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Old 04-12-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
M.H.
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Penguin to publish new titles simultaneously as e-books

From today's Telegraph:

Quote:
Penguin, the publishing house, will release new "ebooks" at the same time as it produces a print edition in order to feed a growing demand for digital books.

The electronically-available books will come out at the same time as the print editions and will cost the same.
It is good that they are releasing ebooks but I don't see how they can justify them being at the same cost as pbooks.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:50 AM   #2
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Penguin's eBooks are going to tank faster then the Titanic sank. Nobody wants to pay the same for an eBook as the pBook. That's just bad business sense.

Last edited by JSWolf; 04-12-2008 at 09:51 AM. Reason: testing
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:15 AM   #3
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Very good news, M.H. Thanks. Penguin has, in years past anyway, published many books of interest to me. I hope they will eventually discount their ebook prices.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Penguin's eBooks are going to tank faster then the Titanic sank. Nobody wants to pay the same for an eBook as the pBook. That's just bad business sense.

I have absolutely no problem paying MMPB prices for an ebook. I would have a problem paying HC prices.

Derek
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:51 AM   #5
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i think this would be an excellent occasion to start a letter-writing campaign to penguin. we should applaud their decision to make their books available in digital format at the same time as the paper releases, however point out that due to the dramatic difference in production costs it is unreasonable to charge the same price for an ebook.

perhaps, if enough people write, they will listen...
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i think this would be an excellent occasion to start a letter-writing campaign to penguin. we should applaud their decision to make their books available in digital format at the same time as the paper releases, however point out that due to the dramatic difference in production costs it is unreasonable to charge the same price for an ebook.

perhaps, if enough people write, they will listen...
Very good idea! I suppose there's a customer comments page at Penguin's site...

Derek
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:58 AM   #7
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At least they are not priced higher than the normal releases as is sometimes the case.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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i am looking at the penguin site right now trying to find the appropriate contact info. so far the most appropriate one seems to be "customer service" ; they don't have a general "contact" by email, although they do have many other specialised contact addresses.

Customer services
For customer service enquires, including online orders, please contact;
Tel: +0870 607 7600
Email: customer.service@penguin.co.uk

Penguin is owned by Pearson group and they also have a detailed list of contact info on their site. The info for Penguin UK given on that page is :

Penguin Group (UK)
80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL, UK
tel: +44 (0)20 7010 3000
or visit www.penguin.co.uk

alright everyone ! to your keyboards !!
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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i have written to them.

I have just sent an email to Penguin about this decision. I sent it to
customer.service@penguin.co.uk
and a copy to
visitors@penguin.co.uk (which is actually the address to give feedback about their site).

The text of my email is below : if you think I have neglected to mention something essential, i encourage you to include it in your own letters .

Quote:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I just read an article in the Telegraph entitled "Penguin will publish new book titles as 'ebooks'" by Gary Cleland announcing your decision to release new titles as ebooks at the same time as you publish the print edition.

I heartily applaud this decision as an avid reader and more specifically an avid reader of ebooks, and I am very pleased that Penguin (a publisher whose catalogue I have always appreciated) has shown itself to be open to the changing landscape of publishing formats. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing your new releases in ebook form.

However, this article also mentions your intention to release the ebooks at the same price as the print edition. Given the dramatic reduction in production costs of an ebook compared to a print edition, I find this decision to be quite undefendable. Quite honestly, I cannot justify paying the same price for an ebook as a print book, and cannot foresee doing so.

While I again enthusiastically encourage your decision to take advantage of the brilliant new opportunities for publishing offered by ebooks, I fervently request that you reconsider your pricing policy and allow the customer to benefit from the reduced costs that you will incur in producing them. If you persist in this pricing policy, I fear that this venture will not be the resounding success it could be, which would be a tragic and frustrating setback for Penguin and for readers everywhere.

Should you be interested in opening a discussion with the e-reading populace (or simply finding out what we are saying), I welcome you to visit the MobileRead forums here http://www.mobileread.com/ and invite you specifically to take a look at this thread http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22568 where we recently were discussing different models of pricing and ways that the publishing industry could evolve in light of the emerging ebook technologies which are becoming more and more accessible.

With my sincerest appreciation and encouragement,

A K

P.S. I was unsure of the correct address to send this to ; please don't hesitate to forward it to the appropriate department, or to inform me of a better-suited contact address.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:58 PM   #10
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I think the wise thing for Penguin to do would be to sell the ebook for a dollar or two less than the pbook --- a nice symbolic gesture which shows they realize that ebooks and pbooks are different birds of a feather, and it would create good will within the buying community. By the way, by "pbook" I mean "paperback book" and not hard cover. If penguin wants to charge the same for an ebook as for a hard cover book --- that's a practice that I predict will be DOA.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timoleon View Post
I think the wise thing for Penguin to do would be to sell the ebook for a dollar or two less than the pbook --- a nice symbolic gesture which shows they realize that ebooks and pbooks are different birds of a feather, and it would create good will within the buying community. By the way, by "pbook" I mean "paperback book" and not hard cover. If penguin wants to charge the same for an ebook as for a hard cover book --- that's a practice that I predict will be DOA.
that's definitely a good start, although i admit i did interpret the article as meaning the same price as a *hard cover* book (or the oversize paper backs which are sometimes released as the first edition, instead of a hardback, and are much more expensive than the later release of the pocket size paperback).

personally, as i have stated elsewhere, i think that the price of an ebook should not be more than HALF the price of a pbook.

it is a question of production costs : the price of a paperbook can be justified by saying there is the cost of the paper and the ink and the binding and the shipping and the overhead involved in storage facilities and the salaries of all the people involved in each of these steps. these are costs which are eliminated in the case of an ebook. the publisher saves money, and should pass the savings along to the customer, which will in turn encourage the customer to buy more books from that publisher, because they will appreciate the honest dealings of this publisher and want to continue to do business with them.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
that's definitely a good start, although i admit i did interpret the article as meaning the same price as a *hard cover* book (or the oversize paper backs which are sometimes released as the first edition, instead of a hardback, and are much more expensive than the later release of the pocket size paperback).

personally, as i have stated elsewhere, i think that the price of an ebook should not be more than HALF the price of a pbook.

it is a question of production costs : the price of a paperbook can be justified by saying there is the cost of the paper and the ink and the binding and the shipping and the overhead involved in storage facilities and the salaries of all the people involved in each of these steps. these are costs which are eliminated in the case of an ebook. the publisher saves money, and should pass the savings along to the customer, which will in turn encourage the customer to buy more books from that publisher, because they will appreciate the honest dealings of this publisher and want to continue to do business with them.
I totally agree with the idea of the e-bookprice beeing half of pbooks, for all the reasons stated above.
Could not have said it better.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #13
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Most hardback publishers release hardbacks first at a high price because there are customers who don't want to wait and who are willing to pay more. It isn't like a hardback costs twenty dollars more to make than a paperback, after all. Unless Penguin decides to release hardback and paperback simultaneously, they'll want to price eBooks relative to whatever paper books they have available. As we saw with The Da Vinci Code, when paperbacks become available, the eBooks can then be discounted.

As I've mentioned on Mobileread before, BooksForABuck.com offers fairly dramatic discounts on eBooks relative to pBooks for two reasons: (1) the POD technology we use for pBooks is expensive per book; and (2) we don't have a huge network of retailers who could sabotage our core business if they thought we were underselling them by directly offering eBooks at a discount. In an earlier life I worked distribution channels and believe me, this is a huge issue. (It's still an issue in the eBook world. Fictionwise, Mobipocket, etc. require that publishers not systematically undercut them with eBooks).

Rob Preece
Publisher, www.BooksForABuck.com
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:35 PM   #14
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An excellent idea to write Penguin, ZP. I have followed your lead and have emailed them, too.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Most hardback publishers release hardbacks first at a high price because there are customers who don't want to wait and who are willing to pay more. It isn't like a hardback costs twenty dollars more to make than a paperback, after all. Unless Penguin decides to release hardback and paperback simultaneously, they'll want to price eBooks relative to whatever paper books they have available. As we saw with The Da Vinci Code, when paperbacks become available, the eBooks can then be discounted.

As I've mentioned on Mobileread before, BooksForABuck.com offers fairly dramatic discounts on eBooks relative to pBooks for two reasons: (1) the POD technology we use for pBooks is expensive per book; and (2) we don't have a huge network of retailers who could sabotage our core business if they thought we were underselling them by directly offering eBooks at a discount. In an earlier life I worked distribution channels and believe me, this is a huge issue. (It's still an issue in the eBook world. Fictionwise, Mobipocket, etc. require that publishers not systematically undercut them with eBooks).

Rob Preece
Publisher, www.BooksForABuck.com
I do understand this, however i still think ebooks should be priced significantly lower than pbooks. i could accept the idea that the ebook would have a higher price when the book was first published (just like the high price of the hardcover book), and then be discounted appropriately when the cheaper paperback was available. however even when it is a "new" book, there is no justification for selling ebooks at the same price as pbooks. the ebook could start at half the price of the hardcover, and then when the paperback is published be reduced to half the price of the paperback. that way, publishers still take advantage of the "impatience factor" in their market, but also make a concession to the customer to pass along the savings on the production cost. there's "making money", and then there's "highway robbery". a show of goodwill on the part of the publishers will probably do miracles for the ebook industry.

Quote:
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An excellent idea to write Penguin, ZP. I have followed your lead and have emailed them, too.
brilliant !! wonderful !! : i hope you won't be last. oh, i should mention : anyone may feel free to plagiarise any or all parts of my email, if they are feeling lazy but still civically inclined . consider it to be in the public domain.
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