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Old 10-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #31
Hellmark
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Originally Posted by uebyn View Post
Like your POV.

I read somewhere, though, that the cost of programming that goes behind the ebook is considerably high. Maybe that's why it translates into higher costs - not sure about the details, but in any case I suspect the cost of transport and printing for a single book is negligible anyway. Like they say in another thread, the best thing will be to be able to have both versions at once, at a reasonable price.
Which is total BS. Layout for printing is more difficult, and most layout programs either directly generate ebooks or outputs in a way to generate ebooks. Since most ebook formats reflow, not as much work is needed to be done. Also, technically, you don't need to do any programming to make ebooks, if you don't want to. There are plenty of WYSIWYG tools for ebooks. Even if you do want to, HTML is the language used as the language for ebook layout, one of the simplest computer languages and the basis for webpages.

Really it boils down to they charge more because they can. If it was expensive or difficult to do it, why would there be so many 99 cent, two or three dollar ebooks?
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #32
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Really it boils down to they charge more because they can. If it was expensive or difficult to do it, why would there be so many 99 cent, two or three dollar ebooks?
There was one magazine my husband subscribes to that switched to digital ONLY because it was substantially cheaper and they couldn't afford to keep up with the print editions, and switching to digital only, prevented them from stopping existing at all.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:47 AM   #33
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Which is total BS. Layout for printing is more difficult,
Really? How come then the the layout for paper books are OK but I have still not seen an ebook with good typography?
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #34
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With paper books, if the cost of paper books was only 10% more to "produce" then why do so many people have a hard time convincing publishers of out of print books to put them into print cycles again?
Why is it that lots of best-selling prize winning novels (example) are still not available as eBooks?

I think the answer is that the cost of digitizing and proof-reading is high, just as the cost of setting up a modern print run is high. But once you have have done it, the marginal cost (adding servers or printing more) is low.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 10-08-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:07 AM   #35
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I understand that. It's just that RE-production costs after each master copy has been born are negligible with e-books.

My 81 year old foster mother has a hard time navigating PG, yet it's nothing for me to send her books that I have from PG. New copy *created* that didn't exist before. Cost of posting a physical book to her - well last thing I mailed to her was a very small paperback Bible, at a cost of nearly $10.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #36
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While I agree that once the ebook is created, there are very minimal costs from that point on. But I'm here to tell you that getting the book into a quality ebook format isn't the "click/poof!" that many of you guys and gals seem to think it is. There is no commonly shared source document to rule them all (though I certainly hope there will be some day).

No, someone is being payed to take the original print layout's electronic version (assuming it's a newer book and has an electronic version) and converting it to HTML. And depending on what that original electronic document is, that process can be anything but a walk in the park (never mind that corrections are being made to the original throughout this entire conversion process that will have to be manually propagated to the new ebook version). Many of those print layout electronic versions are proprietary, mostly "one-way" or "final destination" formats.

And if you've ever witnessed, first-hand, the differences between a shoddily produced (click/poof!) ebook and a quality-produced ebook ... then you're seeing the evidence of "costs" associated with the production of ebooks. Whether or not you feel those costs are justified or completely neglible are, of course, an altogether different and unrelated topic than whether or not there are costs.

So just like not believing the "hype" from publishers concerning the costs associated with ebooks, you may also want to take with a grain of salt, the claims of industry outsiders that ebooks just magically appear on online retailers websites with absolutely no intervention by a human that would like to earn some money for his/her efforts.

Someday, there might be one source from which all formats (physical and electronic) flow in some magical, button-pushy, efficient workflow, but we just ain't there yet.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-08-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:28 AM   #37
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There is a difference between *digitizing* an existing print book from decades past and a new release. Digitizing old print books is non-trivial.
Creating a digital edition of a current release should be.
Now, whether the BPHs have actually put in place the proper tools and workflows is a different story.
Judging by some of the new releases coming out, the answer appears to be that 5 years after Kindle, most still have *not*.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #38
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Really? How come then the the layout for paper books are OK but I have still not seen an ebook with good typography?
Part of that is the minimal effort put forth for ebooks to begin with. How many don't even include the real covers? How often do you see a typo or misspelling that should have easily been caught, even by spellcheck?
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Creating a digital edition of a current release should be.
Now, whether the BPHs have actually put in place the proper tools and workflows is a different story.
Judging by some of the new releases coming out, the answer appears to be that 5 years after Kindle, most still have *not*.
I completely agree. With the sentiment and the diagnosis.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #40
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Having just finished the last Dresden files book and eagerly awaiting the release of Cold Days on amazon, i was just about to pre-order the ebook when i noticed it costs more than the paperback.
No it doesn't. At the moment the eBook is priced to compete with the HARDBACK book. When the paperback is released, the eBook price will fall, almost certainly to less than the paperback price. It's meaningless to compare the price of an eBook to a future paperback.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:35 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
There is a difference between *digitizing* an existing print book from decades past and a new release. Digitizing old print books is non-trivial.
Creating a digital edition of a current release should be.
Now, whether the BPHs have actually put in place the proper tools and workflows is a different story.
Judging by some of the new releases coming out, the answer appears to be that 5 years after Kindle, most still have *not*.
Exactly.
I'm not sure what publishers are using to typeset current books, but Adobe InDesign has EPUB support built right into the product, so lay out the print book, then export it straight to EPUB. Getting it from EPUB to MOBI for Amazon and retaining the formatting might not be as trivial, but the EPUB should be as good as the print version on modern books, anyway.


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Part of that is the minimal effort put forth for ebooks to begin with. How many don't even include the real covers? How often do you see a typo or misspelling that should have easily been caught, even by spellcheck?
One reason I remove DRM and clean up the EPUBs before putting them on my reader. It seems that many books rely on metadata accompanying the download to display the cover properly on the reader. I side load 90% or more of my books, so I like to have proper covers in the eBook itself.

I'm a little more understanding when there are errors in older books that were obviously OCR'd with minimal proofreading, but on modern books, I'm less tolerant of mistakes in the eBook that don't appear in the print version.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #42
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I'm really precarious when it comes to this. I used to buy used books when they were cheaper. But more now I find that I don't carry my paperbacks with me everywhere. So the extra 2 or 3 bucks for the ebook is worth it for the ability to access anytime.

I still tend to buy the used paperback when it is crazy cheaper.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:47 AM   #43
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I still tend to buy the used paperback when it is crazy cheaper.
I still get the Library discard sales. Often perfectly good copies of recent hardbound books go for pennies in a "stuff a bag sale" not because they are even 'damaged' but because the library is required to buy new copies after a certain number of loans.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:52 AM   #44
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Really? How come then the the layout for paper books are OK but I have still not seen an ebook with good typography?
You will in Kindle format, now that KF8 is here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000729511

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We’re pleased to announce that Kindle Publisher Tools - KindleGen and Kindle Previewer with Kindle Format 8 (KF8) support are now available for download. Kindle Format 8 is Amazon’s next generation file format offering a wide range of new features and enhancements – including HTML5 and CSS3 support that publishers can use to create all types of books. KF8 adds over 150 new formatting capabilities, including drop caps, numbered lists, fixed layouts, nested tables, callouts, sidebars and Scalable Vector Graphics - opening up more opportunities to create Kindle books that readers will love. Kindle Fire is the first Kindle device to support KF8 - in the coming months KF8 will be rolled out to our latest generation Kindle e-ink devices as well as our free Kindle reading apps.

Publishers have created thousands of KF8 titles already and customers are enjoying the improved formatting and reading features across all types of books. Additionally, KF8 features such as Kindle Panel Views and Kindle Text Pop Up enable great fixed layout books including graphic novels, comics and children’s books.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:00 PM   #45
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This is exactly how I view e-book pricing. I don't view the lack of paper, the lack of weight, the lack of crispy book-smell as something that is indicative of a lesser product, and nor do I think that "but there were no production costs!" is a good reason to expect a steep discount for an e-book: any author worth his salt will tell you that blood, sweat and tears went into his work regardless of how it was printed, and any programmer worth his salt will tell you that clean coding isn't "no production cost".

To me, I'm paying for the words that I'm reading - I'm paying for the world that I'm being drawn into by the author. Whether his agency or the store has priced different formats strangely is the choice of that store or agency, and I don't compare the prices because at the end of day, it's the same product, no matter the format - so the price I pay is the price I choose. I've never really seen the point in comparing prices between hardcovers and paperbacks (I always go for whichever has a prettier cover), and I likewise don't see the point in comparing e-books to paperbacks.

It's all the same story, so I'll pay what I'm asked so that I have the privilege of exploring the creative fruits of somebody else.
This sums up my view as well. I don't want physical copies, so the price comparison doesn't matter. I'll base my decision on the value I place on the author's work.
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