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Old 08-18-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
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Didn't Sony say they were releasing $9.99 books?

I could have sworn that I recently read an article that Sony was going to be limiting new bestsellers to $9.99.

I receive an email ad from the Sony eBook Store today that lists new releases for $15.37, $14.30, $14.85, $14.29 and then a few others at $9.99. Was I dreaming? Was it B&N?
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:27 PM   #2
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I think they said something like "NYTimes Bestsellers" and "select" new books or something like that. But not everything will be $9.99. They want to be competitive, but they also don't want to piss of the publishers too much, like Amazon is doing.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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$15.37 for an ebook, wow they must be getting some profit on those. No middle man book store, no printing costs, no transport costs. Just money for the 'publisher' (what do they do again?) and author.

I can't wait for one of the big name authors, like a Grisham to step away from a publisher and just put his ebook out independently, like Radiohead did with their music.

But anyway, getting offtopic. Yes they said 'selected' books, so we can expect to see some books for $9.99 but a whole bunch will remain $13+
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:21 AM   #4
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They announced 'bestsellers' would be 9.99, not 'new releases'.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazied View Post
I can't wait for one of the big name authors, like a Grisham to step away from a publisher and just put his ebook out independently, like Radiohead did with their music.
a few have, BUT, alot of the publishers have digital clauses in the contract which prevent that. and certainly all of the new contracts at publishers houses have that.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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OK...overly optimistic recall. Just because I wish it, doesn't mean it's true. Thanks for the reality check.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:42 AM   #7
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Hrm... Hopefully Sony will spread the $9.99 price around a bit more. It's not a great plan to promise a price drop and have it be, well, a drop in the bucket.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazied View Post
$15.37 for an ebook, wow they must be getting some profit on those. No middle man book store, no printing costs, no transport costs. Just money for the 'publisher' (what do they do again?) and author.
As far as I understand, Sony has to pay the publisher a wholesale price for each book sold. My best guess is that for a new book it's over $10 per unit, less for older books (unfortunately I don't have exact figures). I.e. Sony, Amazon and B&N don't make any profit on a $9.99 brand-new best-seller, it's a loss leader.

Publishers actually do a big chunk of the work. They pay an advance to the writer; hire editors; handle legal issues; do the marketing and PR; manage distribution, and so forth. Most books lose money as well -- it's a handful that wind up generating most of the revenue -- so they are also supporting a lot of writers. Apparently, producing, transporting and warehousing paper copies isn't that big a chunk of the costs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazied
I can't wait for one of the big name authors, like a Grisham to step away from a publisher and just put his ebook out independently, like Radiohead did with their music.
It's quite possible, though it would have to be someone who can afford to hire a good PR / marketing staff.

However it's not going to happen any time soon, since ebooks are currently a tiny part of the market (1-2% iirc).
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
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Kali, or so they would make you believe. I really refuse to believe that there really is no difference in cost between digital and tangible.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pking36330 View Post
I could have sworn that I recently read an article that Sony was going to be limiting new bestsellers to $9.99.

I receive an email ad from the Sony eBook Store today that lists new releases for $15.37, $14.30, $14.85, $14.29 and then a few others at $9.99. Was I dreaming? Was it B&N?
No that was eReader.com and Barnes & Nobel both cap out all new books at $9.99 and eReader.com caps all books as $12.95
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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Kali, or so they would make you believe. I really refuse to believe that there really is no difference in cost between digital and tangible.
It's whatever the publisher feels like charging the vendor. Publishers have made it no secret that Amazon (and presumably now Sony) are selling the $9.99 bestsellers at a loss and the publishers don't like it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #11
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Oh, I know that it is what ever the publishers charge, but I'm just thinking that it is the iTunes bullshit all over again. Weird Al and a few others went on record a few years back, that they get significantly less from each iTunes sale, compared to each album sale. If I remember my figures right, was 4.5 cents per song on average via iTunes, and 33% to the artist on a CD sale. Most albums I buy are 9.99, and average 10-11 songs. For example, lets just assume 10. Buy the same album, and the means which should have lower costs, the artist only gets 45 cents. Credit card fees on each sale, if I remember right, are in the neighborhood of 34 cents for most sales. To me, it appears as if the labels are keeping the amount normally that they use for manufacturing and shipping, and shuffling off the credit card fees mostly to the artist.

Now, we cannot say that the publishing industry is doing the same without some figures, but I would wager that they're doing largely the same as the music industry. Why else would they claim that their expenses are almost identical to printed books for ebooks, when they do not have many of the expenses for ebooks that printed books have, such as shipping, printing, binding, storage, etc. Also, why would there be such concepts as a "ebook warehouse"?
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:41 PM   #12
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Oh, I know that it is what ever the publishers charge, but I'm just thinking that it is the iTunes bullshit all over again. Weird Al and a few others went on record a few years back, that they get significantly less from each iTunes sale, compared to each album sale. If I remember my figures right, was 4.5 cents per song on average via iTunes, and 33% to the artist on a CD sale. Most albums I buy are 9.99, and average 10-11 songs. For example, lets just assume 10. Buy the same album, and the means which should have lower costs, the artist only gets 45 cents. Credit card fees on each sale, if I remember right, are in the neighborhood of 34 cents for most sales. To me, it appears as if the labels are keeping the amount normally that they use for manufacturing and shipping, and shuffling off the credit card fees mostly to the artist.

Now, we cannot say that the publishing industry is doing the same without some figures, but I would wager that they're doing largely the same as the music industry. Why else would they claim that their expenses are almost identical to printed books for ebooks, when they do not have many of the expenses for ebooks that printed books have, such as shipping, printing, binding, storage, etc. Also, why would there be such concepts as a "ebook warehouse"?
You're most likely right. The publishing industry and the music label industry are very similar in the way they operate and the way they act.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:55 PM   #13
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While the publishers do a valuable service for the author, why should they take so big a piece of the profits, especially when it comes to the digital versions?
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:05 PM   #14
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While the publishers do a valuable service for the author, why should they take so big a piece of the profits, especially when it comes to the digital versions?
Because that is what the contract says. How big is negotiable but it sets the final price. Typically a retailer gets about 50% which is what they discount off of for sales etc. From the rest there are the publishers profit, the editors salary, the Authors take, the production costs, the advertising and promotion costs, overhead costs, etc. Actually printing of a book is generally less than $1 in quantity. A eBook is not really free to the publisher since many of the costs are the same and eBooks have special costs that are not in books, such as DRM, servers, conversion costs for multiple formats, computer maintenance, IT, software and upgrades.

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:11 PM   #15
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Many of those extra expenses are only spent once, and are rather low, so the entire expense gets spread out over the sale of every book. Some of those expenses are something the retailer have to worry about (the servers, and such), or would be needed anyway because of other uses.
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