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Old 05-01-2013, 06:34 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
There are people who value an eBook higher than a pBook, for portability and storability reasons. But I think they're the exception, not the rule.
I think the exact opposite. I think the ones who value lending are the exception. I think there's a higher proportion of such people on this site but that's understandable
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:46 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
Good points latepaul.

I would caution against your housing price example though. I would agree that most people don't take into account the cost of construction of a house when they are purchasing it from someone else - "pre owned" so to speak. They do look at the value (at least the banks do) when they get an appraisal of the house, which is looking to see how much similar houses have sold for in the same area. But people who are having a new house built, or (to a slightly lesser extent) buying a new house from a developer, most certainly DO look at the cost of the construction. It determines what kind of house, with what amenities, on which plot they will build. If Builder A tries to sell me the same style house for 40% more than Builder B, when Builder A's construction costs are drastically lower because I am using lower quality materials/options than Builder B, then I most certainly would not be buying from Builder A. For your example to work you would need to compare purchasing a "pre owned" house with a "used" book.
I thought someone might say this. But what you're doing here is actually comparing value in this case the quality of the build. You're not saying I'll pay more for house B because it cost more to make you're saying I'll pay more because I believe it's better quality of build, I'll have fewer problems, less repairs etc.

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I also agree that we are somewhat in a transition phase as far as ebooks are concerned, but I think people have a fairly good idea about what they are willing to pay - even if they don't do the mental exercise of realizing that ebooks cost much less to produce, therefore should cost less. People know that a basic (old style) incandescent light bulb is easy to produce...they innately know that it should be cheap, even if they don't know the actual cost of production. They also have a pretty good grasp that LED lights are a bit more complicated to produce and therefore would cost more. I don't think you would ever find anyone who will look at the two bulbs side by side on a store shelf and be willing to pay $50 for a single 60 watt incandescent bulb when the LED is $35.
I don't think so either but I don't think most people do the mental check of probably cost of production. I think they're just used to the price of bulbs. When a new item comes on the market then people start wondering whether something is worth it and maybe speculate about production costs. Over time they get used to the price (which may come down, or not) and either feel it's worth it or not.

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The more the topic of ebook pricing comes up, the more opportunities there are to educate people. If we all act like penguins and follow the publisher's lead jumping off the iceberg, then we will all think that an ebook should cost $24.95...because that's how much hardbacks cost. Yet if we get people to think through the very basic idea that ebooks should cost less because they are so much easier to produce, then we can have a fairly priced product that makes everyone happy.
See you've just thrown out all my supposed "good points" and reduced it to "should be lower in price because it costs less" again. Costs is a factor for some people, based on the principle argument. However there are other factors - to do with perceived value - that govern what people see as "a fair price". For some people and some books this will be different from other books for other people.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:34 AM   #93
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All I know is that if I perceive that someone is making a killing based on the amount of profits they are making versus the cost it takes them to produce the item, unless it is a staple (Food) or a necessity (gasoline) I will not be purchasing it.

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:35 AM   #94
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I will pay slightly more for the ebook than they are charging for the pbook, but not a lot more. Simply because I don't want publishers to get greedy and think they can charge any price. And I would feel I was being ripped off.

In a few years new pbooks will become specialty items and we don't want the general price level to be higher then.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:31 AM   #95
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I can think of only one, maybe two, times I have purchased a new hardback book. That doesn't include those at bookstores at clearance prices cheaper than paperbacks. I know the book will eventually come down in price when the paperback is released.

I also know the price of an ebook will drop when its corresponding paperback is released. That is when I buy a select few authors works. I have enough in my TBR pile to keep me busy for a while as it is. I don't look at the price of the pbook version anymore, really. My husband is much happier since he doesn't have to haul boxes of books around or have visual confirmation of HOW MUCH I read.

If the price of an ebook is such that I am willing to pay, I buy. Pbook prices do not factor in after the initial price falls from hardback levels.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:46 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post
I thought someone might say this. But what you're doing here is actually comparing value in this case the quality of the build. You're not saying I'll pay more for house B because it cost more to make you're saying I'll pay more because I believe it's better quality of build, I'll have fewer problems, less repairs etc.
Actually I'm saying just the opposite. I will NOT buy from Builder A because he is trying to charge me 40% MORE for an item that costs less to make because I have selected lower quality options.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:47 AM   #97
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I don't compare ONLY to the paper version. I also compare books of similar quality/value to me of ebooks that I have bought recently or want to buy. If one publisher of similar books is consistantly higher priced than another publisher I would feel his books are over priced. This is harder to judge if the publishers are colluding on price rather than competing but not impossible.

Feeling like I've allowed myself to be overcharged would remove at least some of my enjoyment of the book. No one likes to feel cheated or taken advantage of or simply a bad shopper.

It is also the case that I'm buying books faster than I'm reading them. I always seem to have from 50-100 books bought but not yet read. These are not freebies but books I paid for and want and intend to read. It doesn't make much sense to let myself be overcharged only let that book sit at the end of a long list for months on end. Better to wait until I'm more caught up and the price has possibly dropped. Thank you EreaderIQ!

It makes even less sense if I'm replacing my paper keepers. I already have the paper version if I want to reread it. I can wait a long time to replace it or never replace it if I must.

If I didn't have a long TBR list or if there was some particular book that I had to read RIGHT NOW ahead of all my other unread books I might pay more. But like buying new release hardbacks that situation occurs for me once in a blue moon.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #98
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Actually I'm saying just the opposite. I will NOT buy from Builder A because he is trying to charge me 40% MORE for an item that costs less to make because I have selected lower quality options.
Right I got my A & B confused. Mea culpa.

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Old 05-01-2013, 10:27 AM   #99
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i don't think i'd pay more for an ebook than the paperback version (hardback if brand new), and prefer to pay less than $6.99 if possible. if a book is over $7.99 and there's a used paperback version, i may buy that - although our house is FILLED with books. i do sometimes buy my favorite books in paperback or hardback, and i try first books in a series in used paperback sometimes as it's often cheaper than the ebook version. it all depends on what author, what series, how new and what mood i'm in.

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I recently read the first book in the When Women Were Warriors series. I enjoyed it and was looking forward to the next book in the series -- until I saw the price: $9.99. The third volume in the series was also $9.99. I simply will not pay that amount for an ebook, especially not when there are so many good ebooks available for significantly less and not when my TBR pile has more ebooks in it than I am likely to be able to read in my remaining years.
i actually contacted the author about this, and her feeling was that since the first book was free, that meant that the series averaged to less per ebook. generally i've gotten free ebooks that led to additional books in the series for $3.99 to $7.99, so they average out to less...
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:54 AM   #100
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If eBooks had the same functionality as pBooks, I don't think it would be an argument. The reality is that the eBook cannot be loaned as many times as you wish, resold, or given away after you've read it. Thus, I think people perceive the value as lower for a pBook. "I might really love this and want to share it with others," is a factor that holds me back from buying many eBooks. Oddly, then, the ebooks I'm most likely to buy are the ones I expect to like the least.

In exchange for that lower value, we expect a lower price. And the justification for the expected lower price is the fact that printing and shipping and storing and disposing of unsold copies are all costs that don't exist with eBooks. So we expect that because costs *and* functionality are lower, the price should reflect that reality.

There are people who value an eBook higher than a pBook, for portability and storability reasons. But I think they're the exception, not the rule.
I don't see either eBooks or pBooks as having higher value; they share many values (particularly the content) and have different ones too.

Any of these values may/will hold a different weight for different people. I don't think those who value eBooks equally with pBooks are in the minority of those who utilize both (and are not 100% in one camp or another).

The pBook values you mention: easily loaned, sold, or given away hold almost no value for me.

eBooks, on the the other hand, have not just portability and storability on their side, but durability. I'm a re-reader and have read to death multiple copies of some books. So having a copy that won't wear, yellow, stain, crack, tear, spindle, mutilate, fold, etc. Is of great value to me. Admittedly, some of those high-use volumes I have also invested in quality hardcover editions of (instead of or in addition).

Even when it comes to costs of production (since the industry is so cagey about releasing actual figures) a lot of personal perception goes into it. Some will see that there are no physical costs to a eBook, so it must be lower cost to produce. Others will see the extra time/costs/steps it takes to produce simultaneous print and electronic editions as offsetting to an extent (though not completely, I'm sure) the savings from distribution/printing.

But the value proposition of any book purchase relies heavily on personal factors and perceptions.

Everyone just has to make that purchase decision on their own.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:01 PM   #101
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In a case where ebooks and hard covers are the same price, I don't buy either, but get it from the library.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:16 PM   #102
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I've read ebooks for so long that my brain no longer even initially registers piles of stuck together paper as a book. So comparing the price of a book to the price of a small paper brick never even occurs to me. No more than checking out the price of brussel sprouts if I want spinach. I make the decision based on the worth of the story to me, which is different for every story but ranges between $2.99 and $8.99.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:18 PM   #103
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What I can't quite grasp is the hostility to publishers charging what they want to for ebooks, and the great desire to resell books.

Used bookstores pay pretty well nothing after initial startup and most want 50% of your trade/purchase in cash.
One is lucky to recoup 20% of the price you paid for a used pbook in a trade in situation.

pay $7.50 for a used $10 book, get $3.75 trade in value. Pay $3.75 in cash. Savings would seem to be $3.75, but you already paid $7.50 for the book you traded so for 2 books you are paying $11.25 a savings of almost 50% and you still have credit. So you buy another $10 book which is another $3.75 bringing the total to $15 for 3 books. Here you are getting your 50% savings.

But.. Many used bookstores will not take all of your books as trades. Especially bestsellers as they already have many copies in inventory. Frustrating.
You spend time and money transporting your used books to the bookstore and some are turned away even if you bought them there.

The bookstore grants you 50% credit of their selling price, but at the same time gets $3.75 or more cash so worst case they are breaking even on transaction. And just try returning a used book because of missing pages.

And as I said before, most used bookstores pay nothing for inventory, get their books hand delivered by the customer, make a tidy profit on most transactions as most people who trade 4 books, buy 4 or more books, netting the bookstore double what they have given in trade in credit. They often do pay rent and minimum wage to their employees, but compared to cash layouts by publishers this is a pittance. So why is there not more animousity towards used bookstores?

And selling on Amazon/Ebay seesm to be pointless in most instances. Most used books are selling at 90% less than cover price and one assumes tha tthe average reader would be selling only one copy of the book. Many, if not most books with a cover price of $9.99 are selling for &0.99. So you get your 10% back but is it worth the trouble of setting yourself up as a retailer to do this. If you read 7 books a week, you can save a whopping $7 if you manage to sell them all, the buyer may pay shipping, but you have to spend time and energy, perhaps gas and wrapping paper to fulfill requirements. Spending even an hour of your time to recoup $0.99 seems just plain silly to me.

My opinion only, but the advantages of selling used books are highly overrated

Helen

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:04 AM   #104
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Used bookstores pay pretty well nothing after initial startup and most want 50% of your trade/purchase in cash.
One is lucky to recoup 20% of the price you paid for a used pbook in a trade in situation.
Don't forget that for a while there were a few on-line book trading sites available to those in the US. Many with good selections and better prices than a UBS.

I know some have closed, but the one I belong to is still doing a great amount of trading. As of today, they have 4.8 million books available, 632,000 of those unique titles. The cost for a credit to get any of those books is media mail costs, what you can buy them for from other members. (I last bought a batch at $2.60 each last time) or from the club Kiosk at $3.95.

Cheaper than most of the catalog at my local UBS, especially for hardbacks. Better selection too.

They're coming up on 15 million books traded since they opened, and now are selling books themselves.

For a lot of people, it's very important that a book be tradeable, because that's how they keep their TBR piles rotated out for fresh book. So they're geared to want books that can be traded and keep their stash full at a price they can afford.

For me, I value the portablility of the ebooks, the better readability, and will only pay what I think one reading is worth to me. Just like I decide which movie I'll pay for VIP tickets, which I'll pay general seating, and which I'll wait until it shows up on tv. And since I'm a re-reader, that second read is just icing on the cake.

And some just like paper first and foremost. They always will.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #105
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My opinion only, but the advantages of selling used books are highly overrated
Same for CD's. If I discover a new artist and want to buy many of his CD's (so I can create my own MP3 and FLAC files from them), then I often do so at the Amazon.co.uk marketplace. Many CD's are only GBP 0.01, and cost GBP 2.45 to ship to the Netherlands. Of course, the seller will make some profit on the shipping, but not too much probably. I can get CD's shipped to my door for less than GBP 2.50 (EUR 2.97), and we're talking about CD's that cost GBP 9.99-14.99 new.

The same goes for sheet music books, and there the savings are often even bigger. I can get sheet music books shipped to me for 5 pounds or less, books that easily cost 25 pounds or more when new.

If I wanted paperbacks, the same would apply. I'd probably pay less than GBP 3.00 to get them shipped to my home.

Sometimes I wonder why people bother reselling that stuff. If they make GBP 1,00 per book (off the shipping cost), then I think it's much already.
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