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Old 01-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #61
AnemicOak
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Originally Posted by BelleZora View Post
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.
Yep they do, I wish others made it just as clear.

On Kobo under Download Options it will say either EPUB (DRM-Free) or Adobe DRM EPUB (or on rare occasion Adobe DRM PDF).
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #62
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If ebooks do go up to $20 or so, publishers are going to price themselves out of the market. Why spend $20 for a book when tv and movies are so (relatively) inexpensive, to rent or to buy? Particularly those publishers who won't allow libraries to buy their books, so people can't even read the books that way.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:22 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
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.
Smashwords allow the author to set the percentage that is available as a preview (I think it defaults to 15 or 20%, but I'm not sure). Other stores seem to use a fixed percentage.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
On Kobo under Download Options it will say either EPUB (DRM-Free) or Adobe DRM EPUB (or on rare occasion Adobe DRM PDF).
I'll have to look closely to verify it, but I think B&N does not say. Nor does it say what the format is, nor its source. Yesterday I downloaded some books from B&N Nook store. One, a dictionary, was in .pdb (Palm books format) and two were actually downloaded from archive.org, although you had to notice the download status messages to be able to tell.

I thought both of these were rather low-rent actions of B&N.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by derangedhermit View Post
I'll have to look closely to verify it, but I think B&N does not say.
AFAIK the only books they indicate are DRM free are ones from Tor (it's in the book's description).
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:36 PM   #66
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Elfwreck,

"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."

I'm not sure what the minimum percentage is for a preview at Smashwords. Certainly, as an author myself I would want to provide readers with as much of a preview as possible without giving away the store, so to speak.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:09 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by ereadingdotcom View Post
Elfwreck,

"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."

I'm not sure what the minimum percentage is for a preview at Smashwords. Certainly, as an author myself I would want to provide readers with as much of a preview as possible without giving away the store, so to speak.
Minimum percentage at Smashwords is zero. Some authors have their books set to no preview. Common is about 20%; this is fine for novels and most novellas; for short stories, 35 or 40% may be necessary to show any content, because SW calculates percentage based on "pages" in its viewer--so a separate title page, copyright page, TOC, are 3 pages; if the story is 3000 words long, the front matter can fill up the 20% preview.

I prefer previews of 50% or more, even on longer works; that lets me know the author trusts that anyone who read that far will want to read the rest. There's no reason to stick to a tiny percentage sample; it's not like an excerpt in a magazine where it costs more to distribute a longer one. A 50% or 75% preview on novels is worth downloading to my ereader to check out later; I might not bother with a shorter preview, so if I don't have time to read it when I first run across it, I may forget about it.

SW has a "library" feature for "put these books in a list I can check out later," but there's no sorting it, no way to note a difference between "I might want to buy this" vs "I want to remember to tell my friend I saw a book she might like" vs "I need to blog about how awful this cover is." And the library list is shown all in one column, sorted by order added; there's no way to arrange them alphabetically by author or filter by genre.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #68
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Publishers will be unnecessary and disposable exactly how record labels are becoming in the past 2 decades. It's just a matter of time (and culture): authors will not only write, but format AND publish their own books.

THE END of the publishers are near.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:32 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by zamana View Post
Publishers will be unnecessary and disposable exactly how record labels are becoming in the past 2 decades. It's just a matter of time (and culture): authors will not only write, but format AND publish their own books.
And write half as much, or less.

Quote:
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THE END of the publishers are near.
That's why when an indie author makes it big on Amazon, the first thing they do is sign a contract with a real publisher.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #70
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Authors already do write, format and publish their own books. The publishers provide services to authors, and will stick around so long as authors find their services valuable. Many authors do find their service valuable, but publishers are no longer necessary. Bakeries aren't necessary - you can bake your own bread - but they aren't going away any time soon. Bakeries that people can use, or they can bake their own bread.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:33 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
Why spend $20 for a book when tv and movies are so (relatively) inexpensive, to rent or to buy?
Why did people ever buy books, other than reference? Ever since the government made lending libraries free, about (in the US) 120 years ago, there's been no real reason to do it. And ever since 1960 or so, people could watch TV (including movies) for free in return for viewing commercials. eBooks change none of this.

There are two things that eBooks change in the price equation I can see:

1. The library copy is essentially brand new. A lot of people prefer new over used. Paper library books are slightly dirty, and thus less desirable than new ones. The only exception to the new-paper-is-cleaner rule is when you are the first borrower. There is a bit of a nice feeling you get when you realize no one ever borrowed the paper library book you are reading before. An Overdrive library eBook is just like that first-loan paper book experience.

2. Competition from self-published books. This is mostly a factor with the minority of the book market devoted to fiction. Yes, I know that you are mostly interested in fiction

So I can see reasons why the economically optimum selling price for an eBook would be less than for a new paper book, but it's has nothing to do with TV or movies.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #72
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I'm just saying that, if books become too expensive, other entertainment options will become more attractive.

also, why buy books? because the library so rarely has the books I want to read, or when I want to read them.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:42 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by zamana View Post
Publishers will be unnecessary and disposable exactly how record labels are becoming in the past 2 decades. It's just a matter of time (and culture): authors will not only write, but format AND publish their own books.

THE END of the publishers are near.
The vast majority of successful musicians still use record labels; the idea that digital distribution would do away with record labels has been proven false.

This doesn't mean that book publishers will stay around, but it's certainly not evidence that they will go away.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #74
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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.[...]

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.
Using proprietary technology to lock in users is a preferred method to help establish a monopoly. Doing it by lower prices is a last resort, the least desireable alternative. Companies like Amazon and Apple know they can command a premuim, if they want to, due to captured customer base.

The statement that epub creates "real competition" is incorrect. It could be so, if you had naive sellers, or hundreds of sellers of abou tthe same market size, but you do not. It is easy for the large epub booksellers to track each other's prices in real-time using software and price match (keep prices stable, or as high as possible). Airlines do it, retail chain stores do it, etc.

To start a price war, you need an in-place sustainable cost advantage. Walmart has their distribution and inventory system (Amazon has tried to dupicate this advantage for physical goods). I don't think such a thing can be created in the ebook market. If someone tried it, it would result in a "race to the bottom" where all participants make less money than otherwise. Unless you think your company would be one of the last two standing (a monopolist) as the others leave the business, and the entries to new competitors is high, it would be an obvious mistake (and failure to fulfill the fiduciary responsibility to shareholders) to start such a price war.

The large publishers are in the same position, I imagine - they have limited competition in the pbook business, and as a result have significant overhead. None of them could afford a price war based on internal efficiency. One component of their cost is what they pay authors, and if they try to cut that, popular authors will move to another publisher.

Amazon probably sees their only main competition in the west as Apple and Google. I don't know about China or India. I doubt the Chinese gov't will let any non-Chinese company be a dominant book seller in the future.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:02 PM   #75
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The vast majority of successful musicians still use record labels; the idea that digital distribution would do away with record labels has been proven false.

This doesn't mean that book publishers will stay around, but it's certainly not evidence that they will go away.
What digital distribution has done is given us a lot more choices. If what the record labels aren't to your taste, you can bypass them. If the record labels won't sign you, you can bypass them.
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