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Old 09-16-2009, 11:23 AM   #1
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E-book of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol outsells the hardback on Amazon

Beginning of a new era in publishing?

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol on Kindle is Amazon top seller

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The Kindle edition of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, his follow-up to 2003’s smash hit The Da Vinci Code, has become the top-selling item on Amazon.com.
The e-reader edition is outselling the hardback copy of the novel, which had previously become the sixth best selling book of 2009 on pre-publication orders alone.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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WooHoo - maybe this will send a message to publishers (or their cash flow sheets) that ebooks are a REAL market - and delaying release of ebooks will hit them in the pocketbook!
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
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WooHoo - maybe this will send a message to publishers (or their cash flow sheets) that ebooks are a REAL market - and delaying release of ebooks will hit them in the pocketbook!
Unless they assume X% of those eBook sales would have been far more profitable hardcover sales... if only they delayed the eBook's release.

A theory that seems eminently plausible to me. And given how much profit there can be on an overpriced hardcover... perhaps it is even a sensible one... despite being contrary to consumer interests.

- Ahi
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
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Unless they assume X% of those eBook sales would have been far more profitable hardcover sales... if only they delayed the eBook's release.

A theory that seems eminently plausible to me. And given how much profit there can be on an overpriced hardcover... perhaps it is even a sensible one... despite being contrary to consumer interests.

- Ahi
Hmmm - money in the pocket now and happy readers- vs - projected money in the pocket and unhappy readers maybe if only I had delayed the release??? The eternal question of greed facing publishers today.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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Hmmm - money in the pocket now and happy readers- vs - projected money in the pocket and unhappy readers maybe if only I had delayed the release??? The eternal question of greed facing publishers today.
I'm not sure it's necessarily correct to put it in terms of greed. Perhaps it is for this title... but with less successful ones, it may be the difference between the publisher making money on the title (their overzealous and overpriced promotion attempts' cost included in the consideration) or end up eventually remaindering unsold hard covers and paperbacks, and cursing the day they signed on the author.

- Ahi

Ps.: Which doesn't mean publishers aren't greedy... just that some of their greed-oriented actions might be due to genuine financial necessity instead of just some psychotic desire for more cash.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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"some psychotic desire for more cash"
Ahh - the American way of doing business!

Seriously, I understand your points as regards smaller, cash-strapped publishers trying to compete with pbook & ebook formats.

But for the main stream publishers, esp. those who had previously hinted at delaying the ebook release to titillate or annoy their readers, this sales response today (IMHO) truly highlights the existence of a sizeable ebook market, the response to the 9.99 pricing, and the power of Amazon.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
"some psychotic desire for more cash"
Ahh - the American way of doing business!

Seriously, I understand your points as regards smaller, cash-strapped publishers trying to compete with pbook & ebook formats.

But for the main stream publishers, esp. those who had previously hinted at delaying the ebook release to titillate or annoy their readers, this sales response today (IMHO) truly highlights the existence of a sizeable ebook market, the response to the 9.99 pricing, and the power of Amazon.
Well, I think the biggest encouragement for publishers to not favour hard covers at the expense of eBooks would be to not have retailers take the same (or even comparable) large cut from the list price as they do with paper books that they have to store, ship, and inventory manage.

If more of that money went to the publisher, the financial incentive to release eBooks in a timely manner would be greater.

- Ahi
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:55 AM   #8
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I may have my tinfoil hat on, but do you think it is a coincidence that the ebook release coincided with the offering of refurbished K1's and K2's at substantially lower prices? Get a Kindle and the new best seller for under $200? What a deal!
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #9
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I may have my tinfoil hat on, but do you think it is a coincidence that the ebook release coincided with the offering of refurbished K1's and K2's at substantially lower prices? Get a Kindle and the new best seller for under $200? What a deal!
Hmmmm... maybe. But then they really should have offered the two as a bundle, I would think.

- Ahi
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Assuming that its amazon taking the hit on the ebook price and not the publisher then they aren't even losing profits by the ebook version doing better than the hardback version, so maybe they will be able to look at this in a positive manner.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:27 PM   #11
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Assuming that its amazon taking the hit on the ebook price and not the publisher then they aren't even losing profits by the ebook version doing better than the hardback version, so maybe they will be able to look at this in a positive manner.
A lost hard cover sale may be worth two or more eBook sales from a profit perspective. Amazon selling at a loss doesn't necessarily leave the publisher with an equally/more attractive profit than paper books would.

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Old 09-16-2009, 12:32 PM   #12
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A lost hard cover sale may be worth two or more eBook sales from a profit perspective. Amazon selling at a loss doesn't necessarily leave the publisher with an equally/more attractive profit than paper books would.
I thought that the retailers kept moaning that ebooks were being priced at the same price as the hardback versions and that was why pricing wasn't competitive enough, if that is the case then the publisher shouldn't be making less money per copy since the price cutting down to 9.99 is down to amazon not them.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:38 PM   #13
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I thought that the retailers kept moaning that ebooks were being priced at the same price as the hardback versions and that was why pricing wasn't competitive enough, if that is the case then the publisher shouldn't be making less money per copy since the price cutting down to 9.99 is down to amazon not them.
Sorry, I should have been clearer...

If the publisher's list price is $13.95, but it's being bought from them with 35% - 55% discount ($9.07 - $6.28) by Amazon... it makes no difference to them whether Amazon sells it for $13.95, $24.95, or $4.95. Once the sale is made, the publisher will receive their $6.28 - $9.07 from Amazon, and that is the amount that will have to cover all the money they sunk into the book/author.

My suggestion was that Amazon, given that all they do is facilitate the duplication of a less than 1 MB file, should perhaps be paying the publishers as much as 80% - 90% of the list price, thereby making publishers profit more from eBooks and feel less of an incentive to hold them back in favour of higher priced paper book sales.

- Ahi

Last edited by ahi; 09-16-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:41 PM   #14
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Amazon isn't the only one offering it at this price.

Shortcovers $9.99
http://www.shortcovers.com/mixes/The...htg/page1.html

Sony has it for $9.99

http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/dan...ost%20Symbol_1
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #15
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Booksonboard.com were doing it for a similar price, but its back up to $25 now despite claiming to still be $9.95 on the front page, which seems a bit cheeky.
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