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Old 01-30-2009, 10:15 PM   #1
luqmaninbmore
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Outrageously Priced Ebooks- Does anyone actually by them?

Hey All,

I was trying to track down an electronic copy of Wittgenstein's On Certainty and, while I failed in that endeavor, I did come across some incredible ebook prices that got me thinking. Does anyone actually by ebooks in the 70 dollar plus range? I've even some priced at well over one hundred. What is the theory behind this? Alot of these books seem to be not expected to sell well, but to price them this high seems to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any thoughts, testimonials?

Luqman
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:29 PM   #2
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Where are you finding these?
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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Yes, somebody does buy expensive ebooks. My wife wanted a reference book that was available for $150+ in hard copy or for $65 as a PDF. We bought the PDF and I printed it for her. She continues to use the book almost every week for the past several years.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Where are you finding these?
Well, for one thing, you can check on the Kindle books site, and sort "High to Low" on price point......
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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This doesn't really apply in my field (social sciences) but I know a number of more technical fields have made the jump to electronic texts; since science and computer texts often cost well over $100, the ebook is still a significant savings, plus you don't have to lug around a 20 kilo backpack on campus.

There are a number of history and poli sci books that are "classics," huge, and unavailable electronically. None of them are that expensive, but I'd pay nearly the same price for an e-copy just to avoid the mass.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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Well, looking at ebooks.com, they have Anthony Kenney's Wittgenstein for over 80 dollars when its available new from Amazon for about 30. Approaches to Wittgenstein by Mcguiness is $125 in e and just under $32 at Amazon. Understanding on certainty is over $90 in e and under 30 as a new p-book at Amazon. And so on. I don't think ebooks.com is alone in this; I've noted some frankly incredible prices on the sony store too.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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Well, looking at ebooks.com, they have Anthony Kenney's Wittgenstein for over 80 dollars when its available new from Amazon for about 30. Approaches to Wittgenstein by Mcguiness is $125 in e and just under $32 at Amazon. Understanding on certainty is over $90 in e and under 30 as a new p-book at Amazon. And so on. I don't think ebooks.com is alone in this; I've noted some frankly incredible prices on the sony store too.
Yeah, that's outrageous. I wonder if anybody buys it at that price? Thinking of the big heavy books that I use a lot, I could imagine even paying a *slight* premium for a non-DRM'd digital copy, that would be portable and, if stored properly, more durable than the Dead Tree version. But more than double the price? That's nuts. And wherever you are on the planet, shipping won't cover that kind of discrepancy.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:36 AM   #8
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wow, 70 bucks is expensive, lol.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:10 AM   #9
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There are some really outrageously priced Stephen King ebooks ($30-50) out there. I bought them when they were 100% micropay rebate at Fictionwise, so I assume that it looks to the publisher as though there's a market for them at that price.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:51 AM   #10
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I paid the equivalent of about $80 for the "Chambers Unabridged Dictionary" for my CyBook. It was worth worth every penny to me - I use it every day.

I have a number of extremely expensive reference books which I'd love to see as eBooks. Number 1 on my "wish-list" would be the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

Whether or not pricing is "outrageous" is very much in the eye of the purchaser. Books for specialist markets (such as the OCD) tend to be extremely expensive simply because they cost a great deal of money to produce, and they have a very limited market. The publisher probably wouldn't sell any more copies if it was priced at $10 rather than $100+ - it's a book that you "need" if you're a classical scholar, and you probably have no interest in if you aren't.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luqmaninbmore View Post
Well, looking at ebooks.com, they have Anthony Kenney's Wittgenstein for over 80 dollars when its available new from Amazon for about 30. Approaches to Wittgenstein by Mcguiness is $125 in e and just under $32 at Amazon. Understanding on certainty is over $90 in e and under 30 as a new p-book at Amazon. And so on. I don't think ebooks.com is alone in this; I've noted some frankly incredible prices on the sony store too.
I too have checked the same titles on e-book vendor sites and Amazon for the paper version with the same results. I have worked in publishing before and I know that one of the biggest costs in bringing out a book is the cost of printing, and storing it. One would think that publishing it in electronic form would entail lower costs but that does not seem to be the case. I would love to buy all my books in e-book form as my library cannot expand forever for lack of space, but as long as e-books remain similar or more expensive that the paper version I will have to buy it in paper and see more trees cut down.
Here is an article that attempts to explain why e-books are still expensive.
http://livrenumerique.blogspot.com/2...tribution.html
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:22 AM   #12
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I would love to buy all my books in e-book form as my library cannot expand forever for lack of space, but as long as e-books remain similar or more expensive that the paper version I will have to buy it in paper and see more trees cut down.
Why would you not buy an eBook if it were a similar price to a paper book? To me, the eBook is "worth" more, because it doesn't use any physical storage space!
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:48 AM   #13
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Sigh. I guess I'm one of those sentimental people who still love the feel and smell of real books. So I would still buy a title in paper if the eBook version is similar in price, in spite of the fact that space-wise the eBook has the advantage. I try to get rid of something else to make space for the new arrival though it is sometimes very difficult. Second sigh.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:10 AM   #14
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Why would you not buy an eBook if it were a similar price to a paper book? To me, the eBook is "worth" more, because it doesn't use any physical storage space!
But you have to admit that it's more difficult to use a reference book in ebook form. Even with hyperlinks. And it's a lot easier to skim a pBook when looking for specific information, than in a ereader. At least until a search function is included.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:12 AM   #15
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Certainly, Over, I entirely agree with you. I was referring to fiction, primarily.
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