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Old 12-09-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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Simon & Schuster is delaying ebooks by four months

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After hardcover and before paperback. In Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy's mind, this is when we as consumers should be expecting the digital copies of their favorite page turners to come out. Putting money where its mouth is, so to speak, the company has announced that for around 35 of its major releases coming early next year, the e-book iterations won't be out until four months after the physical releases.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...263227740.html

Last edited by pilotbob; 12-10-2009 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by markbot View Post
If eBook publications are going to be delayed, I guess I won't be buying any new releases from these publishers.


Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster:
Quote:
The right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback
David Young, chief executive of the Hachette Book Group:
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We're doing this to preserve our industry
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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In case trouble accessing the article:


Two Major Publishers To Hold Back E-Books


By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG

Simon & Schuster is delaying by four months the electronic-book editions of about 35 leading titles coming out early next year, taking a dramatic stand against the cut-rate $9.99 pricing of e-book best sellers.

A second publisher, Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group, said it has similar plans in the works.

"The right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback," said Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS Corp. "We believe some people will be disappointed. But with new [electronic] readers coming and sales booming, we need to do this now, before the installed base of e-book reading devices gets to a size where doing it would be impossible."


The efforts cap a tumultuous year for publishers as the industry begins a migration from traditional truck-and-bookshelf distribution to nearly simultaneous wireless delivery to consumers. It is also an acknowledgment that book pricing has become the most significant issue on the publishing landscape.

E-book readers from Amazon.com Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. have become hot Christmas gifts this year, and a host of new devices are coming in 2010. In addition, many people now read e-books on their iPhones, BlackBerry devices and personal computers.

....




Jeffrey Trachtenberg discusses the book publishing industry's struggle to find the right pricing and release timetable for e-books versus hard cover titles.

....

MORE AT WSJ..


Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at jeffrey.trachtenberg@wsj.com

Last edited by Spectrum; 12-10-2009 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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For books that I absolutely have to read when it is released, I would gladly pay the same as the asking price for the hardcover.
For all others I am willing to wait. Hell, that is what I am doing with Under the Dome.

Then again, nothing encourages piracy than stupid actions like this
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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One word "Boycott". All publishers and authors who support this tactic.

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Old 12-09-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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For books that I absolutely have to read when it is released, I would gladly pay the same as the asking price for the hardcover.
Seconded !
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:42 PM   #7
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I think an email needs to go to these publishers every time their actions cause a book to be acquired from the darkside;

"Oh look at that! You just lost another sale!"

I don't have a problem with these folks earning their money, but they need to be realistic. even hardback books get to the used bookstore faster than the paperback comes out. they do indeed need a huge reality check
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kindlekitten View Post
I think an email needs to go to these publishers every time their actions cause a book to be acquired from the darkside;

"Oh look at that! You just lost another sale!"

I don't have a problem with these folks earning their money, but they need to be realistic. even hardback books get to the used bookstore faster than the paperback comes out. they do indeed need a huge reality check
I think it is all about control. They cannot control the used book market but then can control the release of the eBook to try and maximize the sales
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
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Increasingly, publishers have come to fear that the bargain prices will lead consumers to conclude that books are worth only $10, or less, upsetting the pricing model that has survived for decades
Maybe the pricing model is due to be upset. Publishers have been hesitant to accept ebooks and the prices people demand for that medium. If they continue to be stubborn and don't make changes, they may not exist in 10 years time.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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The article does not say so explicitly, but these publishers seem to be assuming that they can release 4 months later at the same list price as the hardcover. They are relying on Amazon to continue to take a hit on these titles and offer them at $9.99.

If publishers want to experiment with 4 months later at a lower list price (i.e. less income for them and their authors per sale), this is an approach that has an outside chance of working. I think 4 months later and sky high list prices is very likely to fail.

Either way, the authors of these titles are going to loose money due to the publisher's games. I think this is where the "we need to do this now" comes from, publishers know this is going to loose money for these titles but if only 5-10% of early sales are from ebooks perhaps their authors won't scream too loudly about the money the publishers are taking out of their pockets. Publishers are not in the business of enriching authors, but if I was one of the authors they screwed in this way I would look for another publisher.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by grooks View Post
If they continue to be stubborn and don't make changes, they may not exist in 10 years time.
Exactly. I have never bought a hardback book in my life, and certainly will not start now. I don't even buy paperbacks anymore because I haven't got the space to keep them. So it is a mistake to assume that an ebook sale represents a lost hardback sale. In many cases like mine, it represents a sale of any kind where previously no sale of any kind would happen.

Four month wait? I'll get the dead tree at the library and by the time the ebook comes out, I won't want it.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #12
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So waiting for a few months to buy the newest book is "forcing" someone to get a stolen version of the book? thats rather drastic. why not just shift your book buying schedule a few months so you are not "forced" to steal? grab a couple of free classics or even purchase something else you wanted to read while you wait a couple months?

They don't put out the paperback at the same time as the hardcover, does that "force" you to steal the hardcover?
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:44 PM   #13
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If I don't purchase the ebook, I don't purchase the pbook. If it's something I really want I will buy it used.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:49 PM   #14
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Well, if they think by doing this they will "force" me to buy the hardback, they are entirely mistaken. Won't happen. And if the release 4 months later of the ebook is at the hardback price, then I won't be buying that either. I'll wait until the ebook is at the paperback price, no matter how long it takes, or I'll visit my library. It's my money and they better not count on a dime.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulin's Books View Post
So waiting for a few months to buy the newest book is "forcing" someone to get a stolen version of the book? thats rather drastic. why not just shift your book buying schedule a few months so you are not "forced" to steal? grab a couple of free classics or even purchase something else you wanted to read while you wait a couple months?

They don't put out the paperback at the same time as the hardcover, does that "force" you to steal the hardcover?
it's a simple matter of who provides the best service. If they offer a book four months after it is rationally available as a digital product and the pirates offer it a few days after release, why should anybody wait? This isn't 2001, they don't get to set the rules any longer. Doesn't matter for me anyway, I won't buy anything from traditional publishers any more, and my boycott has been in action for quite awhile now. They start getting my custom when they stop treating writers like shit, and not before.

Last edited by Moejoe; 12-11-2009 at 06:13 AM. Reason: removed one too many 'longers' :)
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