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Old 09-18-2008, 06:41 PM   #1
nellow
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Ebook prices at Waterstones UK

Can anyone understand this pricing for Ken Follett's "World Without End" in UK Pounds? All off the website.

List Price to pay

Paperback £8.99 £5.39

CD-Audio £24.99 £24.99

Ebook £20.00 £20.00

Hardback £25.00 £15.00

Ebook is more than hardback - how can that be justified? Also, the Ebook, which I did buy, is not formatted that brilliantly, e.g. not even justified. I am a keen ebook supporter so I bought it anyway, but anyone making a transition from ordinary books to Sony Reader would find this hard to accept.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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Sorry about formatting - the first price is the list price and the second one is the actual price you can buy at.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:16 PM   #3
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Bizarre. I think that I paid $18 for it almost a year ago now it's listed at $29.75 club price at Fictionwise. The publishers are obviously floating the price all over the place to see how much customers will pay.

What I do now is put it on my wish list at Fictionwise and then set a price alert for what I consider a reasonable price. The market will eventually set the price but it will take time. Luckily there's lots of books at reasonable prices.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:41 PM   #4
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After looking at some of the other threads, it mainly looks like publishers are trying to determine what price the Market will bear.

Or more likely if your are cynical about it are trying to set the highest price they get for the books, letting the retailer eat their own profit to bring the price down to sensible level.

Still, what it's doing is removing one of the major advantage's getting an ebook should have, a cheaper price.

When will people learn that trying to milk your best supporters for all their worth is the best way to lose them. Why do they refuse to learn from the experiemces of the Music and movie industry.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nellow View Post
Ebook is more than hardback - how can that be justified? Also, the Ebook, which I did buy, is not formatted that brilliantly, e.g. not even justified. I am a keen ebook supporter so I bought it anyway, but anyone making a transition from ordinary books to Sony Reader would find this hard to accept.
It is easily justified from publisher's point of view.

1. High price
2. Bad formating

They will drive new users away from ebooks and allow publishers to stay in business by selling printed books. Or at least prolong their current easy money making life. It is their aim right now
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:07 AM   #6
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I think this may be a reaction to Amazon's pricing. The list price for the ebook in the US is $35, but Amazon is charging $9.99. Since publishers get 50% of the LIST price, this still costs Amazon $17.50. The fact that sales of this ebook except on the Kindle will plummet at $35 does not matter, since lost profits are more than made up by Kindle sales. Since all popular Kindle ebooks are $9.99, I don't know why all publishers of best sellers don't charge $100 for the ebook.
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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Hmmm, interesting re Amazon. But in that case, I wonder why Waterstones don't discount the ebook like Amazon - they are the main outlet for the Sony Reader in UK and they have just opened their ebook store to go with the launch, so presumably they want to sell ebooks. Of course, they sold to me, which woul dbe equivalent to two customers at the lower discounted price so maybe they DO know what they are doing!!
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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Can I suggest that as many people as possible email Waterstone's and tell them that reduced prices (prices that make sense compared to soft-back and in many cases hardback) will in the long term help their business?

If they choose to be blind and ignore the ludicrous prices they are presently charging, then ebook readers will vote with their fingers and buy elsewhere. The joys and opportunities of the online world!

If in the mood for emailing, and if interested in audio as well as in reading, why not get on to www.passionato.com and tell them that charging more for FLAC downloads than they do for mp3 downloads in very nasty.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:12 PM   #9
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I've just checked out Waterstones site. A book by Thomas Gifford - The Assassini - quite interests me.

The Waterstones ebook price is £5.59.

I can get this book as a pbook brand new from an Amazon reseller with 99% positive rating for £1.00 plus 2.75 shipping.

I can get it from Amazon brand new as a pback for £5.49 and if I'm sensible about my purchases and get free super saver delivery I am better off.

Of course, my wife wouldn't be happy about yet more shelf space being taken up etc.,

If there is to be a paradigm shift and publishers etc., wish to make this whole ebooks thing work, then they have to embrace new and imaginative marketing strategies, otherwise it will just stay a niche market.

I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Best Wishes
David
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:19 PM   #10
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And ... I can understand why a newly released book with a hardcover costs more than a book with a soft cover (production costs etc.,) But ... why does the ebook version of a hardback have to cost as much? The preparation of the text, the hosting costs on a server, the bandwidth to download are all the same, aren't they? So ... does this mean that the profit margin for the ebook version of a hardback is greater? These are genuine questions - I hope they're not stupid ones and that I'm not missing something blindingly obvious.

Best Wishes
David
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:28 PM   #11
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I think that an eBook's de-facto (not RRP) price should not be more than the paper edition.

In the UK there is the problem that the VAT rate on eBooks is 17.5% but on paper books it is 0%. This means that the publisher only sees 85.1% of the money from an eBook sales, compared to a paperback sale.

However, given the lower unit production costs of an eBook, the eBook still shouldn't cost more than the paper edition.

Paul


Quote:
Originally Posted by adriatikfan View Post
I've just checked out Waterstones site. A book by Thomas Gifford - The Assassini - quite interests me.

The Waterstones ebook price is £5.59.

I can get this book as a pbook brand new from an Amazon reseller with 99% positive rating for £1.00 plus 2.75 shipping.

I can get it from Amazon brand new as a pback for £5.49 and if I'm sensible about my purchases and get free super saver delivery I am better off.

Of course, my wife wouldn't be happy about yet more shelf space being taken up etc.,

If there is to be a paradigm shift and publishers etc., wish to make this whole ebooks thing work, then they have to embrace new and imaginative marketing strategies, otherwise it will just stay a niche market.

I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Best Wishes
David
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:32 PM   #12
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The unit profit to the publisher and author for a hardback are higher than for a paperback. So it's not unreasonable for the eBook version to have a higher cost while only the hardback is available. Once a paperback edition comes out, the eBook price should also drop.

Baen doesn't do things this way - the eBook is the same price whether the paper book is hardback or paperback. What they do have is 'eARCs' - early release (before final copy editing) electronic versions that come out a few months before the hardback at a higher price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adriatikfan View Post
And ... I can understand why a newly released book with a hardcover costs more than a book with a soft cover (production costs etc.,) But ... why does the ebook version of a hardback have to cost as much? The preparation of the text, the hosting costs on a server, the bandwidth to download are all the same, aren't they? So ... does this mean that the profit margin for the ebook version of a hardback is greater? These are genuine questions - I hope they're not stupid ones and that I'm not missing something blindingly obvious.

Best Wishes
David
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:43 PM   #13
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Regarding VAT on online sales of ebooks in Europe, it would not be beyond any of the major sellers to base their online businesses in a proximate location where VAT is not payable.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:22 PM   #14
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Ebook prices at Waterstones UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by nellow View Post
Can anyone understand this pricing for Ken Follett's "World Without End" in UK Pounds? All off the website.

List Price to pay

Paperback £8.99 £5.39

CD-Audio £24.99 £24.99

Ebook £20.00 £20.00

Hardback £25.00 £15.00

Ebook is more than hardback - how can that be justified? Also, the Ebook, which I did buy, is not formatted that brilliantly, e.g. not even justified. I am a keen ebook supporter so I bought it anyway, but anyone making a transition from ordinary books to Sony Reader would find this hard to accept.
Just to let you know, that unless my eyes are failing, the ebook price at Waterstones for World Without End is £7.19!!!

Perhaps they are getting the message.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:52 PM   #15
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A nice idea, but I think the waiver of customs duty and VAT on purchases under £18 only applies to items that are physically shipped to the customer. It doesn't apply to purely electronic transactions. :-(

Paul

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Regarding VAT on online sales of ebooks in Europe, it would not be beyond any of the major sellers to base their online businesses in a proximate location where VAT is not payable.
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