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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 05-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #91
eschwartz
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
It is.
Although, to my mind, deciding the price you are willing to pay for an eBook because of the price of one pbook you have no interest in buying is as rational as comparing it to any other. Or to a lamp.
Unless you are trying to decide whether to buy as a ebook or pbook... I assume either way you will want it??

Of course, everyone has the right to get indignant and take up the cause of "fair" ebook prices, as long as they realize most people simply won't care. If someone honestly feels that the publisher is devaluing the ebook compared to the pbook, who are we to argue? I personally find that I have every right I need for my books -- if I want to lend a book to a friend, I register his Kindle to my account, download the book, and deregister so he can't spend a million bucks on me. If TTS really means that much to me, then Apprentice Alf has an application for that. All my books are backed up, in case I randomly lose access to them, (which is doubtful to begin with, but better safe than sorry...) so they will always work on MY kindle at least, and again, Apprentice Alf is my hero if I lose/break my Kindle.

That being so, I will pay whatever the price is, if I really want the book, and establish my own personal rights to do what I see fit with MY books.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:37 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
Unless you are trying to decide whether to buy as a ebook or pbook... I assume either way you will want it??
That would be option #1 on the poll.
But clearly not a correct assumption in the majority of cases.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #93
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I thought the question is comparing the same book at a certain pbook price vs. a possibly higher ebook price.
Many times I've looked at a book, and the reviews for the ebook version complain of terrible formatting, misspellings, etc that aren't in the print version. Many publishers don't seem to do QA on the ebook version, even when they're very careful with the print version. It seems like ebook versions are farmed out to cheap services, and the result is often quite bad even when the print version is good.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:27 AM   #94
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It depends on a lot of things for me. Sometimes the convenience of an e-book makes me want it in that format. Then if it's winter I want a paper book that won't leave me with an e-reader subjected to -30C then a heated bus then -30C then sitting in my bad then -30C again and back on the bus. That just isn't a good environment for electronics of any sort. So for long periods of time I only read paper unless it's at home where only a fraction of my reading happens.

I give myself a pretty modest budget for reading as well. I use my library a lot. I still buy books, but I am very selective in books I buy. When the paper book is cheaper I usually buy it, or if the paper book is cheaper I might go to the library instead. There's no set thought pattern to my purchases, but it all fits together somehow. I must be infuriating to market for because on any given day I may or may not buy an e-book for a myriad of reasons.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:07 PM   #95
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Things I know I will only want to read once and are popular and likely resalable, I'll get in paper. If it's something I want to read multiple times or is unlikely to be bought by my used book shop, I'll usually go e-book. The only exception is a few choice authors I want in nice hardcovers. But that's less than a handful. Even then, some of those I double up for convenience, with a nice collectible edition for the shelf and one on the ereader for convenience. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Prof. Tolkien. Also you, PKD.)
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:01 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbneader View Post
Many times I've looked at a book, and the reviews for the ebook version complain of terrible formatting, misspellings, etc that aren't in the print version. Many publishers don't seem to do QA on the ebook version, even when they're very careful with the print version. It seems like ebook versions are farmed out to cheap services, and the result is often quite bad even when the print version is good.
This is especially deplorable since any recent book should have been written and printed from Word, not handwritten, and should be EASILY turned into a good ebook. At the very least, the misspellings are inexcusable.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:20 PM   #97
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The question makes sense if you are talking about one paticular book, some book you just have to read in some form or other. If there are a couple hundred books you are considering reading, not freebies but books you truly are interested in, it seems very reasonable to divide them into well priced books that you might buy immediately to read and those that can wait until you finish all the better priced ebooks. Its not just a choice of one book in either paper or eform, there are all the other available ebooks to consider. Choice two should read I won't buy the book right now. Of couse if you are only interested in one book at a time and only that book will do that is a different matter. But that seldom happens for me.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:41 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by crossi View Post
The question makes sense if you are talking about one paticular book[…]Choice two should read I won't buy the book right now.[…]
Are you sure you posted in the right thread? I can't make any sense of that.

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Old 05-31-2013, 08:52 PM   #99
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There are shelves full of evidence that coming out of a BPH is no guarantee of quality by any stretch, even if 'very good' was some how an objective measure.
The problem is not that the book(s) in question are not very good. The problem is that the book(s) might not be to your taste. Others may find them very good while you don't.

An example is Outlander. I know some people that have read this and liked it. I read it and didn't like it. I read it because my GF (at the time) was reading it and said it was good.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:57 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Rbneader View Post
Publishers vs. self-published is strongly related to pbook vs ebook prices for me. I find that if publishers and a bookstore to agree that a book is worth selling, it's more likely to have a basic level of readability. Not a hard and fast rule, but a general guideline. So I'm more willing to pay more for a physical book, because a higher level of scrutiny has gone into it than a self-published ebook.
Just because am eBook has come out from a BPH does not mean the level of readability is actually there. In some cases, it's not there due to errors in the text that the BPH added in because they are too fricking lazy to properly make the eBook. One eBook that would have been fairly unreadable had I not corrected some of the major OCR errors before I got too far into into it would have been unreadable. It was Sharpe's Tiger by Bernard Cornwell. The book is quite good, but the errors in the eBook were not good. One example was a character's name being misspelled sometimes.

Quote:
Publishers also do help with discovery, even if it's just a basic genre-filter and grammar check. I'm willing to pay more for that convenience, since I haven't had good luck finding hobbyist reviewers whose taste consistently matches mine.
For some backlist eBooks, you also pay good money for stupid errors that they don't bother to fix. Hyperion was laden with a number of OCR errors.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:54 PM   #101
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I'd rather buy the ebook even if it costs more than a paper version, but I haven't come across that situation yet: every ebook I have wanted to buy has been much cheaper than the new paperback version, usually less than half the paper price, often less than one quarter.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:55 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
This is especially deplorable since any recent book should have been written and printed from Word, not handwritten, and should be EASILY turned into a good ebook. At the very least, the misspellings are inexcusable.
I have no idea what sort of software a manuscript goes through on its way to becoming a paper book. Is it possible that the Word file gets split into two separate flows early on, and that the software for producing a typeset paper book does a lot of the spell and consistency checking? The idea that the publisher would OCR the paper copy to produce the ebook seems pretty bizarre. Although maybe that's just how they do it for backlist items, and use the same flow for new books, too. Is there anyone here in the biz who can comment?
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:35 AM   #103
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I'd rather buy the ebook even if it costs more than a paper version, but I haven't come across that situation yet: every ebook I have wanted to buy has been much cheaper than the new paperback version, usually less than half the paper price, often less than one quarter.
It most commonly happens with new releases, where bookstores like Amazon deeply discount the hardback, but the publisher sets the price of the ebook. The ebook is still considerably cheaper than the list price of the hardback, of course.

If you wait for mass market paperback releases then, as you say, the ebook is almost always cheaper than the pbook.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:24 AM   #104
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The problem is not that the book(s) in question are not very good. The problem is that the book(s) might not be to your taste. Others may find them very good while you don't.

An example is Outlander. I know some people that have read this and liked it. I read it and didn't like it. I read it because my GF (at the time) was reading it and said it was good.
Quoted for future reference.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:45 AM   #105
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What I like in this thread (and the other one about paper books, ebooks and price) is that I learn so much from your reasoning.
It was so surprising at first to see that many people see more value in an ebook than in a paper book! I didn't expect anyone to be willing to pay more for an ebook than a paper book! But most of the reasons make sense and little by little the way I see things is shifting. I'm questioning more and more the reasons leading me to buy one form or the other.

Keep in mind that many of you have been reading ebooks for years on end. And also that, in your country, ebooks are something common. Sometimes leaving in France, where publishers hold to paper books for dear life and dissuade the use of ebooks by skyrocketing prices*, feels like being in developing country.

So thank you for those enlightening exchanges

Edit: * of course, it's not always like that, but that's mostly true with big publishers. Some companies like Bragelonne (Tor alter ego if I'm not mistaken) have decently priced, DRM free ebooks

Last edited by samhy; 06-01-2013 at 07:47 AM.
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