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Old 03-02-2009, 09:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
Couldn't agree more, the prices on Haruki Murakami novels available at BooksonBoard are schizophrenic. $18 for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. $10 for Vintage Murakami. I can't see how that makes any sense at all.
i know, it's completely insane. or my favorite example, from french publishing : l'élégance du hérisson : very nice paper edition (not hardback, but a good quality paperback. i never know what is the difference between trade and mmpb and all those terms, but it's oversized and nice paper) : 20€, reduced to 19€ at the biggest chain bookstore (fnac). same book, mobipocket version : 19€. arg !!!! (this one drives me completely batty because i want to read it but i just can't accept spending 19€ on a drm-ed mobipocket ebook. i wouldn't even pay that much for a drm-free epub edition, sheesh. half that much, and we can talk).
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Actually, perhaps the Technology companies took their pricing model from publishers. Publishers have been doing this for a lot longer than most technology companies have existed. Publishers advance authors, pay editors, pay for promotion, initial set up and generally reap this back in the higher price of initial release. Printing a book is really a small part of the costs once the setup is paid for.

Dale
i can see that being true to a point, but 1. there are other costs involved in paper publishing which don't apply to epublishing (transport, storage, inventory management, costs of running a brick and mortar store...) which are significanly higher than even the fabrication costs and which at the least can be reduced if not eliminated completely, and 2. why don't they understand that since the cost of generating more copies is nil for an ebook (not the case for a paper book) they'd do much better to sell more copies at a reasonable price ? i still haven't bought that book i mentioned, and at that price i won't. if it had been priced at 8-10€ (or even less) i would have long ago and i imagine a lot of people are like me. meanwhile i'm frustrated and cranky and harboring ill will towards Gallimard (the publisher of it) because i think they're being unnecessarily greedy.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:19 PM   #18
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I won't buy them anyway. I'd rather scan each of the books I already own of his in by hand before I buy a book infested with DRM
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
We understand why HC cost more then the MMPB. But that model fails when applied to eBooks. And eBook in a given format is still the same regardless of what versions are printed in paper. So why not just price it at the final end price and be done with it? The eBook is not going to change it's container.

Another peeve on the pricing of eBooks is that when an eBook is priced to fllow the HC price and the HC then becomes a MMPB a lot of eBooks don't reflect this change and then become more expensive then the current MMPB edition which makes it too expensive.
But just so you know, books also don't need to be published in hardcover. They do it for profit. Publishers make more of a profit on hardcovers. And they don't go into paperback until a year after they go off the bestseller list.

But I agree that they need to get better with dropping the prices when books go into paperback.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
I won't buy them anyway. I'd rather scan each of the books I already own of his in by hand before I buy a book infested with DRM
yes, another excellent point. although (sadly) i don't own the particular longed-for book i mentioned in paper either (usually i get books like that from the library, or wait for the cheaper pocket edition). thus my joy at adobe epub drm being cracked. now i can buy it, and know i'll be able to keep it.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Actually, perhaps the Technology companies took their pricing model from publishers. Publishers have been doing this for a lot longer than most technology companies have existed. Publishers advance authors, pay editors, pay for promotion, initial set up and generally reap this back in the higher price of initial release. Printing a book is really a small part of the costs once the setup is paid for.

Dale
Chronologically, that does seem more reasonable. The pharmaceutical companies operate the same way.

Kaz
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
yes, another excellent point. although (sadly) i don't own the particular longed-for book i mentioned in paper either (usually i get books like that from the library, or wait for the cheaper pocket edition). thus my joy at adobe epub drm being cracked. now i can buy it, and know i'll be able to keep it.
Definitely good news, and it's going to save a lot of us hassle in the future when we want to shift our books into the digital format that we can keep
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:16 PM   #23
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Looking at Richard Curtis' blog entry is particularly interesting in light of my experience over at Baen. They ask $6.00 for single copies of most of the books they have available -- the eReads books available there are also $6.00. But when I include discounts for buying bundles, I see that my average cost per book is about $3.40. And the word back from Baen is that they're happy with ebook sales...

Xenophon

P.S. Richard Curtis is the publisher over at eReads.

Last edited by Xenophon; 03-02-2009 at 10:17 PM. Reason: added P.S.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
Looking at Richard Curtis' blog entry is particularly interesting in light of my experience over at Baen. They ask $6.00 for single copies of most of the books they have available -- the eReads books available there are also $6.00. But when I include discounts for buying bundles, I see that my average cost per book is about $3.40. And the word back from Baen is that they're happy with ebook sales...

Xenophon
yep, i think this is why a lot of us tend to roll our eyes at ebooks priced at 20€.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Also, the article states the often wrong information that Amazon "caps" ebooks at $9.99. This is flat out wrong. Amazon never said this. I should go add that to the myths and partial truths thread.
Actually, the author of the blog doesn't state that at all. What he says is, "Amazon has strongly prescribed a $9.99 cap for books carried on the Kindle." Which means that Amazon has strongly suggested a $9.99 price cap, not that Amazon caps the price at $9.99. The author then goes on to say that 30% of the ebooks Amazon has for sale are over that $9.99 mark.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:11 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
But just so you know, books also don't need to be published in hardcover. They do it for profit. Publishers make more of a profit on hardcovers. And they don't go into paperback until a year after they go off the bestseller list.

But I agree that they need to get better with dropping the prices when books go into paperback.
Yep. Hardcovers do cost a little bit more to produce but it's not nearly responsible for the huge difference in price. It's a way to make that high price, high margin object more attractive. They want to get as much profit as they can out of the first round of buyers who are willing to pay a premium to have it now or to have a nice binding. Even if the binding isn't a big deal, it assuages the feeling of being ripped off. Eventually there'll be plenty of used copies available, you'll easily find it at the library or you'll be able to borrow it from a friend. So then they have to roll out a lower margin item to compete with these cheaper alternatives.

Amazon seems to understand the level of premium ebook consumers are willing to pay to have the book earlier rather than later. We'll pay a couple bucks but if you try to charge us $10 more when the only benefit we're getting is time, it doesn't fly. They may not care how we feel about it since ebooks aren't very common yet and they figure if we don't like it, we'll probably just go buy the hardback and they'll get their margin. They need to understand that increasingly they will be competing with free illegal downloads. Taking a lower margin is better than losing a sale. If ebooks become a lot more popular then they need to look at changing their approach to the whole market. The head-in-the-sand approach doesn't have a good track record.

Last edited by Alisa; 03-03-2009 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Typo fixing
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:51 AM   #27
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I don't know what proportion of the sale price at webscription.net goes to webscription.net and what proportion goes to Baen Books, but I suspect Baen get a lot better than the 35% that Amazon offer.

It's quite a surprise that Kindle ebook prices are so low, considering that 35%/65% split that Amazon insist upon.

Of course, traditional publisher are used to only getting around 35% of the list price of books, and having to pay for the printing out of that 35%. So they might consider that 35% with no printing costs to be pretty good. I think Amazon's taking advantage.

Lulu.com, for example, only take 20% of the price of digital media sold on their web site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
Looking at Richard Curtis' blog entry is particularly interesting in light of my experience over at Baen. They ask $6.00 for single copies of most of the books they have available -- the eReads books available there are also $6.00. But when I include discounts for buying bundles, I see that my average cost per book is about $3.40. And the word back from Baen is that they're happy with ebook sales...

Xenophon

P.S. Richard Curtis is the publisher over at eReads.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:55 AM   #28
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Edit.

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:18 AM   #29
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EDIT - "Lulu.com, for example, only take 20% of the price of digital media sold on their web site." --- But if they help you with artwork, typesetting or anything else don't they expect to be paid back for that first? I don't really understand the lulu.com business model so you can probably educate me. They always struck me a low rent.
Lulu.com are mostly a POD house, and make most of their money on the print cost of books, since the unit cost they charge is higher than (say) lightning source. On the plus side, there's no up-front costs for simple publication on their site.

As far as I know, Lulu do NOT offer help with artwork, typesetting or anything else. They do offer 'distribution' packages, including ISBNs, but again, they're a little overpriced.

They are good on PDFs - this being the PDF you uploaded (or that their automatic conversion software generated), only taking 20% of the purchase price. Similarly, they only take 20% of the price of other digital files. (& for printed books, as well as the slightly inflated print costs, they also take 20% of the difference between the sales price and the print cost.)

I suspect that, since their software handles such things pretty much automatically, they can make a good profit on just that 20%.

Amazon must be raking it in on ebooks by taking 65% of the retail price. (Although Amazon do sometimes discount the retail price, cutting into their 65% to do so.)
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:06 AM   #30
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A publisher who sells digital goods with a "per copy" pricing model is a loser.
He needs a law to force the market to adapt to his business model - and he has got it -, but he can't last long. Sooner or later he'll collapse.

;-)

It's not a matter of price. A digital copy is nothing, and you can't get money for nothing for a long time.
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