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Old 03-05-2011, 05:38 AM   #166
pdurrant
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
For example: "Caught" by Harlan Coben (NYT Best Seller released last March) is currently $15, and the paperback will be released in a few weeks.

"Fantasy In Death" by JD Robb (NYT Best Seller last February) is now $7 in ebook, and $8 in paperback.
In the UK, for your two example books:

Caught: £3.99 paperback, £4.99 Kindle
Fantasy in Death: £5.23 paperback, £6.98 Kindle

Caught is so cheap because the paperback is already out in the UK.

Here's one that isn't. The latest No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency:
£7.64 hardback, £8.99 Kindle

Are Amazon losing money on these hardbacks and paperbacks? I rather doubt it. Which means that the publishers must be giving Amazon a 55% to 60% discount on the paper books, and Amazon are taking just 5% of the RRP. Or about 10% of the price they sellling at.

What's astonishing about the Agency pricing is the vast percentage the publishers are giving the retailers: 30% of the selling price. That's the big problem with Agency pricing — too much is going to the retailer!

Anyway, it's a good thing I have a large TBR pile, and several months of webscriptions yet to buy. I refuse to buy an ebook for more than the paper book, and with Agency pricing it seems that's the order of the day from the big publishers through Amazon.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:58 AM   #167
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Anyway, it's a good thing I have a large TBR pile, and several months of webscriptions yet to buy. I refuse to buy an ebook for more than the paper book, and with Agency pricing it seems that's the order of the day from the big publishers through Amazon.
But the price difference is not very big if you add VAT to the paper book price. And is the download part of the price removed? If not maybe the price from the publisher is lower than the paper book?
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:08 AM   #168
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But the price difference is not very big if you add VAT to the paper book price. And is the download part of the price removed? If not maybe the price from the publisher is lower than the paper book?
There's no extra download fee in the UK now.

VAT certainly makes a difference, especially as it's now 20% on ebooks in the UK. Tough. On a reasonable ebook price, that's going to be roughly the same as the cost of printing, storage and distribution for paper books.

I might just be willing to pay the same price for an ebook as for a paperback.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:58 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
"Promptly," no. It takes about a year after the book is released for the ebook prices to drop -- it's currently linked to the paperback release.
. . .
I don't know if anyone has actually tracked the prices on a large number of titles, though, which would be a far more accurate and useful measure.
Pricing has dropped but not realistically on agency-priced nonfiction. For example, Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years was sold in hardcover at release for about $24.70 (after discounts) and the ebook was sold for $29.99 (which is the price I paid). The paperback has been released and it sells for $15.98 (after discounts) and the ebook price has dropped to $18.99. This is a Penguin book.

One would think that with the release of the paperback that the publisher had already sucked out all of the gazillions in profit it was supposed to reap from the hardcover sales, which were the justification for the high ebook price, yet the ebook being still priced higher than the paperback belies that rationale.

What I see -- at least in the nonfiction pricing -- is that the Agency 6 really want to make it painful for anyone to buy an ebook.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:02 PM   #170
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....

What I see -- at least in the nonfiction pricing -- is that the Agency 6 really want to make it painful for anyone to buy an ebook.

That's exactly what most people said when it started and it is what I see continuing. These idiots need to embrace the future, change their ways or they will go the same way the dinosaurs did.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #171
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I'm with Jon on this. Most if not all of the Agency books I am interested in went up substantially when the Agency agreement went into effect. I read mostly Science Fiction, Romance/Paranormal and History/Biography. No retailer discounts or coupons make the ebooks more expensive than their physical counterparts. I expect to pay more for History/Biography, smaller market but I have a dozen books on my wishlist and they have not come down in price. Even after the release of paperback versions.

My personal stance is to buy *used* Agency books when I absolutely want the book.
We are supposed to be getting a price drop when a new lower priced paper edition comes out. But in most cases it doesn't happen. Also, the price drop sometimes brings the eBook higher then the pBook (without any discounts). So what is the benefit to the consumer? There isn't any. To be honest, it's getting to the point that I an considering a trip to the dark side which is actually not as dark as it used to be and that the white light is turning a very dirty gray shade now.

If they want us to actually buy their product, they need to make it such that we want to buy it. They took what we were willing to buy and made it into something else.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #172
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That's exactly what most people said when it started and it is what I see continuing. These idiots need to embrace the future, change their ways or they will go the same way the dinosaurs did.
rawr

yeah, it's quite annoying when you see that the pbook version is priced lower than the ebook. it's still on my wishlist, though maybe someday

hmmm > http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...-in-australia/

Last edited by wyndslash; 03-06-2011 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:44 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
In the UK, for your two example books....
I'm not sure you are quite catching my drift; I am not discussing a comparison of ebook and paper prices. The fact that ebooks have a 20% VAT and paper does not, and that the UK does not have an equivalent to a Lang Law, all but guarantees that ebooks will cost more.

For example, the RRP on the "Saturday Big Tent Wedding" is £17, and Amazon charges £7.64. Unless UK wholesale pricing is very different than the US (which is possible), Amazon pays the publisher £7 - £8 per copy, and likely loses a small amount of money on each sale.

It is almost certain that Amazon is losing money on selected paper books. It is routine for Amazon to treat best sellers as loss leaders; take a small loss on certain aspects, but in return gain customer loyalty and, therefore, additional sales that do turn a profit.


All of that, while perhaps of interest, is not what I'm discussing. I'm pointing out that when agency pricing went into effect, the early adopters were horrified that the $10 price point would disappear. What has largely happened, though, is that new ebooks are in the $12-$14 range, and they usually (but not always) fall to $10 around the same time that the paperback is issued. Indexing the price drop to the paperback release is mostly an accommodation to the existing business practices, than a desire to low-ball the paper prices.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:25 PM   #174
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Pricing has dropped but not realistically on agency-priced nonfiction.....
It has for the non-fiction books I've purchased.

And a few others as well. Considering the following list, from the February 7th 2010 NY Times Non-Fiction Best Seller Hardcover list, all agency priced. Current prices:

Game Change: $10
Committed, A Love Story: $10
Stones into Schools: $10
Going Rogue: $10
Outliers: $13
Just Kids: $10
Checlist Manifesto: $10
Super Freakonomics: $15
What The Dog Saw: $15

Many of the titles on Amazon's current best seller non-fiction list are $13. $13 isn't as good as $8 or $10, no question, but it's hardly an indication that the industry is still desperately and vainly erecting sand berms against ebooks.

I'm confident that, by now, the top execs in the publishing biz fully realize that ebooks will have a major chunk of the market in just a few years. In fact that is precisely why they jumped on agency pricing, and were willing to go to the mat with Amazon over it.


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One would think that with the release of the paperback that the publisher had already sucked out all of the gazillions in profit it was supposed to reap from the hardcover sales....
Sure, if one believed that every single title goes into the black. However, as I would think you'd know by now, many titles don't turn a profit in the first place, and are subsidized by the few winners.

The result, by the way, is that publisher's net profit margins are not particularly outrageous -- anywhere from 5% - 10% -- hardly an example of extortionate margins. (See http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...rousel-up.html for an example.)

So in some cases, yes the paperback rakes in additional profits. In others, it's a last chance to go into the black.
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