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View Poll Results: Doea an ebook sale to you represent a lost print sale?
Yes- if there was no ebook version, I would buy a paper copy 29 17.16%
No- I would not buy a print copy even if there was no e-version 93 55.03%
No- I only read from the library and would not buy a print copy OR an ebook copy 7 4.14%
Other- explain 40 23.67%
Voters: 169. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-15-2009, 07:28 AM   #1
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Does an ebook sale represent, to you, a lost print sale?

One of the reasons publishers seem to fear ebooks so much is the threat that ebook sales will 'cannibalize' print sales. I am curious whether readers here find this is true for them. If you had not bought the ebook, would you have bought the print book instead?

For me, I would not have. I do not have the space to store physical copies of every book I might want to read. So, instead of 'no ebook equals print sale' it's 'no ebook equals no sale and I get it from the library.' There is no way the publishers could 'convince' me to buy a print copy by withholding the sale of an ebook. All they will do is lose money.

What does everyone else think---does an ebook sale, for you, represent a lost print sale?
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
...
For me, I would not have. I do not have the space to store physical copies of every book I might want to read. So, instead of 'no ebook equals print sale' it's 'no ebook equals no sale and I get it from the library.' There is no way the publishers could 'convince' me to buy a print copy by withholding the sale of an ebook. All they will do is lose money.
Ditto for me. I no longer have storage space for more pbooks.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
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Not necessarily

Sometimes I make an e-book purchase to make an existing well-loved p-book easier to carry, or just as a "back-up" (I live in a hurricane-susceptible region, and evacuating with a hard drive is a lot easier than going with boxes of books).

Or, if an e-book impresses me enough, I'm very likely to buy a physical copy, either for myself or as a gift for a friend/relative.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:41 AM   #4
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I most likely won't buy the pbook even though they're not available in ebook.

I most likely will also get an ebook if I get a pbook.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
One of the reasons publishers seem to fear ebooks so much is the threat that ebook sales will 'cannibalize' print sales. I am curious whether readers here find this is true for them. If you had not bought the ebook, would you have bought the print book instead?

For me, I would not have. I do not have the space to store physical copies of every book I might want to read. So, instead of 'no ebook equals print sale' it's 'no ebook equals no sale and I get it from the library.' There is no way the publishers could 'convince' me to buy a print copy by withholding the sale of an ebook. All they will do is lose money.

What does everyone else think---does an ebook sale, for you, represent a lost print sale?
To specify this claim of theirs a bit further: They're afraid it will cannibalize high-yield HC sales. I doubt they care one fig about pback sales (which generate horrible overhead costs what with all the no-sale book destruction)
Ideally, I would see a world where all pbacks were replaced by ebooks, with people only sometimes buying HCs (when they felt the book merited it).
That said, for those people who treasure Dan Brown/Harry Potter, and want to buy it asap, they might indeed buy fewer HCs if they all owned an ebookreader, but this could easily be solved by, say, selling the ebooks at HC price until pb introduction (or whatever).
Anyway, the only paper books I buy are HCs (with the exception of some OUP titles and textbooks).
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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While I am like so many others who are out of room for more books (and/or sick of searching my house looking for a particular book!), whether I buy e-book, print, or both completely depends on the book:

(a) some books are not well-suited to e-reading on a portable device -- lots of graphics, or reference-type books that you must flip around a lot within. I may still buy an-ebook version if the price is right, but I'll also likely pick up a printed version.

(b) some books I love enough to want both. Even though I have pretty much every book in the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold already in paper format, I recently bought many of them in e-book format as well. The price was right, and I reread at least one of these books every year or so -- having them in e-book form makes sense for me. I can also go the other way -- having an e-book may cause me to buy the hard copy as well.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:07 AM   #7
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For what little it's worth, if there is no ebook I would just go buy the pbook. If I bought/obtained an ebook version of something I particularly liked, I might then also go and buy the pbook (the "bought/obtained" bit is due to the likelihood of it being a PD ebook I'd "obtained" rather than bought that I then wanted the paper version of). Sometimes I buy the pbook only even when there's an ebook, because I just love pbook-shopping in a nice, big store (especially now, when the possibility is relegated to the occasional capital city-visit), or because I have every other pbook of the series/author, and I want to continue that. There has been one ebook I've bought after buying and reading the pbook, simply because it's a useful reference to have on my computer rather than just on the shelves. That might happen again, I suppose.

Generally though, yes, if I buy an ebook, I'll probably not buy any version of the pbook.

Cheers,
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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One aspect of ebook purchasing is impulse buying. It's so easy to add a few more electrons to your ebook reader without having to worry about where to store a physical copy (yes - I too have run out of room to store pbooks), or how hard it will be to sell it if you don't like it, etc. It's kind of a no-risk way to try reading a book - esp. if you can get a free sample first. Also, others have posted this too, it's so easy to add a book while you are watching TV or a movie, and don't have to try to remember to write down the title and order it after the show is over.

So, an ebook sale does not necessarily mean a lost pbook sale. Sometimes, it is an extra sale, outside of your regular book buying habits.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:42 AM   #9
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I'd say most of the time, I'll break down and buy the print version. Makes me cranky though.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:46 AM   #10
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Much of what I've read have been things I wouldn't have ordinarily bought paperbooks of, because of cost (I read a bunch of public domain books). I've also been turned on to ebooks when a paperbook wouldn't have ordinarily been readily available to me (such as like Third Pig Detective Agency, where I'd have to import one from the UK). The only ones I've been turned off of, is when the author is anti ebook (like The Time Traveler's Wife).
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:57 AM   #11
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I have read a number of books as ebooks that I would likely never have read as paper books, but I am also sure that some of the electronic books I read would also be books I would have bought in paper format if they hadn't been available as ebooks.

All of that being said, publishers need to recognize that fears or no, the publishing world will be changed by ebooks. Not adapting to the ebook world is like not going to the dentist when you have a tooth ache because you are afraid of the pain... In the long run, you will regret not doing it

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Old 09-15-2009, 09:00 AM   #12
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I move every few years and my hubby is tired of moving a bunch of books. I only buy paperbacks of 3 authors, now. unfortunately they are starting to come out in HC before pback, so I'm looking at doing the ebook route until I can get the pback. I don't think ebooks will ever completely replace pbooks for me, but I like having the option. Plus I live in the middle of nowhere, and getting to a store to BUY a book is hard, and our library is miniscule.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:22 AM   #13
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If the book is in English, and no one else in the family is going to read it, then I’d buy the e-book version, if available, but not the paper one.
But if the book was translated into Spanish and more people around me would read it, I’d buy the paper copy. Not many recent releases are available as e-books in Spanish and paper books are still easier to share as I’m the only one in the family to own an e-book reader.
There could be exceptions to the no more paper books if I were traveling to an English speaking country with good second hand bookshops and I had enough space in my luggage.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:53 AM   #14
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Some books I'll buy as ebook and print version. some books I'll buy eihter version, some books I'll buy only as ebook. It depends on the book...
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:06 AM   #15
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