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View Poll Results: What is an e-Book worth to you?
$0 (I get it for free!) 8 7.69%
$5 (must be cheaper than paperback) 37 35.58%
$10 (equal to paperback price) 53 50.96%
$15 (has more functionality than a paperback is hence worth more) 6 5.77%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-17-2009, 03:42 PM   #31
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Yeah, the problem is that most paperbacks from big name authors tend to come out in those larger books that go for $12-16 cover price. i.e. I've never seen a Chuck Palahniuk book in cheaper, smaller mass market paperback.

So I have little problem paying $10 for an e-book of something like that.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:18 PM   #32
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Calvin, my whys are mostly about the nature of a real book. I can loan a paper book indefinitely. Some look swell on my bookshelves. I can even sell it. But I am also in the camp who does not believe it costs publishers as much to 'make' given a paper version already produced. Bottom line, an e-book has less value to ME than a p-book.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:36 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
Calvin, my whys are mostly about the nature of a real book. I can loan a paper book indefinitely. Some look swell on my bookshelves. I can even sell it. But I am also in the camp who does not believe it costs publishers as much to 'make' given a paper version already produced. Bottom line, an e-book has less value to ME than a p-book.
I agree in terms of monetary value.

But I value the convenience of an e-book that I don't have to hassle with finding room for, packing up every time I move, or selling/giving away since most I'll only read once anyway.

So I'm fine paying up to the cost of the paperback for an e-book for convenience alone. In fact, that is the only reason I bought I Kindle in the first place. I read more now that it's much more convenient.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #34
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Now that is simply wrong. When you pay for a book, paper or otherwise, 80% (or more) of what you pay goes to pay for the cost of preparing the book.
That is simply correct, according to Eric Flint at Baen Books. That's where I got my information. Eric did a series of publishing/eBook articles in Baen Universe.

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Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
IIRC someone on this forum said that the actual printing cost (paper, ink, distribution, warehousing, etc) of a hypothetical 10,000 copy print run is about $.65/copy. This actually seems low, to me, but don't think the cost of printing the book, as opposed to preparing it for publication, is more than $1/copy-based, of course on at least 10,000 copies.
That someone didn't know what he was talking about. It's more like for every copy sold, the author GETS $0.65.

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Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
The cost of preparing the book (including editing, proofreading, royalties, advertising/promotion, etc.) are the same whether it's published as a pbook or as an ebook.
And since you only need to do all that ONCE per book, the costs of doing that are spread over all copies sold, making those costs very small - per book.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:48 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
And since you only need to do all that ONCE per book, the costs of doing that are spread over all copies sold, making those costs very small - per book.
I'll check out Eric Flint's stats later, but I'll also note that to make those costs small you either need to start with them being small or you need to spread them over a *lot* of books. Taking that hypothetical 10,000 copy run, if the one-time costs are $65,000 then that's $6.50/copy. Books from well-known authors usually sell more than 10,000 copies, of course-but the average book doesn't.

Perhaps the problem is that publishers are spreading their costs over all books. maybe if the costs were allocated according to sales it would be more fair-but it seems to me that pricing a new author's book at, say $1000/copy would result in far fewer new authors being published.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:31 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
I'll check out Eric Flint's stats later, but I'll also note that to make those costs small you either need to start with them being small or you need to spread them over a *lot* of books. Taking that hypothetical 10,000 copy run, if the one-time costs are $65,000 then that's $6.50/copy. Books from well-known authors usually sell more than 10,000 copies, of course-but the average book doesn't.

Perhaps the problem is that publishers are spreading their costs over all books. maybe if the costs were allocated according to sales it would be more fair-but it seems to me that pricing a new author's book at, say $1000/copy would result in far fewer new authors being published.
Obviously, it will vary per book. Wikipedia gives some numbers as far as what "best sellers" means.

But I believe your idea that well-known authors sell only about 10,000 books is very low. I would put the number more toward 1,000,000 for best-selling authors. 10,000 would seem more for the lesser-known authors. I can't seem to easily find sales numbers on the web (quick search before I head out for tonight).

But, you do make a valid point about the costs resulting in far fewer new authors being published. I've had new authors tell us that they paid for their own print runs. Also, I'm sure that many publishers do an analysis to see if the new author's book would sell enough to make it worthwhile.

Which makes eBooks all the more attractive. Since many of those costs simply aren't there, new authors will have a much easier time of getting ePublished.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:49 PM   #37
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$10 max, but ideally cheaper than a paperback until it can offer superior functionality compared to a paperback.

As it stands, ebooks offer LESS functionality because I can't lend them to friends like I would a paperback so they should be cheaper.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:51 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
Obviously, it will vary per book. Wikipedia gives some numbers as far as what "best sellers" means.

But I believe your idea that well-known authors sell only about 10,000 books is very low. I would put the number more toward 1,000,000 for best-selling authors. 10,000 would seem more for the lesser-known authors. I can't seem to easily find sales numbers on the web (quick search before I head out for tonight).

But, you do make a valid point about the costs resulting in far fewer new authors being published. I've had new authors tell us that they paid for their own print runs. Also, I'm sure that many publishers do an analysis to see if the new author's book would sell enough to make it worthwhile.

Which makes eBooks all the more attractive. Since many of those costs simply aren't there, new authors will have a much easier time of getting ePublished.
Thus, Amazon's DTM. I see nothing wrong with 'self'-publishing through Amazon and the Kindle.

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Old 12-17-2009, 07:34 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
Obviously, it will vary per book. Wikipedia gives some numbers as far as what "best sellers" means.

But I believe your idea that well-known authors sell only about 10,000 books is very low. I would put the number more toward 1,000,000 for best-selling authors. 10,000 would seem more for the lesser-known authors. I can't seem to easily find sales numbers on the web (quick search before I head out for tonight).

But, you do make a valid point about the costs resulting in far fewer new authors being published. I've had new authors tell us that they paid for their own print runs. Also, I'm sure that many publishers do an analysis to see if the new author's book would sell enough to make it worthwhile.

Which makes eBooks all the more attractive. Since many of those costs simply aren't there, new authors will have a much easier time of getting ePublished.
I must not have been very clear, sorry. My opinion is that *only* well-known authors sell as many as 10,000 copies of a book, and you're absolutely right that most of them sell more.

However, I've skimmed all the EF articles I could find on Baen's website and can't find any where he says that 80% of the cost is in printing & distributing a book. I did find (Prime Palaver #7) where he says the author only gets 20% of the sale (paraphrasing here) but his other comments in that article seem to me to support my contention that a substantial portion of the cost of a book goes to the startup expenses. (No, he didn't say 80% goes to startup, only that 80% goes to publishing, distribution, and selling. Which includes editing & proofing the book, as well as promoting it. And other costs as well.)
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