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Old 01-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #46
fjtorres
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD Gumby View Post
Avoid Kobo, then, if that's your preferred method of weeding out the chaff - so many of their previews consist of the title pages, copyright notice, acknowledgements/dedications, and end at the TOCs. Might occasionally get forewords, if the book has any, but that's iffy. :/
From what I hear, a lot of people do.
In fact, a lot of people use Amazon to find their reads, even if they end up buying an epub from somebody else.

Avid readers quickly learn the tricks of navigating through a flood of content.
The truth is that even before ebooks we all had to figure out on our own what was good, mediocre, or even plain bad hidden behind a fancy cover.

There's this very old saying about not judging a book by its cover?
Very true with pbooks but less so with self pubs.
Give it time and life in the age of content overload will stabilize.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #47
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Along with Amazon, Goodreads is essential for me in determining if a book is worthwhile. Goodreads also helps sort out a book's publishing history. Then I buy from the store with the best price, often Kobo with their discounts. A high percentage of 5-star reviews eliminates a book from consideration as fast as a low rating average.

Since I am obsessive about finishing the books I begin, I never begin a book until I've learned all I can about it and am justifiably hopeful that I will enjoy it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:12 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Correct.
The US Justice Dept took note and acted.
Even though all the conspirators got was a wrist-slap in the US and a scolding in Europe, they both frowned upon the blatant price-fix rip-off.
So the big publishers got the message: they need to be more subtle in their rip-offs.
Like raising ebook prices another 10% (above agency) so retailers can "discount" up to 10%.

Yes, publishers are our friends.
Just like the Visitors.
Alas we don't have Mike Donavan hanging round.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:16 PM   #49
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I'm thinking of an infamous Lora Leigh romance, where whole scenes were omitted, and the hero changed names a couple of times through the book.
I picked up an ebook (don't recall if at Amazon or Smashwords) where an important character changed names between chapters. The author screwed up on that one.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:59 AM   #50
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It has never occurred to me that a company (in this case, Kobo) would offer a preview that does include a sizable preview.

That seems incredibly strange to me. If I downloaded a preview that was nothing more than the TOC, basically, I'd be highly annoyed. Our previews at eReading.com will be supplied by a vendor; that's a subject we'll need to visit.

As a strategy it just doesn't make much sense, and from a customer service standpoint, it's somewhat of a disaster, actually.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 AM   #51
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I don't know why people keep raising the original question, at least in that form. It is the same for ebooks as it is for everything else - each entity along the line continually tries to make as much money as possible for itself. That's true for authors, for publishers, for distributors / etailers like Amazon, B&N, etc.

If the big publishers could pay authors nothing and charge $1000 a book, that's what they would do.

If Amazon (or Apple, or B&N, or...) could charge each consumer $1000 a book and pay the publishers nothing, that is exactly what they would do.

While doing that, they would be trying to figure out how to sell them for $2000.

It has nothing to do with any "reasons" related to cost of printing or distribution or warehouses or marketing or "fair prices" or anything else. Their job, their responsibility, is to make as much money as they possibly can. Everything else is only a rationalization to justify the price.

Ebooks cost as much as they do because either: the sellers think they cannot sell them for more, or one or more entities may offer lower prices for a while than the competition, as one way to try to establish a monopoly, a situation in which they can eventually make even more money than they would otherwise.

Prices are raised at any perceived opportunity, and dropped only slowly, with great reluctance.

The only people concerned about fair prices, or reasons for prices, or anything besides making as much money as possible are the consumers. Everyone else understands what they are about. It is the job of the consumer to act as the others - keep as much of the money as possible. To the extent that ebook prices are higher than "they should be", it is because enough buyers are willing to pay "too much" - we are not doing our job.

If the concensus of ebook buyers, as measured by their purchases, was that 99% by volume of ebooks were worth no more than $4.99, then soon that's what the vast majority of ebooks would be priced at. Book publishers and booksellers are not in the business of not selling books; they try to continue to sell in any market, better than their competition - and continue to do so until bankruptcy. If Congress passed a law that all ebooks were to be sold at $4.99, nobody would exit the business. They would adapt (and also try to get the law changed by paying money to congresspeople).

So the answer is always the same: if prices are too high, it is the fault of the purchaser for buying at that price.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #52
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I started to write a reply about how whilst I agree largely derangedhermit there's an issue with there being limited competition when users are locked-in to particular stores by proprietary formats. However in writing this I realised there were a couple of things I don't know the answer to:

If someone wanted to compete with Amazon by offering mobi/KF8 format files would they be able to just go ahead and do so or do they need to license the format from Amazon who could then veto specific use (i.e. stop them competing)?

Assuming the formats are "open" in the sense that one can create and sell ebooks without Amazon's permission, do publishers have to agree to mobi/KF8 format exclusivity deals when they sell through Amazon?

Because I can buy an epub - of the same title - in various different stores and thus there's real competition. However unless I deDRM and convert then there's usually only Amazon selling Kindle-compatible formats.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:06 AM   #53
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Anyone can sell Mobi format books (eg Baen do). What you can't do, though, is licence Amazon's DRM. If you want Amazon DRM, you have to sell through Amazon.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post
If someone wanted to compete with Amazon by offering mobi/KF8 format files would they be able to just go ahead and do so or do they need to license the format from Amazon who could then veto specific use (i.e. stop them competing)?

Assuming the formats are "open" in the sense that one can create and sell ebooks without Amazon's permission, do publishers have to agree to mobi/KF8 format exclusivity deals when they sell through Amazon?
Smashwords books are generally available in Mobi format as well as various others, so it's certainly possible to sell Mobi files alongside other formats. I don't know whether or not Smashwords pay a licence to Amazon to use the format, though.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:12 AM   #55
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Anyone can sell Mobi format books (eg Baen do). What you can't do, though, is licence Amazon's DRM. If you want Amazon DRM, you have to sell through Amazon.
Pretty much. However...
A while back Bezos stated that they were in fact willing to license their DRM. With the caveat that it required licensing and *providing* whispersync because the two are tied at the authentication level.
At that point, it becomes meaningless since the "clone" device becomes an Actual Kindle (tied to Amazon) and any competing store would be just a more expensive way to reach the exact same customers that Amazon serves.

It's a difference that makes no difference--except in antitrust court.

And yes, anybody call sell DRM-free ebooks to Kindle owners--not just Amazon. No license need for the reverse-engineered mobi7 format. Probably not for KF8 either.
Let's face it, anybody selling DRM-free ebooks is doing Amazon a favor by adding value to the ecosystem. They don't mind that.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-21-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:18 AM   #56
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Anyone can sell Mobi format books (eg Baen do). What you can't do, though, is licence Amazon's DRM. If you want Amazon DRM, you have to sell through Amazon.
Yep if you needed a license to provide mobi format books to people I imagine MR wouldn't be here either. While MR doesn't charge for its mobi format ebooks if you needed a license to provide them to others I wager it would be an expensive proposition to get such a license.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:38 AM   #57
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...if you needed a license to provide them to others I wager it would be an expensive proposition to get such a license.
Figure 30%.
That is the going rate on platforms that charge a vig to sell to their users.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by JD Gumby View Post
Avoid Kobo, then, if that's your preferred method of weeding out the chaff - so many of their previews consist of the title pages, copyright notice, acknowledgements/dedications, and end at the TOCs. Might occasionally get forewords, if the book has any, but that's iffy. :/
I've seen plenty of books at Smashwords that have a preview that only includes the front matter. The preview is a set percentage of the book; if the real content doesn't start within that percentage, you don't get real content in the preview.

No content in preview = no purchase for me. If the author can't be bothered to let me flip through a few pages before buying, I can find other authors who are more accommodating.

So far, I don't do Kobo; last I'd heard, they don't indicate which books are DRM-free. (Or don't have any without DRM. I forget which.) I mostly buy from Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks, and indie publisher sites.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:05 PM   #59
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So far, I don't do Kobo; last I'd heard, they don't indicate which books are DRM-free. (Or don't have any without DRM. I forget which.)
In my experience, which now includes 2-3 dozen purchases, Kobo does indicate which books are directly downloaded DRM-free epub and which are Adobe DRM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:48 PM   #60
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In my experience, which now includes 2-3 dozen purchases, Kobo does indicate which books are directly downloaded DRM-free epub and which are Adobe DRM.
Ooh, cool; thanks! *Adds Kobo to list of potential retailers*
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