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Old 04-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #16
Andy_T
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I made the mistake some time ago to compare for a specific book set the price of the e-books and the price of the paperback editions. As the e-books were only very slightly cheaper than the paperback books, I went for the paperback books.

I very soon was regretting that decision, when I was sitting in my train in the morning and looking at the minuscule print on dirty-grey paper that made reading really very difficult, and considered, how much better the book would have looked on my Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Fire. Also, I am right now moving from Europe to Asia and finding out,

a) how difficult it is to move large quantities of books and
b) how little people are inclined to buy second-hand books.

To be very frank, I had very few books that were in demand and could be sold on eBay for more than a pittance (e.g. the postage being more expensive than the price of the book). The rest I gave to friends or donated to the library, and really enjoyed the fact that in the last 2 years, I had been nearly exclusively buying PBooks.

Still, charging more for an eBook than for a pBook seems like a major ripoff to me....

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:51 AM   #17
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I don't like spending more than $7 or at most $8 for an ebook. There are two authors I collect that I'll buy in hardback (but after the latest one from one of the authors, I may drop that down to buying in paperback), but other than that, I'm an ebook gal all the way. And those authors I tend to get in eformat to read, and save the hardbacks as collectable items.

I recently purchased a couple of science paper books at our new local bookstore, and I found the type in them was so small, that at least one of them I had to go out and get it in eformat just so I could read it. (then I had to edit the css - thanks, Calibre - because the css specified font=xsmall - why do publishers *do* that?).
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:13 AM   #18
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I think I'd be the same as pdurrant, if they were both the same price, I wouldn't buy either version. I expect the price of the ebook to be slightly cheaper than it's paper equivalent. So if a new hardback is £12, I'd expect the ebook to be £10-11. If the new papberback was £9, again I'd expect the ebook to be a £1 or so cheaper. As you can't lend it, or resell it, why would it be the same price, it's simply not worth the same.

I tend to not want to pay more than £5 or £6 for an ebook, and on the occasions when there's not much of a price difference between the ebook and the paperback, to be perfectly honest, that just puts me off buying it.

Last edited by soulfuldog; 04-29-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:38 AM   #19
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I generally avoid the famous authors and get new authors ebooks... usually end up paying around $3 I suppose, which seems about right for me for an ebook.
If the big name authors set about that price (give or take a dollar) They would find me a regular customer..
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #20
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As you can't lend it, or resell it, why would it be the same price, it's simply not worth the same.
But you can search in it, it's smaller, lighter, can be synced across multiple devices. Why should I pay more for something that doesn't have those features?

So you're right that it's not worth the same but the differences go in both directions and which is worth more depends on which features you value more.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:43 AM   #21
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The "war" I was referring to is the one being fought by the vocal few who believe that ebooks should be vastly cheaper than their print counterparts. Like half-price. Ain't gonna happen.
I think there are two things to consider here.

One is that many members of this board have bought into ebooks, so we are going to be biased towards them.

The other thing is that it ought to depend upon the book.

In terms of fiction, I believe that most ebooks should be less than half of the price. I am losing the right to share the book with a friend, resell the book, and donate the book to charities. That is giving up far too much for something that I'll read once and never touch again. It is giving up far too much for entertainment.

Non-fiction is different. I am still losing those rights, but there is a high probability that I will reread the book or use the book for reference. I am still giving up a lot, but reusing the book increases its value. In cases like that what I'm willing to pay for an electronic version is in line with what I'm willing to pay for a print version.

The irony of the whole situation is a quote that I ran into on a Kindle or Kobo device (I forget which). It commented that reading is the cheapest form of entertainment, or something to that effect, and cited some notable author. With the prices that publishers are demanding and the lack of a secondary market, the quote is woefully incorrect.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:02 AM   #22
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I can't say as I ever bother going to the extra effort to ever find out how much the pBook is. Anyway with sales, discount codes etc you are always going to be able to find some pBooks that are cheaper than eBooks (and vice-versa).

I will admit that I tend to wait until the MMP is out though (Or more accurately wait until the eBook drops to the equivalent MMP price level), my TBR list is large enough that waiting six months or so after release doesn't cause any hardship.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:16 AM   #23
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I can't say as I ever bother going to the extra effort to ever find out how much the pBook is.
I sometimes compare eBook price to pBook, but not when new.

Either the ebook is available at the price I want it, or it's not. If not then I check my on-line book swap to see if someone has it for trade in pBook form. If not, then I'll see how long the WL line for it is. Usually, I can wait quite a while on a WL when I'd be getting it for $2.60 which is what I bought my credits for. I have mounds of TBR books anyway.

If it's not there, and the WL is long, I'll give my local UBS's a try. They're a bit more expensive than on-line, but I can inspect the book.

After that, it's Amazon's used book prices.

Then the library, but only when I'm ready to actually read it.

I've hardly even gotten to the point of buying any book new unless it's for my keeper shelf. And there are very few series I bother with keeping in physical form.

The only type of book I'm a routine 'First Purchase' customer is an ebook.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #24
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The ebook-buying public (in general) has clearly indicated that they place very little value in the ability to loan, resell, or donate the works of fiction that they consume electronically. Otherwise we'd already be seeing the price disparity you desire.

It's one thing to make personal financial decisions about what you value in a "book." It's another thing entirely to assume those values are in any way universal and should govern markets.

It's over. The public is clearly willing to pay a comparable (or very slightly less) price for ebooks that they do for print books. Does anybody truly see that changing in the the near future?
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:46 AM   #25
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Undoubtedly print because I won't pay more than $5 or $6 for an ebook.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:43 AM   #26
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But you can search in it, it's smaller, lighter, can be synced across multiple devices. Why should I pay more for something that doesn't have those features?
For me, I paid for those features when buying the device.

And the fact that I can't lend or resell the ebook afterwards makes a huge difference in my mind. So, I prefer not to pay more than 5€ for an ebook. I paid more on occasions, but this isn't a price I'm willing to pay on a regular basis.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:04 PM   #27
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I definitely prefer ebook because I am running out of wall space!
Yep. Not too long ago, I'd prefer paper, because most stuff just wasn't available in well-formatted ebook format. That has changed, and it's becoming better by the month. Therefore, I now greatly prefer (EPUB) ebooks over paperbacks.

- No more tiny print.
- No more falling apart after the second read.
- No more breaking spines.
- Light wherever you go.
- One-handed reading without the book trying to snap shut.
- Saving a huge amount of space.

In the future, I'll only buy the very best of the best (IMHO) in paper, and then it'll be a hardcover. I'll problably still have the ebook, and maybe don't even read the hardcover, but I'd buy it for collection purposes so I can still say I have a somewhat meaningful bookcase :P
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:18 PM   #28
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For me, I paid for those features when buying the device.
Yes you did but you can only use them when you have an ebook file to use them with. So when you buy an ebook you're getting value you wouldn't get with a paper book. Whether that value comes because you have a device that enables it doesn't matter. You don't get that with the alternative (paper) so you should factor that in to any assessment of the relative worth.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #29
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For me, I paid for those features when buying the device.

And the fact that I can't lend or resell the ebook afterwards makes a huge difference in my mind. So, I prefer not to pay more than 5€ for an ebook. I paid more on occasions, but this isn't a price I'm willing to pay on a regular basis.
I guess latepaul does have a point with those features, but possibly it just depends on your point of view? If you want to argue that ebooks have value that physical books don't, you can use those features to illustrate it. I tend to agree with your POV samhy, it's the device that gives you those plus points, not the actual ebook.

I prefer ebooks to physical books, but despite their advantages, it still has less value because once read, I can't resell, lend it, or even give it away. And unless I know what I am doing, I could be left with a book I can't even read if I was to buy a different kind of ereader in future.... It's not a physical product, and it's the same with music, MP3s are generally priced a little cheaper than physical albums. Digital files just do not hold the same value.

Certain authors I just don't read as much of anymore, Karin Slaughter or Patricia Cornwell for example, most of their ebooks are too similarly priced to the paperback, so I just don't buy them. But say, Lee Child or David Baldacci, I'm more likely to buy them as I can usually get the ebooks that little bit cheaper than the paperback.

Last edited by soulfuldog; 04-29-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:29 PM   #30
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I place a very high value on being able to begin reading a book mere minutes after having it recommended to me (or hearing about a book I'm interested in. All without leaving my home. On the other hand; I've never in my life sold a print book that I purchased. So I place very little value on the ability to do so.
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