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Old 12-15-2011, 09:42 AM   #1
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Sticker Shock for E-Book Readers

There is an interesting article in the WSJ today entitled "Sticker Shock for E-Book Readers" (just google the title, it might be behind a paywall). The article discusses how the higher prices for e-books may be hurting e-book sales and the reason for the higher prices. All in all, it seems to reflect the discussion here. Most interesting to me is that the price for some e-books is actually more than the dead tree price since the retailer can discount the dead tree price, but not the e-book price.

I wonder if, assuming that what is in the article is true, the publishers will back off the current pricing model and go back to letting the retailer set the price.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:46 AM   #2
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Call me a cynical old git, but I think a lot of the decision makers in publishers are coming close to retirement so they won't want any major shift in business model in case it affects their pension.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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I have not seen any new e-books priced higher than the corresponding new hardcover book. Paperbacks and/or backlist books, yes, but brand-new books? No. In my experience, the e-books are always cheaper, and often substantially so. E.g., I bought Anne Perry's latest book earlier this year for myself in e-book form, for $12.99. I bought it as a gift for a friend in hardcover just yesterday, for $16.35.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I have not seen any new e-books priced higher than the corresponding new hardcover book. Paperbacks and/or backlist books, yes, but brand-new books? No. In my experience, the e-books are always cheaper, and often substantially so. E.g., I bought Anne Perry's latest book earlier this year for myself in e-book form, for $12.99. I bought it as a gift for a friend in hardcover just yesterday, for $16.35.
I've come across some new releases of e-books priced higher than the corresponding new hardcover book.

Examples: The Race ~ Cussler and How Firm a Foundation ~ Weber.
Quote:
This price was set by the publisher
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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If the high prices are hurting ebook sales, how come Amazon's ebook sales keep going up and up, and have now surpassed print book sales?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_864387.html

I can't read the article, so I don't know if they address that or not.

eP
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetdogeared View Post
I've come across some new releases of e-books priced higher than the corresponding new hardcover book.

Examples: The Race ~ Cussler and How Firm a Foundation ~ Weber.
???

The Cussler book at Amazon is $17.78 in hardcover, $14.99 in digital edition.

The Weber book at Amazon is $13.99 in hardcover, $12.99 in digital edition.

The e-book version is cheaper than the hardcover.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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In the Canadian amazon.com store, the Cussler ebook is $18.04. We get dinged with the border crossing byte tax.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I have not seen any new e-books priced higher than the corresponding new hardcover book. Paperbacks and/or backlist books, yes, but brand-new books? No. In my experience, the e-books are always cheaper, and often substantially so. E.g., I bought Anne Perry's latest book earlier this year for myself in e-book form, for $12.99. I bought it as a gift for a friend in hardcover just yesterday, for $16.35.
If you mean not higher than the publisher's retail price for the hardcover (undiscounted price), then you are right. If you mean price in the marketplace, then you are wrong. I have bought several ebooks that cost more than what the hardcover cost me. In one instance, the ebook cost $7 more than the hardcover.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
If you mean not higher than the publisher's retail price for the hardcover (undiscounted price), then you are right. If you mean price in the marketplace, then you are wrong. I have bought several ebooks that cost more than what the hardcover cost me. In one instance, the ebook cost $7 more than the hardcover.
I mean price in the marketplace.

I'm not disputing that there may indeed be newly published e-books that cost more than the corresponding hardcovers, but I have not seen any in my browsing and purchasing.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #10
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Just for interest, here are the current prices on Amazon UK for the top 10 bestselling hardback fiction books (according to the Times weekly bestseller lists)

Code:
HB	Kindle	% Difference	Title
6.00	10.99	83	The Faithless/Marina Cole
6.00	8.99	50	Red Mist/Patricia Cornwell
8.99	5.99	-33	Snuff/Terry Pratchett
8.55	6.64	-22	Death Comes to Pemberley/PD James
8.20	9.99	22	11.22.63/Stephen King
7.00	10.99	57	The Litigators/John Grisham
8.30	9.99	20	The House of Silk/Anthony Horowitz
6.49	5.59	-14	The Sense of an Ending/Julian Barnes
9.41	9.99	6	The Thread/Victora Hislop
8.49	4.99	-41	The Time of my Life/Cecelia Ahern
77.43	84.15	9	TOTAL
As you can see, 6 of the 10 are more expensive in kindle format. (Prices for kobo books are either the same as kindle or slightly more expensive - the total for all 10 from kobo is 87.07.)

Last edited by peegee; 12-15-2011 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:57 PM   #11
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I think they're still way too high. They have no printing costs. ebooks should max out at 4.99 in my opinion. I just won't buy them when I can get free books from unknown authors that are really good.............not all of them but a lot of them. I'm a big sci-fi fan and i've found several that should be made into movies or series............they really are that good.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
If the high prices are hurting ebook sales, how come Amazon's ebook sales keep going up and up, and have now surpassed print book sales?
Because we're buying four times more $3 ebooks than we previously bought $9 paper books. There's a lower barrier to purchase, it's more of an impulse buy. I've bought quite a few sub-$3 books that I would not have tried at $10 in any form.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peegee View Post
Just for interest, here are the current prices on Amazon UK....
Ebooks are required to pay VAT (20% iirc); paper books are not.

Unless that law gets changed, in the UK it isn't really a fair comparison.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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I'm unable to read the article. It's behind a pay wall.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:34 PM   #15
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John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.. $9.42 for (autographed!) hard cover vs $10.99 for kindle.
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