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Old 12-09-2010, 10:46 PM   #1
applewine
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Advancing Amazon's Sales Model: Print & e-book Combo Purchase)

I think amazon should offer a print and e-book combo deal so you can buy both at the same time for a large discount. People want the freedom of owning the book and the convenience of reading it on an e-reader, but nobody in their right mind will normally pay full price for both.

Further, I like many people are hesitant to jump onto the e-book bandwagon because I know I will not buy a book twice and that means I will no longer own my books, just a license to read the book.

This is why I propose that amazon create the ability to pay a few extra dollars to buy the e-book with the printed version. They will not lose money, because the only opportunity cost they will be forgoing is an option that nobody will pursue anyway, thus they will only make more profit on that sale. Additionally they will get many more customers because more people will jump onto the e-book bandwagon because they will know that they are not losing the freedom to own the books as they always have!

Finally, you are actually paying them more so they are making more profit. The e-license also ties you to their store so you are likely to be a return customer with a larger total sale price. Otherwise, just subscribe to an e-library, which amazon may want to offer as well...

The used printed books with full ownership rights cost less than the restricted
e-license. I've even seen e-books sell for more than the printed edition. Amazon must advance their sales model!

Last edited by applewine; 12-10-2010 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:51 PM   #2
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #3
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This is why I propose that amazon create the ability to pay a few extra dollars to buy the e-book with the printed version.
That would be great... but the publisher would have to be on board... and they're not going to go for it. Wish they would, though.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:49 PM   #4
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It would be nice to be offered a free or discounted ebook if you purchase the hard-copy format. But I suspect that most publishers (not Amazon) would never agree to this.

Amazon themselves have always been on-board with heavy discounting so I'm sure they'd be up for such a scheme if the publishers permitted it. It could certainly help to entice some more tree-book readers onto the ebook wagon.

With regard to buying ebooks where I've already bought the hard copy - paying twice for a product. Well it's the same as moving from video to DVD - different format comes along and you end up re-buying your favourites. The price of technology really.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:59 PM   #5
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I think the publisher would go along with it. They are going to make more money and don't have to relax the restrictions on their digital license in any way.

As I explained they would not be losing money because nobody is going to buy the book twice under normal pricing. Getting people to pay more for the same book is a good idea.

I don't think the VHS to DVD example is a good one because you don't buy those at the same time and one does not augment the other in the same way an e-license augments a full rights printed purchase.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:53 AM   #6
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Unfortunately, it's out of Amazon's hands, even if they wanted to.

Almost all the big publishers set the prices for their books themselves, Amazon no longer has any say in the matter. If the publishers want to do something like this, nothing is stopping them. But pretty clearly they don't. (Though I should note that Baen includes a cd with its hardcovers of past books in the series).
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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I think it will be a good strategy to offer a free e-book (DRM protected, of course) with every hardcopy (if Kindle version exists) but it really will depend more from the publishers not the Amazon only. Or maybe it will be good to offer you if you've bought a book of one kind (e-book or hardcopy) to offer you other kind for a very small price (at big discount)?
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by applewine View Post
I think the publisher would go along with it. They are going to make more money and don't have to relax the restrictions on their digital license in any way.

As I explained they would not be losing money because nobody is going to buy the book twice under normal pricing. Getting people to pay more for the same book is a good idea.

I don't think the VHS to DVD example is a good one because you don't buy those at the same time and one does not augment the other in the same way an e-license augments a full rights printed purchase.
Not the large Agency model publishers - no. They generally fight tooth and nail to have every book sold at full price. They don't allow the retailers to discount ebooks, period.

You might get some of the smaller publishers to try it out.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:51 AM   #9
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They are losing the game then. Nowadays with these OCRs and torrents... Same as DVD/BDs. I had in mind DRM-ed ebooks only with hardcopy bundling. Of course, they will not do this...
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:45 AM   #10
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You are telling me the publishers are irrational and will make decisions that make themselves less profit on a sale. I do not know these companies, but I find that hard to believe.

You must realize that selling an e-license for full price is much less than a print copy plus say 2 dollars for an e-license. It would be irrational and self destructive to their bottom line profit to not offer a bundle option with the sales model I mentioned. If the are greedy and want money, they will do what I suggested. If they want less money or ate really as stupid as you claim then maybe they won't, bug I doubt that. I think they just need to be given the idea by the retailer and authors.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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google

"Agency Pricing"

and read away.

Or just go up to the general/news forum here and you'll find any number of discussion on Publisher Irrationality these days.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:35 PM   #12
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It can't hurt for amazon to suggest it. It benefits all parties involved.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:24 PM   #13
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Go and tell Amazon then.

Personally I wouldn't want both formats, I only want the ebook
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:36 PM   #14
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:11 PM   #15
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Amazon could suggest it but at the moment the Agency Publishers have contracts with Apple, Kobo, and other retailers which forbids any eBook discounting.

So unless those contracts expire or are re-written - it isn't viable at the moment.

And again, it was the Publishers who insisted on the Agency Pricing/No Discounting model so I don't think it'd go far.

It is an idea that comes up occasionally. I've never been under the impression that there are huge numbers of people who'd be interested. I could see it for the textbook market and a few other limited markets but not for general book reading, most people simply don't want 2 copies of a book.
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