book? In other words, would I be able to legally keep the e-book and sell the p-book? It would depend on how the bundle is sold.

I've wondered the same with the DVD/Blu-Ray bundles being sold. Is it legal to split them? I have one but couldn't find anything in the fine print.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:04 AM   #11
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as for matters of storage and price I always preferred pback than hardcover and am continously annoyed by the fact that I've to wait until the pbacks come out.
I used to feel that way, but my attitudes changed over the years.

One of the things I began to do was replace PBs with durable hardback reading copies. I was aided in this because my preferred genre is SF, and the Science Fiction Book Club tended to create hardcover anthology editions of books that had been paperback series. I actually reduced storage space in some cases. (The SFBC also published some where the SFBC edition was the only hardcover edition, making them collectibles.)

Part of the motive was declining paperback quality. I had book where the paper was beginning to turn brown and crumple, and where the glue folding on the cover was failing due to gae, and the book was literally falling apart.

I buy books to keep, and want books I can keep.

Quote:
I'd rather prefer to get a paperback+ ebook bundle for the price of the hardcover than the hardcover. so i could get em without waiting
You would still have to wait. There is a year between hardback and paperback release, precisely to give the hardback time to sell. Getting a paperback+ebook bundle would of necessity include that wait.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:12 AM   #12
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Unless it was the only way I could get an unDRMed e-book, I would rather NOT buy a bundle. All I would want would be the e-book and I would have to get rid of the the p-book. The question here would be, is the e-book considered a separate book or is it the same book? In other words, would I be able to legally keep the e-book and sell the p-book? It would depend on how the bundle is sold.
Is it technically legal to sell the pbook part of the bundle and keep the ebook? Perhaps not. In practice, will anyone care? What would single out the pbook copy as being part of the bundle? Who would know it had been?

Certainly, no one has tried hard to stamp out things like used book stores. Aside from it likely being impossible, the books were already bought at retail once and generated revenue. The publishers may wish the folks buying the used copy had bought a new one, but keeping folks from buying the used copy would more likely prevent purchase of a new one. Books we buy used are books we don't mind waiting for them to show up as used copies, and taking the chance that they won't.

But if all you want is the ebook, I'm not sure I see a point to buying the bundle, unless you know you can resell the pbook copy and recoup part of the purchase price.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:21 AM   #13
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While the terms "ereader", "ebook reader" etc, are still not clearly defined, that definition (the complete wikipedia definition is a little narrow) is what I consider an ereader to be. The iPad clearly does not fit that definition. I'm not trying to be in your face/argumentative. I just have a problem with people calling the iPad (or other tablets) an ereader.
As for as you're concerned, an "ereader" is a dedicated device made for that purpose, and a multifunction device that can be used to do that as well as other things doesn't qualify.

Fair enough, and I agree some precision is required. I just had an exchange elsewhere with someone using ePub to refer to electronic publishing. I squawked for the same reason: ePub is the name for a specific ebook format, and we didn't need the confusion. (I was more concerned because the person making the comment was in publishing, and should have known better. As it happens, she did, and was just using the term as a snappy punch line.)

But interestingly, Apple pushed ebooks as a use case for the iPad, and I strongly suspect that's what most early buyers do use it for.

What term would you suggest for a device that can display ebooks as well as perform other chores, especially when reading ebooks is the main use it gets? (About 2/3s of the purpose in life of my PDA is is to be a book viewer.)
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:33 AM   #14
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The bundling idea was stolen from one of my mobileread threads. As usual, with the NYT.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...ghlight=bundle

He read. She read. In different mediums. We need a survey of couples who purchase ebooks and pbooks of the same title. I do this all the time, as an archivist. My brother-in-law does this because he is computer illiterate, while my sister prefers ebooks. What's your excuse?

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Old 09-05-2010, 01:42 AM   #15
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Oh finally! As another poster said, they have started to smell the coffee with the bundles! I thought this day would never come, I thought I was in the 0.005% minority who 'd never get their point across that publishers should give an ebook version with the printed book one, so one can have the option to read at home say the printed book, have it in their library, and have the ability to take a few books along say on a reader for a trip.

And to be exact, these shouldn't be called bundles. These are really one book in two formats. So barnes a noble are doing this? Guess who'll be taking my money from now on. (and a religious publisher, guess which agnostic is going to vote with their dollar )

These news makes me very, very happy.

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