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Old 03-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #436
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I'm going to agree for sure that some people are collectors. I've got shelves and shelves of books that I've bought over decades so I understand the motivation.

Although I gather that it's been discussed in other threads, I'd have to say that I've got a fair amount of doubt that any significant proportion of readers is rereading a substantial amount of their collection on a regular basis multiple times. I can see having a small portion that get reread, no problem, and I do that myself. But I'd be willing to bet that 95% of books that 90% of the avid readers are reading is new (to them) content.

I'm lucky enough that I work within an easy walk of about 4 good used book stores, so for me I would only ever buy a new book if it was unavailable in any of those used stores first. Which means it would have to be something very specific, and a little out of the mainstream. Which further means that the overwhelming majority of my reading was done with books that somebody else read once, possibly lent to their friends and then ditched. And if they were cheap like me, they bought it used too.

I'd classify myself as an avid reader. Probably reading in the range of 100 books a year. I have never seen an economic advantage in picking up one of the loyalty cards from the biggest new book chain in Canada, which gives 10% off on all purchases after dropping $30 for the card. Why? Because there's no way I'd be buying even the 25 of those 100 books, which would be the break-even point on the card, as new books.

So to me, easy transfer of a pbook from person to person has been a crucial part of the reading experience in the past. For publishers to expect to use the new media as a way to choke off that channel so that every single piece of new content every reader reads comes from the publisher as a new sale at a price the same as a pbook really annoys me. To me, that's what agency pricing and DRM seem to be trying to do.

Honestly, I'd be happy if ebooks were "sold" as a single read rental for a buck or two a shot. At a rate like that, even books that I read 5 or 6 times over my life would still come out as a wash with buying a pbook and holding on to it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #437
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How about this: A rule that says that DRM has to be returnable/revocable for a refund of 80% of the original sale price?
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by HamsterRage View Post
Although I gather that it's been discussed in other threads, I'd have to say that I've got a fair amount of doubt that any significant proportion of readers is rereading a substantial amount of their collection on a regular basis multiple times. I can see having a small portion that get reread, no problem, and I do that myself. But I'd be willing to bet that 95% of books that 90% of the avid readers are reading is new (to them) content.
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Honestly, I'd be happy if ebooks were "sold" as a single read rental for a buck or two a shot. At a rate like that, even books that I read 5 or 6 times over my life would still come out as a wash with buying a pbook and holding on to it.
Seems like your issue is pricing, not DRM. You want to pay used paperback prices for one-time right to read a book.

DRM issues--lost access, bookstores going out of business or discontinuing support for a format, inability to move books to a different device--none of that should be a concern for someone who reads only once. Sounds like you'd be happy to read books in the cloud, for that matter.

I have a totally different mindset. I bought it, I own it, I keep it. Once I've paid for the book, it's up to whether I want to use it or not. DRM interferes with that use.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:22 PM   #439
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Seems like your issue is pricing, not DRM. You want to pay used paperback prices for one-time right to read a book.

DRM issues--lost access, bookstores going out of business or discontinuing support for a format, inability to move books to a different device--none of that should be a concern for someone who reads only once. Sounds like you'd be happy to read books in the cloud, for that matter.

I have a totally different mindset. I bought it, I own it, I keep it. Once I've paid for the book, it's up to whether I want to use it or not. DRM interferes with that use.
I hate DRM with a passion, but I have no issues with it for a rental service. If they want to rent a book to me for $1 and DRM it, that's fine. Easier than going to the library, cheaper than a used bookstore.

It's charging purchase price, and pretending it is ownership, while effectively turning into a rental with DRM that aggravates me.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:15 AM   #440
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It's charging purchase price, and pretending it is ownership, while effectively turning into a rental with DRM that aggravates me.
Bingo! That's what I was trying to say.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:08 AM   #441
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I hate DRM with a passion, but I have no issues with it for a rental service. If they want to rent a book to me for $1 and DRM it, that's fine. Easier than going to the library, cheaper than a used bookstore.

It's charging purchase price, and pretending it is ownership, while effectively turning into a rental with DRM that aggravates me.
Not that I want to defend DRM --- but we are talking about up to 6 simultaneous rentals. And you never have to return it. So talking about it as if they rented the books to you for a few days like a movie is a gross exaggeration and doesn't help our case. $1 is ridiculously low under the circumstances. While we all agree that an ebook should be somewhat cheaper than a pbook we have to be realistic. $1 below the cheapest new paperback should be reasonable.

If you really just want to read it once and then get rid of it, why don't you check out the ebook from a library and pay nothing?
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:42 AM   #442
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While we all agree that an ebook should be somewhat cheaper than a pbook we have to be realistic. $1 below the cheapest new paperback should be reasonable.
Why? The ebook doesn't cost a couple of dollars to produce and ship. Handing one to me doesn't prevent them from handing one to you. Why should just-under-paperback cost be the price, considering it costs substantially less than the paperback to produce?

Several authors are making a fortune on $1-4 ebooks. Most of them are relatively unknown outside of ebook circles. Why should we believe that big-name authors need to sell at more than that to make similar fortunes?

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If you really just want to read it once and then get rid of it, why don't you check out the ebook from a library and pay nothing?
Because library ebook selections are (1) tiny, because libraries don't have a lot of money to put towards limited-appeal technology, and (2) drawn from a very limited pool of available books. Two of the Big Six won't allow library ebooks at all, and Harper Collins has decided library ebooks should expire after a year of use. Small publishing houses & self-publishers aren't available to libraries at all, because the DRM hassles are too much for them.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:09 AM   #443
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Then I am asking you, what would happen to their pbook business? They would also have to sell those for extremely low amounts (or nobody would buy them) -- and they would all go out of business. Sounds great for users, but publishers and book sellers could not operate this way.

Such low prices can only work for a self publishing author with sales on the web only. Or as a promotion. The costs incurred to make one additional unit is totally irrelevant for the pricing of digital goods. Besides, why should we care about costs, what matters is how much are we willing to pay and is anyone willing to sell at that price. For the publisher the point is, total sales volume has to be high enough to cover development, production, distribution costs AND to make a reasonable profit. Even for ebooks there are distribution costs such as advertising.

We can go on and on about "ebooks cost virtually nothing to make", what does it matter if nobody is willing to sell them for next to nothing?

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Old 03-24-2011, 06:02 AM   #444
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Not that I want to defend DRM --- but we are talking about up to 6 simultaneous rentals. And you never have to return it. So talking about it as if they rented the books to you for a few days like a movie is a gross exaggeration and doesn't help our case. $1 is ridiculously low under the circumstances. While we all agree that an ebook should be somewhat cheaper than a pbook we have to be realistic. $1 below the cheapest new paperback should be reasonable.

If you really just want to read it once and then get rid of it, why don't you check out the ebook from a library and pay nothing?
It's a rental because if you change devices (at least for Kindle and B&N books) you lose your ability to use your book - this "ownership" is predicated on the idea that you only have a limited license to use it on their device. You also depend on customer service for the ebook DRM that may or may not be there a decade from now. You also cannot lend it to someone else (not really...limited time-based lending sucks). You MAY have access to this book a decade from now. Maybe. If you keep the same vendor/device and the DRM doesn't eventually fail.

This is NOT ownership, but an extended-length rental of indeterminate length.

Basically, you can only use the item as long as the DRM doesn't have a problem, and there is a remote customer support to fix it (or a remote server to redownload a newer version). DRM is quite likely to stop working eventually. Try talking to the people that depended on Microsoft's PlaysForSure / Music store, or one of the other ebook stores that have failed.

This is bad enough, but along with that you also cannot resell it, cannot even give it away.
More traits of ownership removed by DRM.

BTW: the nearest Overdrive library for me is 60 miles away. We're a city of 40,000 people, along with a couple of slightly bigger cities in the area. No one nearby has overdrive.

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 03-24-2011 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:03 AM   #445
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While we all agree that an ebook should be somewhat cheaper than a pbook we have to be realistic. $1 below the cheapest new paperback should be reasonable.
$10 realbook -- $5 to the wholesaler, $1 to the printer.
$10 ebook -- $3 to the wholesaler, no other costs.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:36 AM   #446
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Although I gather that it's been discussed in other threads, I'd have to say that I've got a fair amount of doubt that any significant proportion of readers is rereading a substantial amount of their collection on a regular basis multiple times. I can see having a small portion that get reread, no problem, and I do that myself. But I'd be willing to bet that 95% of books that 90% of the avid readers are reading is new (to them) content.
But you will not know before you read the book the first time if it is a book you potentially will re-read. And even if you re-read only 10% I would guess that 50% or more of the books are books you might re-read.

And you cannot trust that a book will be sold when you want to re-read it so re-buying is not a good option.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:43 AM   #447
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I think I better re-read that post...

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:42 AM   #448
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But you will not know before you read the book the first time if it is a book you potentially will re-read. And even if you re-read only 10% I would guess that 50% or more of the books are books you might re-read.
I was specifically told there would be no word-problems on this quiz.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:20 AM   #449
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I was specifically told there would be no word-problems on this quiz.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:29 AM   #450
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Have to disagree with your estimate on re-reading but that could just be my entire circle of reading friends and thus anecdotal but certainly lower than 95% new to them.

But 100 books a year may make you an above average reader but wouldn't qualify as avid by my (and my friends') standards... that comes in more like 50-75 per quarter... and most of those are new purchases, many in hardback...

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But I'd be willing to bet that 95% of books that 90% of the avid readers are reading is new (to them) content.

I'd classify myself as an avid reader. Probably reading in the range of 100 books a year. I have never seen an economic advantage in picking up one of the loyalty cards from the biggest new book chain in Canada, which gives 10% off on all purchases after dropping $30 for the card. Why? Because there's no way I'd be buying even the 25 of those 100 books, which would be the break-even point on the card, as new books.
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