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View Poll Results: Will you buy an ebook even if a paper edition is the same or less money?
No, if the paper edition is less, I'll buy the paper edition. It's all about the content. 26 14.86%
No, if the paper editon is less, I won't buy the book on prinicple. Ebooks should cost less. 65 37.14%
Yes, I want an ebook because I want what the ebook format offers me. Paper price is irrelevent. 66 37.71%
Other, please explain. 18 10.29%
Voters: 175. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-09-2013, 01:20 PM   #46
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It depends..

I voted "Other" because it depends on the type of the book.

If it's a fiction book, I'll buy it as an ebook, buy it as a paperback, borrow it from the library, buy it from the 2nd-hand charity shop, borrow it from a friend.

If it's a book of sheet music, I'll only buy it as a paper book.

If it's a computer textbook, I'll only buy it as an ebook, for the ease of having access to my entire library anywhere I am, plus the ability to highlight.

Cookery book? I'd only buy paperback.

And if it's an ebook, I'll only buy it when it gets below my price point (£5 for fiction); no need to pay more when I know that at some point, the book will come down in price and there's plenty of other good books to read.

But if it's a computer textbook which I need *right now* for work, then I'll spend up to £50 if I have to.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:21 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by BWinmill View Post
Any particular reason for that 50% figure? It just seems like a large amount to discount it unless you buy used paperbacks.
Not really, I use the very generous 50% figure for myself, and only that high if I really want the ebook.
The huge difference between the paper product and the digital product is the perceived difference in property rights. If an ebook is a "license" then it is worth far far less than the paper version. My 50% rule is very generous...
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #48
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For the most part, it's based entirely on how much I want to read the book. That being said, I save anything over about $10 for a 'special occasion' reward for self. I did the same with dead-tree books, so this isn't really a change in my own behaviour.

I do resent that I can't get boxed editions in ebook form for less than buying each separately, comparable to boxed editions of paperbacks. A prime example is The Wrinkle in Time quintet by Madeleine L'Engle. (Yes, I admit that I like books for younger age ranges too.) I have those in paperback, and would really like to have an ebook version too, as I prefer reading ebooks. The paperback quintet is 22.97. The ebooks available separately are 29.87. I wouldn't mind paying more for an omnibus with additional content. I won't pay more simply because they're not packaged together.

I've noticed that there are omnibus editions of some newer series, so this might simply be an issue of waiting for publishers to catch up.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:43 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by rwillmer View Post
I voted "Other" because it depends on the type of the book.

If it's a fiction book, I'll buy it as an ebook, buy it as a paperback, borrow it from the library, buy it from the 2nd-hand charity shop, borrow it from a friend.

If it's a book of sheet music, I'll only buy it as a paper book.

If it's a computer textbook, I'll only buy it as an ebook, for the ease of having access to my entire library anywhere I am, plus the ability to highlight.

Cookery book? I'd only buy paperback.

And if it's an ebook, I'll only buy it when it gets below my price point (£5 for fiction); no need to pay more when I know that at some point, the book will come down in price and there's plenty of other good books to read.

But if it's a computer textbook which I need *right now* for work, then I'll spend up to £50 if I have to.
I'm starting to think I shouldn't have included the "other" option.
As the first post says:
"Assume we're talking about a book that you are interested in buying, and if there was no paper edition to compare to, you would indeed be buying the ebook at the offered price."
For all those situations you list above where you would be buying an ebook, where do you stand on the matter of comparing the price and value to the paper copy?
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by delph View Post
I do resent that I can't get boxed editions in ebook form for less than buying each separately, comparable to boxed editions of paperbacks.
[...]
I've noticed that there are omnibus editions of some newer series, so this might simply be an issue of waiting for publishers to catch up.
Not only are there sometimes omnibus editions, but I've also seen offers of sales on series or discounts when multiple volumes are purchased, so hopefully we will be seeing more of that as the "boxed set" equivalent.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
I'm starting to think I shouldn't have included the "other" option.
Sorry! I'm only answering "Other" because I have 3 different answers, depending on the type of book. I'd thought about only picking one, but couldn't decide which was most important to me, they all are...

Fiction: Option 1: No, I'd buy the paper book if it was cheaper.

Sheet Music: No, I'd always buy the paper book, regardless of price.

Computer book: Option 3: Yes, I'd always buy the ebook, regardless of price.

Anyway, cancel my vote if it's making life complicated!

Rachel
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:13 PM   #52
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Sorry! I'm only answering "Other" because I have 3 different answers, depending on the type of book. I'd thought about only picking one, but couldn't decide which was most important to me, they all are...

Fiction: Option 1: No, I'd buy the paper book if it was cheaper.

Sheet Music: No, I'd always buy the paper book, regardless of price.

Computer book: Option 3: Yes, I'd always buy the ebook, regardless of price.

Anyway, cancel my vote if it's making life complicated!

Rachel
Cancel your vote? Geesh, I'd have the board of elections on my back, someone would demand a recount, it would be a mess!

As it turns out from what you posted above, though, you legitimately DO rate an "other" because you have two valid responses.
For computer books, the properties of ebooks are valuable to you, so you get the ebook without considering the price of the paper, but for fiction, it's all about the content, and you place no particular extra value on the the format.
That's interesting.
See, I knew I had "other" up there for a reason.....
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #53
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I really don't care about the pbook prices. For new books, I'll buy the ebook at whatever price they set it at. For older books, I obviously expect a reduced price, and I don't think I have ever been interested in an older book where this wasn't the case.

Some things I really hate though are books that are exclusive to pbook for several months before they release the ebook. I also hate DRM, since it offers no assurance that I can keep my book, but that is pretty much a non issue because no publishers seem to care about how easy it is to break the DRM, so no new systems are being created and I can just get any book the way I want regardless.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Why did you vote Other? You precisely match the Yes option.
I didn't explain myself very well. Although the specific price of that paper book is not a consideration, the typical price of paper books in general is relevant. I expect an ebook to be cheaper than a pbook because I am (usually) getting fewer rights over it.

What I consider an averagely priced ebook is around £5. Anything over that is expensive, and anything less than that is cheap. For a paperback, the equivalent average point is about £8.

If in a particular case the ebook is £4 and the paperback is £3, I might well still go for the ebook, since I still consider it cheap and tend to prefer the convenience. I don't even tend to check the paper prices for my wishlist items.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:23 PM   #55
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If a bookseller is charging me anything resembling full retail price for an e-book, I do feel ripped off. I'll borrow borrow borrow the e-books from the library (which is where I get all my reading "previews" from), and books I want to move from dating to marrying, well, I get the real thing.

I'll pay EXTRA for a printed book just for the utter freedom owning it gives me. I can do anything I want except copy it, or plagiarism... but the book is mine to scribble in the inside flap, loan, resell, bookcross, donate to shelters, (and there is a place to donate at the hospital so inpatients can read and take home if they like, too). Everyone in my household can read the SAME copy and then I can loan it to my neighbours. Way more bang for my buck than the privilege of sticking it on some gadget that will likely be obsolete in 10 years.


Even though it's been nearly 3 years and I've been through 4 different e-reader models I still feel more attached to my physical books as far as the placebo feeling of true ownership goes. But don't get me wrong. I love my e-reader. I just feel it's a great device to hold my freebies and temporaries.

And yes, I know, printed copies of books can get destroyed or lost in physical disasters, theft, or people who refuse to return them. But out of the number of books I have, so far, very little of the above has happened to me. But I have happily given copies of books to people who have needed them due to dire circumstances.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #56
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Other ... because

I also voted "other" because this depends on many factors.

1. Availability. If the ebook is instantly available whereas I would have to wait long for the p-book (assuming I really want or need to read it now), the price difference is not the main factor.

2. Use. I simply do not want to collect p-books any more. I might need some paper reference books, paper albums, but not really paper fiction. So here also price is not the main factor.

3. If there's a book I might consider as useful in the paper form and the ebook is more expensive, I'll obviously buy a p-book.

And there may be several other factors like the (poor) quality of the ebook or the likelihood that I will want to lend the book to my friends etc., which may make me favour the p-book over the ebook.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:27 PM   #57
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I'll pay EXTRA for a printed book just for the utter freedom owning it gives me. I can do anything I want except copy it, or plagiarism... but the book is mine to scribble in the inside flap,
I can take notes with my K3. There is no flap to scribble on. That is a factor of it not being a physical thing made of paper, not a factor that inherently requires 'ownership.' If you 'owned' the ebook, there would still be no flap to scribble in.

Quote:
loan, resell, bookcross, donate to shelters
most ebooks can be loaned, and a change to the license terms could eventually facilitate the rest. This again does not hinge on calling it 'ownership.' Just more licensed rights.
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Everyone in my household can read the SAME copy
Same with ebooks. And unlike with pbooks, everyone in my household can read a separate copy simultaneously with no extra cost. Again , no inherent advantage to 'ownership.'

Quote:
and then I can loan it to my neighbours.
Can often be done with ebooks as well, and again, more favorable license terms could make lending even easier than with a pbook.. Certainly can be done by loaning them the reader in any case. AGAIN nothing to do with ownership.
What you seem to like about pbooks is not owning them, it is partially the properties of a physical paper object (scribbling), and partially the current rules (reselling), and the rules can be changed.

Or they might get changed, if people would get behind the effort rather than getting distracted by the pointless "own/license" distinction.
Maybe it is, as you said, a placebo.

Quote:
Way more bang for my buck than the privilege of sticking it on some gadget that will likely be obsolete in 10 years.
True enough. If you want to have reading material after The Fall, it had better be on some quality stock. Maybe papyrus.

ApK

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:43 PM   #58
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I also voted "other" because this depends on many factors.

1. Availability. If the ebook is instantly available whereas I would have to wait long for the p-book (assuming I really want or need to read it now), the price difference is not the main factor.

2. Use. I simply do not want to collect p-books any more. I might need some paper reference books, paper albums, but not really paper fiction. So here also price is not the main factor.

3. If there's a book I might consider as useful in the paper form and the ebook is more expensive, I'll obviously buy a p-book.
Are you saying that if you were nominally going to get the ebook, but happen to see the paper book is cheaper, and the paper format would suit you, then you'd go for the paper book (option 1) but if you decidedly only wanted the ebook, say for instant access, then you would not consider the price of paper at all (option 3)?
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:38 AM   #59
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edited....

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:05 AM   #60
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Are you saying that if you were nominally going to get the ebook, but happen to see the paper book is cheaper, and the paper format would suit you, then you'd go for the paper book (option 1) but if you decidedly only wanted the ebook, say for instant access, then you would not consider the price of paper at all (option 3)?
Basically, yes (unless the price difference is huge, which I haven't seen so far). If I really want or need to read something at the moment (say, for academic research or reference), price factor is secondary, so I will choose whatever is more readily available. This usually means buying an ebook.

Still, I am not an absolutely systematical person, so sometimes a nicely produced p-book seen in a bookshop just stirs the "impulse buyer" part of me even though I may suspect there is also an e-book available.
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