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Old 06-08-2013, 07:19 PM   #16
Xanthe
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
The flip side of that is that it's pretty hard to sale volume 5 of a series when a new reader can't get volumes 1 - 4. There have been quite a few books over the years where I saw a new book in a series, wanted to get the first book but couldn't, so I passed on them all.
I've found that to be true, too. I'll see an interesting ebook that's maybe #5 or #9 in a series that I've never heard of before, and since I like to read series books from the first book I look for the first ones. A number of times I've found that they either aren't available or are only available via the used market for a much higher price. I'll pass on the whole series then.

I no longer trust publishers to know what will sell, and I think their disregard of OOP authors is very short-sighted. On the Dark Side, I've seen people put up scanned and corrected copies of OOP authors that are snapped up by folks who read those authors years ago and who have been just waiting for ebook copies of the pbooks they can no longer find to become available from publishers. That's sales that are just being thrown away; it's not even a matter of the old piracy debate because those books aren't even available for purchase.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Personally I think the publishing houses should not have digital rights, they should
remain with the author. What books have commercial viability, as ebooks, should be
the author's call, not the corporate publishing house's accountant. An author who
sees the ebook sales of his "backlist", which he is able to offer from his own site,
dramatically increase when he has a new book out; might be motivated to produce
more books.

The article was written as if the retailers can dictate to the publishers the format of
the books they will sell, and require the publisher to make the ebooks contain the
retailer's proprietary format &/or DRM. Isn't it the retailers who are actually creating
the proprietary format &/or DRM laden ebook from a digital file the publisher is providing?
(Don't some of them even provide tools/services so that unpublished authors can
have their files made into the format the retailer wants/uses?)

Luck;
Ken

I believe that whither or not an ebook has DRM is completely up to the publisher, or whomever the copyrights holder is.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post

I no longer trust publishers to know what will sell, and I think their disregard of OOP authors is very short-sighted. On the Dark Side, I've seen people put up scanned and corrected copies of OOP authors that are snapped up by folks who read those authors years ago and who have been just waiting for ebook copies of the pbooks they can no longer find to become available from publishers. That's sales that are just being thrown away; it's not even a matter of the old piracy debate because those books aren't even available for purchase.
The publisher may no longer have or never had the digital rights for the older OOP titles. Absence results from the author or his estate not offering it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:15 PM   #19
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While the notion that every pirated download equals a lost sale is silly, I think it's a lot less silly to think that an e-book sale in most cases means a lost paper copy sale.

Consumers seem to expect e-books to be priced comparable to paperbacks, but to be available when hardbacks are issued--which means the publishers are in a position of undercutting their own hardback sales of new books.
Except for folks like me. I no longer have room for books on paper. So it's ebook or nothing. And I won't pay hardcover prices for ebooks.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post
If publishers had any sense, they would start rolling out ebooks of OOP authors and the entire back catalogs of the still-publishing ones. And if they were really smart, they'd do all of the conversions in-house so that they could control the quality.
For book fans this would be great of course. Depending on how OOP the authors/books are the publisher are unlikely to have the rights as they would have reverted to the author or his/her estate. Back catalogs of course make sense (however a lot of early books in long running series reside with authors), but it's got to be a tough balance of what to put out and how quickly vs how many copies are likely to sell. A book that might only sell a few thousand copies over a few years isn't going to earn back anything very quickly. Some of this is likely why many back list conversions are farmed out to overseas companies and seem to have had little to no proofreading done, although in my experience that seems to have gotten better.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:45 PM   #21
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I no longer have room for books on paper. So it's ebook or nothing. And I won't pay hardcover prices for ebooks.
Same here. ebooks or nothing although I'm actually willing to pay hardcover prices for ebooks if it's something I'm desperate to read right away. Not willing to pay more than hardcover price, though.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:35 AM   #22
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I have this aversion to paying money for things I don't actually want. For the most part, paper books fall into this category.

If the publisher does not offer the goods I want (ebook), then I am hardly going to give them money for something that purports to have the same functionality but is missing several important features in that it:

1. Requires me to find extra storage space to house unwanted hardware (paper).
2. Requires me to use extra equipment in order to access any features at all in certain circumstances (switching on the overhead light at night).
3. Is either not portable, or requires me to organise transport facilities at my own inconvenience (try putting a two-inch thick fantasy novel in your trouser pocket and see how far you get).
4. Has only single-user capability rather than the dual-user functionality required in a household consisting of two rabid readers.

It's a bit like asking for a scientific calculator and being offered a slide-rule. You only accept the slide rule if there are really important calculations you have to do right now; otherwise, you find a different shop that will sell you a calculator, borrow one, or go without.

Luckily, publishers do seem to be catching on to the idea that ebooks are not just some techo-geek craze that will disappear in a year or two. Kindle-spotting is a bit of a hobby of mine in public places, and the number of people you see with e-readers has gone up massively in the last year or three. We are also seeing more and more authors' backlists being published. I tend to keep an eye on what's coming out on Amazon, and it's easy to spot the backlists: you see a whole clutch of books by the same author becoming available on the same day. I think publishers are also catching on to the idea that it's possible to make a bit of money out of the older titles that have been out of print or in the doldrums for years - if you look at some of the publication dates, ebooks are coming out for authors who haven't had a new edition of anything published in over a decade.

It is undeniably frustrating when only part of a series has been published as an ebook, or worse yet, when a new book comes out with no hint of an electronic edition, but I think things are improving. One wonders whether a watershed was J.K. Rowling giving in on the subject of Harry Potter ebooks - she had always been vehemently against ebooks; one wonders whether other publishers/authors decided that if she saw the writing on the wall in the advance of ebooks clearly enough to cave in, then it was probably not something anyone else could avoid. Better to give in now with good grace than find your book sales taking a hit as people who'd invested in a book reader wanted to spend their money on content for it? After all, unless you're a die-hard fan of an author and will buy their work regardless of format, readers are going to direct themselves towards format first and content second - if all you want is 'a book' and you have a reader, you'll probably look at the ebooks first.

That is, of course, the other argument. There's the almost ideological stance of the ebook advocate, but then there's the man-in-the-street who wants to get the best value out of his investment in a book reader. If you've just paid out £50 or whatever for a book reader, it's an embarrassing waste of money if you still buy mostly paper books.

I think we reached the tipping point a year or two ago: now, no matter how much kicking and screaming they do, the publishing industry is having to move towards ebooks. Personally, I think we will see the mass market paperback disappear eventually; the ebook will be the edition of choice for day-to-day reading, and the hardback for people who want a 'display' copy.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:03 AM   #23
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Same here. ebooks or nothing although I'm actually willing to pay hardcover prices for ebooks if it's something I'm desperate to read right away. Not willing to pay more than hardcover price, though.
I'm a desperado. Inflexible. Never desperate. Always seeking desperate women. Never finding any. Guess I'm in a pickle.

"I wear lace and I wear black leather."
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #24
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It's amazing the number of people who have gone completely electronic. Yes, a large number of people are still buying pbooks, but I believe the market of people who have gone completely electronic is larger. Not larger in numbers, but larger in the number of books they buy and read, and larger in disposable income. I think this stance of "No, you can't have our book" making me want it more is ridiculous. I now buy or borrow books based on what the library has in stock, and what new books I see on TV. Picked up a couple political books recently - one was under $12, but one was over, and I decided to wait and see if it comes down. But that isn't any different than pbooks.

I used to buy several hundred $$ of pblooks a year; I don't buy that many ebooks, because I just can't find ebooks I want to read that are priced at a level that I consider value for what they bring. For example, I bought a pbook of No Easy Day. When I finished reading it, I gave it to my husband. He gave it to his sister. I bet that book will get 10 readings before it goes to a library book sale. The Unwinding, which I bought as an ebook, will probably be read by me and my husband only. I have liberated the book, but I don't feel comfortable sending it outside our family. That makes each reading of No Easy Day $1.89, and each reading of The Unwinding at $5.98
If I could have passed The Unwinding around like I pass around pbooks, I would be willing to pay the same price.

Last edited by Sydney's Mom; 06-12-2013 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #25
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While the notion that every pirated download equals a lost sale is silly, I think it's a lot less silly to think that an e-book sale in most cases means a lost paper copy sale.
Performance on radio is a lost sale.

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Consumers seem to expect e-books to be priced comparable to paperbacks, but to be available when hardbacks are issued--which means the publishers are in a position of undercutting their own hardback sales of new books.
T&T companies undercut hand delivered printed telegram sales when phone calls are available as soon as telegrams.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:09 PM   #26
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Performance on radio is a lost sale.



T&T companies undercut hand delivered printed telegram sales when phone calls are available as soon as telegrams.
I know Radio play pays royalties to ASCAP or BMI for every song (they must keep records and send a check periodically). I believe other performances have a similar system
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:57 AM   #27
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T&T companies undercut hand delivered printed telegram sales when phone calls are available as soon as telegrams.
I read today that the last telegram service in the world, in India, is ending later this year.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:16 AM   #28
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It's amazing the number of people who have gone completely electronic. Yes, a large number of people are still buying pbooks, but I believe the market of people who have gone completely electronic is larger. Not larger in numbers, but larger in the number of books they buy and read, and larger in disposable income. I think this stance of "No, you can't have our book" making me want it more is ridiculous. I now buy or borrow books based on what the library has in stock, and what new books I see on TV. Picked up a couple political books recently - one was under $12, but one was over, and I decided to wait and see if it comes down. But that isn't any different than pbooks.

I used to buy several hundred $$ of pblooks a year; I don't buy that many ebooks, because I just can't find ebooks I want to read that are priced at a level that I consider value for what they bring. For example, I bought a pbook of No Easy Day. When I finished reading it, I gave it to my husband. He gave it to his sister. I bet that book will get 10 readings before it goes to a library book sale. The Unwinding, which I bought as an ebook, will probably be read by me and my husband only. I have liberated the book, but I don't feel comfortable sending it outside our family. That makes each reading of No Easy Day $1.89, and each reading of The Unwinding at $5.98
If I could have passed The Unwinding around like I pass around pbooks, I would be willing to pay the same price.

To a great extent, I think that what you say is true. I've switched completely over to ebooks and I'm one of those readers who buys a lot of books (in excess of 100 books so far this year). If they didn't make it so blamed hard to discover when older books become available in ebooks, I would probably buy even more.

Personally, I see the value of the book in the content of the book, not the format, so I have no problem paying the going market price for ebooks. My buying habits for ebooks is pretty close to what my buying habits for dead tree books.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #29
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I am fine with the way most ebooks are priced. I do think that they should be priced the same as a paperback when the paperback is out but overall, I am paying for the content not the format. In some ways, I am paying for the convience. I am ok with that. I know that there are others who are not and who think that the prices should be a lot lower.

All pricing info below is pure speculation.

Honestly, I don't know what it costs to pay someone to edit a book, pay someone else to proof read a book, pay someone else to format a book, and pay for long term storage of a book (probably on multiple servers.) I don't think that it is all that cheap to do all of that. While there is money saved on paper, transportation, ink, and storage costs I am guessing that the amount saved really is not that great. Given the vloume of business that the major publishers do, they probably have pretty good deals on the cost of paper, ink, transportation, and storage. Toss in that right now, they are probably paying higher costs for paper, ink and transportation because the quanity has diminished (which negates some of the bulk purchase savings) and they have to format the book for hardback, paperback, and ebook and it could overall be more expensive to produce a book in all its formats.

I think the cost of ebooks will drop as time goes on but I dount it will get down to the price point that some folks want. I think it is one thing for an independent author to charge $2 or less for a ebook then the Publishing houses given the work that the Publishing houses put into books. An Independent author can choose to use an editor, a proofreader, and someone to help design the cover but they don't have to. And they pay those people a specific rate. They are not responsible for benefits, a 401K, PTO, sick leave and all that the Publishers are for their employees.

I would guess that the Indie authors who use editors and proofreaders charge a bit more for their books to help recoop their costs.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #30
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The "Every e-book sale is a lost p-book sale" belief of the BPHs, is a little odd, in the business sense. They must see a number of things that make for lost sales, how they respond to them means a lot.

Every competitor's p-book sale, is a lost sale. So, the need to gain market share, maybe lower prices.

Bad customer servicing results in lost sales. Appoint or Fire a director of customer relations. Take it more seriously.

A competitor's product has features that are more in demand than the features on our product, which leads to lost sales. We need to beef up Product Development, find some new talent.

Misdirected marketing leads to lost sales. Find out who wants our product and how to reach them. Do, or better yet, pay for a market study.

How are they responding to the Idea that "Every e-book sale is a lost p-book sale"?

I have no answer, just the perception that their response has not been effective, (or perhaps even rational) and that they would just as soon ignore the existence of e-books.

Luck;
Ken
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