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Old 03-07-2008, 09:59 AM   #1
crewpsu
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E-book Pricing Article: Kindle vs. Mobipocket

Hello everyone,
Found this article about the price difference between the kindle format and mobipocket and found it pretty interesting. What do you think?

http://www.teleread.org/blog/2007/12...rd-the-kindle/
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Interesting. When presented with those numbers, and assuming they are representative of the whole picture, one cannot help but think that Amazon is indeed milking its international Mobipocket customer base while at the same time abusing their quasi-monopoly position by pressuring US customers into switching to the Kindle.

It probably makes financial sense to them, but it doesn't strike me as a good way to garner customer goodwill. OTOH, companies like AT&T and later Microsoft have amply demonstrated what you can get away with when you're the only game in town...
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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I was actually surprised that Mobipocket prices were almost always higher than other e-book stores, but I suppose that's why. Paying more than paperback prices is just absolutely absurd when you consider the cost to the publisher. I was couldn't believe that the guy from Penguin said he was resistant to having e-book prices lower than pback prices. No printing, no binding, no shipping...honestly how can you justify not making them cheaper?

Hopefully one day the world will be fair, and Amazon won't be evil
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by binzer View Post
I was actually surprised that Mobipocket prices were almost always higher than other e-book stores, but I suppose that's why. Paying more than paperback prices is just absolutely absurd when you consider the cost to the publisher. I was couldn't believe that the guy from Penguin said he was resistant to having e-book prices lower than pback prices. No printing, no binding, no shipping...honestly how can you justify not making them cheaper?

Hopefully one day the world will be fair, and Amazon won't be evil
MobiPocket is a distributor of eBooks as well as a retailer. The reason they don't have the low prices is to avoid uncutting their dealers. This is one reason Amazon opted to have a different DRM format. You can almost always find mobi files cheaper at dealer sites like Fictionwise. MobiPocket almost always posts full retail as received from the publishers.

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Old 03-09-2008, 04:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gudy View Post
Interesting. When presented with those numbers, and assuming they are representative of the whole picture, one cannot help but think that Amazon is indeed milking its international Mobipocket customer base while at the same time abusing their quasi-monopoly position by pressuring US customers into switching to the Kindle.
I'm sorry, but that really is the most abject nonsense .

The reason MobiPocket's prices are higher than other bookstores is for the simple reason that they are primarily a wholesaler of books, and they don't undercut their retailers.

Nobody with any sense buys books directly from the MobiPocket store. You buy them from one of the retailers, where they typical cost about half what they do at Mobi.

Don't compare the prices between the Kindle and MobiPocket.com - compare the prices between the Kindle and, say, Fictionwise, or BooksOnBoard, or any of the other MobiPocket retailers. What do you get if you do that?
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:02 PM   #6
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ITA with HarryT. The blogger was comparing apples and oranges.

Personally, I compare prices and sometimes Amazon is lower, especially on best sellers, but most of the time Fictionwise is lower especially if I keep an eye out for the 50% and 100% rebates. I've purchased some from MobiPocket but they are almost always significantly more expensive because they can't undercut their retailers. Also, since MobiPocket is based in France they may very likely be affected by the law there that doesn't allow retailers to discount more than a small percentage.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:48 PM   #7
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I'm sorry, but that really is the most abject nonsense .
Poppycock. Balderdash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The reason MobiPocket's prices are higher than other bookstores is for the simple reason that they are primarily a wholesaler of books, and they don't undercut their retailers.
Who then go on charging exactly the same, if Fictionwise is any indicator. (Their 15% rebate doesn't count for me, as it is only redeemable at the next purchase, and it wouldn't change the picture a whole damn lot anyway.) BooksOnBoard does seem to have somewhat better prices, but nothing anywhere near the 50% you claim. Instead, their prices seem to hover around the price Amazon charges for the p-books.

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Don't compare the prices between the Kindle and MobiPocket.com - compare the prices between the Kindle and, say, Fictionwise, or BooksOnBoard, or any of the other MobiPocket retailers. What do you get if you do that?
That Kindle e-books are still quite a bit cheaper than Mobipocket books, which cost about as much as the p-book, or sometimes more. Which doesn't exactly invalidate the argument in the article.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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But the article is only looking at the price of "best sellers", which Amazon have an artificially low price point for. You'll find, I think, if you look at the wider market that Kindle and MobiPocket prices are pretty much the same.

I don't know about you, but I have very little interest in "best seller" lists. They generally represent the publishers' publicity machine rather than what's actually good to read.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:28 AM   #9
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I don't know about you, but I have very little interest in "best seller" lists.
Neither do I, but as the name implies, bestsellers are what people buy in large numbers. As such, whether or not bestseller lists represent the taste (or lack thereof :-P ) of this august forum, they look like a good starting point for looking at pricing policies, especially since bestsellers are almost always new books, thus hopefully representing the latest, most current contract terms in the business.

That said, if Amazon's pricing strategy for the Kindle actually is the equivalent of "every book a tenner" regardless of the book, then classics and back catalog items are bound to be cheaper in Mobipocket, which I fail to see as a bad thing.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:14 AM   #10
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That said, if Amazon's pricing strategy for the Kindle actually is the equivalent of "every book a tenner" regardless of the book, then classics and back catalog items are bound to be cheaper in Mobipocket, which I fail to see as a bad thing.
Their policy is, I believe, "every best seller costs $9.99". Other items can be cheaper or more expensive than that. It's really only the best-seller prices which differentiate them from the other e-Book stores, from what I can see.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
MobiPocket is a distributor of eBooks as well as a retailer. The reason they don't have the low prices is to avoid uncutting their dealers. This is one reason Amazon opted to have a different DRM format. You can almost always find mobi files cheaper at dealer sites like Fictionwise. MobiPocket almost always posts full retail as received from the publishers.

Dale
thanks for that!! I honestly never realized Mobipocket was a wholesaler. Now it makes perfect sense why their prices are typically higher.

I have been buying mostly from Baen, Fictionwise and will surely look at BooksOnBoard too. But I still have to finish that bundle from Steve Jordan before I am 'allowed' another book into the house. I mean gee wiz, I find a way to not take ANY room in the house with my books and what do I get for that? A book allowance....hrrrrmppph!!
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:14 PM   #12
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It's really only the best-seller prices which differentiate them from the other e-Book stores, from what I can see.
From what I can see as well.

And if you are willing to factor in Fictionwise "rebates" into the price, they are competitive with Kindle even for many of the $9.99 bestsellers.
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