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Old 11-02-2009, 07:03 PM   #1
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Ebooks and the Price War featured on Jim Lehrer News Hour

My favorite newscast is The Jim Lehrer News Hour on PBS....Tonight they had a segment on the coming of ebooks. Rather than focusing on the technology, they focused on the changes it is making. They showed a short video report that showed the Kindle and Sony Ereader, and mentioned the Nook, then visited an independent book store and interviewed some shoppers.

Then they went to an interview format, and interviewed a lady from a site called booksquare.com (Never heard of her or it, but she was informed and made worthy comments) and Lev Grossman of TIME magazine. They had a good discussion, focusing mostly on the effects of the price war on retailers, publishers, and writers, and talking about how ereading technology is in its infancy. Most of the material wouldn't have shocked anyone who reads in these forums, but I was pleased to see it discussed in a mainstream media outlet, even one that doesn't get as much prominence as the big cable news networks.

My two favorite tidbits from the report were a sign on the front of the independent bookstore:

"Use your Kindle or your cellphone at your own risk"

and a comment by Lev Grossman that "We are in the Pre-Cambrian era of electronic publishing."

This was just shown minutes ago on PBS in my area--Check your local listings and you may be able to see it tonight. Otherwise if you want to see it, The program usually posts their reports on their website a few days after they are broadcast:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/

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Old 11-02-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
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I'm sure we all agree that the more people are aware of it all, the more prices will come down.

I'm reminded of reading maybe four years ago an interview with someone in the electronics industry about DVD players. You may recall that the prices of those plummeted a couple of years after they came out. He described them as now being in "the sewer category".
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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oooh. i missed that one.

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Old 11-03-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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On a related note, Matt Lauer interviewed John Grisham on this mornings today show and the talk turned to loss leader sales on his latest book by Amazon and Walmart. He indicated this was likely just a short term thing. He then indicated his long term concern about eBook pricing coming down and hurting writers and brick and mortar stores. In his mind $9.95 is too low.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:59 PM   #5
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In terms of entertainment per hour, yes $10 is a steal, but as it is too few people buy books anymore, and the more you raise the price, the fewer will buy.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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The price war is fantastic, but if those multimedia tablet readers ever come out it will get even more interesting. I'm looking forward to a time when you can buy a package which includes book + movie + soundtrack and get them at a price which is cheaper than buying each one individually.

There are some classics I'd love to have both of, eg. buying the LOTR trilogy and getting both the movies and the books. After looking at the Apple LP pages it's easy to see how these things could be packaged.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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The tech to do packaging like that has been available for years, just companies don't want to do it. They'd rather sell individually. Even the iTunes LP thing is a bit of a joke, because it isn't anything new.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:09 AM   #8
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I'd be intrigued to see what kind of options independents come up with for ebook solutions. People have favorite books store and I imagine they would still love to be there in the atmosphere and browse. Someone should come up with an independent bookstore system for selling books wirelessly. Wait... I'm a programmer - hmmmm...

Edit: Oh wait, Overdrive already does this...

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Old 11-04-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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What they do not take into account is all those older books, the ones I buy at flea markets and Goodwill stores, the ones that the authors/publishers have already made their money off. I now have a digital collection of books I would never had purchased, they would take up too much space. The books I got from the public library or from friends and family I now have in ebook form. It's just like my DVD collection, because it's cheap I have more movies than I would have ever thought possible. Yes, I had a few VHS but I have thousands of DVDs. Yes I have a few hundred paperbacks but I have thousands of ebooks. Another example would be I used to get National Geographic, my collection was large, 20 years worth, till I knew I was going to move and didn't want to carry them with me. The same issue with my record collection...I sold or gave everything away. I switched to CDs and never looked back. I currently have the entire 100+ years of National Geographic on 6 DVDs and not hundreds of magazines. I have 5 years worth of Macworld, Elle, Country Home and a few others in digital form. Now even those CDs that took over my record collection back in 1987 are all digital on my MacPro, I'm talking thousands of CDs.

I'm not a kid, I remember when a TV was a piece of furniture that the entire family sat in front of the watch 'Wonderful World of Color' every Sunday night. I can see that people are fighting not to go digital but I also see kids are already there. They don't remember keeping quarters in their pockets to use the payphone when they are away from home. They have no problem downloading movies or music or sending email. Some have never done a letter using snail-mail. These days, change comes real fast.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #10
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Here is the link:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/busin...oks_11-02.html
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagansoul View Post
I'm not a kid, I remember when a TV was a piece of furniture that the entire family sat in front of the watch 'Wonderful World of Color' every Sunday night.
Yeah, well, I can remember when it was the "Wonderful World of Black & White", and the whole neighborhood crowded around the set.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:52 PM   #12
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Yeah, well, I can remember when it was the "Wonderful World of Black & White", and the whole neighborhood crowded around the set.
Well of course it was never called that. I remember the original was called the Wonderful World of Disney but you are correct it was in Black and White on my TV too. (but did have shades of Gray)

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:43 PM   #13
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Well of course it was never called that. I remember the original was called the Wonderful World of Disney but you are correct it was in Black and White on my TV too. (but did have shades of Gray)

Dale
Beulah the Buzzer says your time is up, Dale! The show, originally on ABC, was called Disneyland. When it switched over to NBC (I think in the fall of 1960) they changed the name to Wonderful World of Color.

The name was changed to Wonderful World of Disney after my time - I'm not sure when, but I figure it was after all the little kids took color for granted.

I guess my youth was wasted, spent on watching television!
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:48 PM   #14
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Beulah the Buzzer says your time is up, Dale! The show, originally on ABC, was called Disneyland. When it switched over to NBC (I think in the fall of 1960) they changed the name to Wonderful World of Color.

The name was changed to Wonderful World of Disney after my time - I'm not sure when, but I figure it was after all the little kids took color for granted.

I guess my youth was wasted, spent on watching television!
Sorry, I guess my memory is going. I got it backwards. I do remember Disneyland as the name since you jogged my memory.

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Old 11-05-2009, 02:59 PM   #15
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LOL.

And all I was trying to do was make a joke about being even older.

But yer right. It was Disneyland in black and white until the advent of color TV. Disney's Wonderful World of Color may have even been one of the showcase color programs. Now, I think it is called The Wonderful World of HD.
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