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Old 07-10-2009, 10:15 AM   #1
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Why are Sony Ebooks more expensive?

I have compared prices on identical titles between the Kindle Store, Sony Ebook store and the respective Publisher's web site. Generally, the most expensive version is Sony. The Kindle store generally matches the Publisher's site. Is Sony not committed to price match other sources?
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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Which books are you looking up? If they are hardcover bestsellers, amazon actually takes a loss for them. Amazon also seems to get better discounts. I've noted often that publishers are giving Sony bad info, for whatever reason. If you look at the rest of the online booksellers, Sony matches them or beats them. Amazon's a big player though.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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I just looked at Skiny Dip by Carl Hiaasen. Amazon sells the paperback for $7.99,the Kindle book for $7.19. Sony charges $17.47 for the Ebook!!!
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
Which books are you looking up? If they are hardcover bestsellers, amazon actually takes a loss for them. Amazon also seems to get better discounts. I've noted often that publishers are giving Sony bad info, for whatever reason. If you look at the rest of the online booksellers, Sony matches them or beats them. Amazon's a big player though.
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Originally Posted by advocate2 View Post
I just looked at Skiny Dip by Carl Hiaasen. Amazon sells the paperback for $7.99,the Kindle book for $7.19. Sony charges $17.47 for the Ebook!!!
It's not just Sony that is sometimes not able to match the "at-a-loss" / discounted Kindle price but, Sony does seem to be cheaper than most others (at a quick glance)...

http://www.booksonboard.com/index.ph...76884&v=buynow

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http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin...Dip-eBook.html

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http://ebooks.ebookmall.com/ebook/135627-ebook.htm

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Also..

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b2...-Hiaasen/?si=0

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Last edited by dreams; 07-10-2009 at 09:54 PM. Reason: pronoun clarification
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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I'm not sure when the real world will reconcile itself with the digital age. I received a quote for a digital magazine that was just as expensive as the print version.

Newsflash: When you DON'T print the book, etc you DON'T have as much cost. Get with it publishing world.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:45 AM   #6
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Amazon subsidizes the price of the books on the Kindle store.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:09 AM   #7
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For the books that I'm looking for, I've found that generally the Sony store has them for a few bucks more than the Kindle store (so 11.99/12.99). Of course, there are exceptions, like the Carl Hiassen book listed above, or Stephen King's The Stand. Thankfully, those tend to be the exceptions, not the rule.

Also, I've also found that if I dig around a little, I can get some pretty good prices on other sites, like Books on Board or WHSmith. Actually, I picked up quite a few decent deals thanks to WHSmith's 25% off sale. You can get a number of ePUBs for ~$9.50 after conversion and fees -- even better than the Amazon price! Sadly they don't have any Carl Hiassen available. But still, not a bad place to look.

As for publishers having fewer costs when dealing with ebooks, you also need to look at the extra costs incurred (well, if they do it properly at least). Sure, they'll save a small amount on not printing, but they'll instead need to have someone handle the layout/formatting of the ebook, and then have another round or two of proofs of that. The layout/formatting does require a different skillset than what most print layout people will have, so it's not like they can just reassign someone over to that (of course, they may have someone eager to learn and do the job). So that's likely added cost. And for something that will maybe sell a few hundred to a few thousand copies, that's quite a bit of cost for such low return. Not saying it's right or that the publishers don't need to adjust with the times. Just looking at the situation from the other side.

And yes, the Kindle prices are cheaper because Amazon takes the loss in order to promote the Kindle. Don't expect this situation to be this way forever.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:22 AM   #8
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Thank you all for you comments. I have been introduced to additional sites.

Is there an easy way to compare title prices on different ebook sites? Something equivalent to Pricegrabber, but for ebooks only? If not, perhaps programmers out there should give it a go.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advocate2 View Post
TIs there an easy way to compare title prices on different ebook sites?
Try ebookprice.info, for example Skinny Dip Carl Hiaasen. The ePub and Adobe/PDF ebooks are readable directly on your PRS-505.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaznsc View Post
I'm not sure when the real world will reconcile itself with the digital age. I received a quote for a digital magazine that was just as expensive as the print version.

Newsflash: When you DON'T print the book, etc you DON'T have as much cost. Get with it publishing world.
It depends a lot on the magazine of course, but most mainstream magazines are heavily subsidised by the advertising they carry. Digital versions rarey match that level of advertising revenue, and still have to be edited and formatted for e-readers - so they cost more to produce over the price of the original magazine, and bring in less revenue.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:36 PM   #11
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Wallcraft,

ebookprice.info is a great site. Thank you very much for pointing it out to me.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:26 PM   #12
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As for publishers having fewer costs when dealing with ebooks, you also need to look at the extra costs incurred (well, if they do it properly at least). Sure, they'll save a small amount on not printing, but they'll instead need to have someone handle the layout/formatting of the ebook, and then have another round or two of proofs of that. The layout/formatting does require a different skillset than what most print layout people will have, so it's not like they can just reassign someone over to that (of course, they may have someone eager to learn and do the job). So that's likely added cost. And for something that will maybe sell a few hundred to a few thousand copies, that's quite a bit of cost for such low return. Not saying it's right or that the publishers don't need to adjust with the times. Just looking at the situation from the other side.
I've a small problem with this approach. If you ask information about costs at the paper books, about half of the prize is distribution, not printing. Why people don't count these costs when comparisons are made with electronic books. No storage (sorry, electronic storage is much cheaper than physical storage), no transport (electronic transport is much cheaper than physical transport), but usually people don't mention these costs. Usually only paper against technical skills and infrastructures.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:58 PM   #13
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I had this same question a while ago and contacted Sony. They asked me to let them know the book I was comparing and in a matter of days the price went down a few dollars. Not anywhere near the kindle price but they did listen and adjusted it. If enough of us ask then they might re look at their charges.


Ill have a look at the ebook site today. Sound great so thanks for listing it.

Natalie
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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I've a small problem with this approach. If you ask information about costs at the paper books, about half of the prize is distribution, not printing. Why people don't count these costs when comparisons are made with electronic books. No storage (sorry, electronic storage is much cheaper than physical storage), no transport (electronic transport is much cheaper than physical transport), but usually people don't mention these costs. Usually only paper against technical skills and infrastructures.
Also, no unsold remainders sent back to the publisher for full credit. I just don't buy the idea that eBooks aren't a lot cheaper. Publishers have been complaining for decades about the physical costs of publishing, now suddenly those costs don't matter and it's all in the non-physical costs ... Nope, not buying it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:41 PM   #15
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what should the publishers say? "We are ripping you off with ebooks?" Of course nobody believes the line that they save just 12.5% on costs. That may be true for a very extreme case with a famous author who commands a very high payment and heavy advertising expenditures. It is very simple, they are taking what they can, while they can. Since we people shell out a lot for readers we are probably considered to be easy prey. Well, competition will take care of it in the long run.
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