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Old 12-13-2009, 03:57 AM   #16
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Production costs aside, the argument at hands is who owns the rights to novels originally published and contracted for before the existence of digital distribution? IANAL (I just make webpages for them) but I would think that the Tasini decision would be important to any litigation that results from these disputes. The publishers would do better to try to strike a fair deal with their backlist authors than try to grab rights.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by MaggieScratch View Post
Production costs aside, the argument at hands is who owns the rights to novels originally published and contracted for before the existence of digital distribution? IANAL (I just make webpages for them) but I would think that the Tasini decision would be important to any litigation that results from these disputes. The publishers would do better to try to strike a fair deal with their backlist authors than try to grab rights.

Exactly.

Interesting article.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:41 AM   #18
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And that's exactly what they're paying the lion's share of profits for: validation. It has nothing to do with editing, proofing and all the rest of that gumpf (picking up any recent best-seller will prove that editing and proofing are long lost concepts).

Here's a breakdown of an author's actual sales figures, from a recent article on Publetariat.com (http://www.publetariat.com/think/par...nal-publishers). These figures show his earnings with and without the publisher involved.
figures snipped

Actually, all that proves is that per dollar of book, the publisher's books made (roughly) 27 cents and the self published made 35 cents, but it should also be noted that the different price points may have skewed the answer.

Without knowing a lot more details about the books and the customers, all you can say is that the extra effort for self publishing _might_ have paid back at this volume of sales. Eight extra cents, over the four self-published books ($400 each), might have paid back the extra work the author did. I doubt it represents a net profit to him. He'd have to do no more than 8 hours of work on each volume to ready it for publication.

Publishers often earn their money. The problem comes when their greed exceeds their marginal utility, and they try to use the law as a bludgeon to make people dance to _their_ tune.

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Old 12-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jack Tingle View Post
figures snipped

Actually, all that proves is that per dollar of book, the publisher's books made (roughly) 27 cents and the self published made 35 cents, but it should also be noted that the different price points may have skewed the answer.

Without knowing a lot more details about the books and the customers, all you can say is that the extra effort for self publishing _might_ have paid back at this volume of sales. Eight extra cents, over the four self-published books ($400 each), might have paid back the extra work the author did. I doubt it represents a net profit to him. He'd have to do no more than 8 hours of work on each volume to ready it for publication.

Publishers often earn their money. The problem comes when their greed exceeds their marginal utility, and they try to use the law as a bludgeon to make people dance to _their_ tune.

Regards,
Jack Tingle
But you don't carry it out, sir. This is for one year's earnings. The cost to convert to an e-book is a one-time only charge. Therefore it should be amortized over the entire sales of the e-book, for the entire length of the e-book copyright. Or look at it another way, it costs X dollars in time, labor, or money (for somebody else) to convert the book to an e-book. Like a publisher's advance, the writer needs to "earn out" that cost, then the rest becomes his profit thereafter....

(And like I-Tunes, price it cheap and nobody's going to waste their time pirating.....)
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:05 AM   #20
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Teleread had a post about this claiming that it was targeted against the new company Open Road being started by Jane Friedman (ex CEO Harper Collins).

http://www.teleread.org/2009/12/12/r...ist-contracts/

http://openroadmedia.com/

Personally I think that Random House is just trying to milk a couple more hard cover sales of "Sophie's Choice" before they release the ebook.

Seriously I don't blame them for making the claim. They'll lose for sure if they don't make the claim.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:15 AM   #21
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Its also interesting to note that your a nook hater
What kind of a comment is that? It's off-topic and sounds rather hurtful.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #22
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This an interesting quote

We've had many publisher-apologists here who claim that ebooks are not really cheaper to produce. I believe that is not only intuitively nonsense, but nonsense in reality.
eBooks & pBooks are the same cost up to a point. After all the writing, editing, rewrites, and what not to get the book finished, all the costs are the same. But now we diverge from the costs. The costs to setup the pBook & eBook may be similar. I cannot say. But once the eBook is sorted, there the cost differences become very clear. You don't have the cost to print the eBook, no cost for the materials, no cost for shipping and storage. No cost for remaindered books. No cost for the store the books are sold from. Yes, you have the costs for the computer(s) used at the data center, but that should be less then the cost of the physical store. So really, most of the costs after the book is done don't exist.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:22 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
Teleread had a post about this claiming that it was targeted against the new company Open Road being started by Jane Friedman (ex CEO Harper Collins).

http://www.teleread.org/2009/12/12/r...ist-contracts/

http://openroadmedia.com/

Personally I think that Random House is just trying to milk a couple more hard cover sales of "Sophie's Choice" before they release the ebook.

Seriously I don't blame them for making the claim. They'll lose for sure if they don't make the claim.
Interesting about Open Road, but it seems almost aimed at "integrating technologies" which is not something I want in a book. I want to read a book, not watch it. .... Not much information on the site though.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcey View Post
Teleread had a post about this claiming that it was targeted against the new company Open Road being started by Jane Friedman (ex CEO Harper Collins).

http://www.teleread.org/2009/12/12/r...ist-contracts/

http://openroadmedia.com/

Personally I think that Random House is just trying to milk a couple more hard cover sales of "Sophie's Choice" before they release the ebook.

Seriously I don't blame them for making the claim. They'll lose for sure if they don't make the claim.
I cannot connect to Teleread. Can anyone else connect? Is it down? if so, does anyone know for how long?
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
eBooks & pBooks are the same cost up to a point. After all the writing, editing, rewrites, and what not to get the book finished, all the costs are the same. But now we diverge from the costs. The costs to setup the pBook & eBook may be similar. I cannot say. But once the eBook is sorted, there the cost differences become very clear. You don't have the cost to print the eBook, no cost for the materials, no cost for shipping and storage. No cost for remaindered books. No cost for the store the books are sold from. Yes, you have the costs for the computer(s) used at the data center, but that should be less then the cost of the physical store. So really, most of the costs after the book is done don't exist.

and no "reprint" costs or future editions costs (other than updating the text etc, which again likely would be the same in either case).
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:25 AM   #26
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I think a big part of the issue may be that if Random House bought "All Rights" to publish and distribute the works, which I believe is likely, how are they going to define "All Rights" now.

Are they going to limit it to all rights that were known to be exploitable at the time: which could exclude ebooks - or are they going to take the idea that it means what it says and that "All Rights" means all rights regardless of format. I do know it would be easier for RH to prove their interpretation in cases where they published both the HC and paperback editions (and I don't know how the consolidation of the publishing industry might affect that).

We'll have to wait and see.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:53 AM   #27
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the one thing that has not been mentioned here in the cost of the publishing house book versus the self published book is marketing. But what I see how a books is marketed can make it or break it. Of course self published e authors could be probably do their own marketing through social networks( something that I am too old to really understand) but regardless, marketing and promotion is a big chunk of the cost to the publishing house
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:05 AM   #28
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The total marginal cash cost + cost of capital of printing and selling a pbook is probably like $5.00, which excludes payments to the author. It depends on what you think the cost of capital and retail/distribution economic costs are per book. The inventory holding cost of pbooks for the retailer is part of the cost of capital.

http://ireaderreview.com/2009/05/03/...ok-publishing/

So, the ebook is like $5.00 cheaper to make than the pbook. Although, I think you should also factor in the reduced rights of ebooks since you can't resell them....this will vary per book. a new book will have this be worth a lot more than an old book. a recent Dan Brown book could be resold for $10. but let's say that only 30% of people resell their books....so this reselling right is only worth $3 on average. But let's also say that people who buy ebooks actually value them higher than pbooks for some reason (no waiting time, no gasoline costs to drive to the book store, take up less space, cooler, don't kill trees...etc)....so this might actually be worth like $3.

So, overall, ebooks could be priced $5 lower with all producers still getting the same economic benefits as with pbooks. Consumers get an economic benefit of $5!!! Woo hoo!

Dan Brown's Lost Symbol costs $12+shipping on Amazon. The used version cost $10.79+shipping.....so basically the same cost since the used book shipping is usually higher. The Kindle edition costs $9.60. So the Kindle edition is about $5 dollars cheaper.

So it looks like the ebooks on Amazon.com are priced about right based on my analysis.

Although, if you tend not to resell books then you would be willing to actually spend more on the ebook than the pbook. If you go to the library often or usually resell books then the ebook version would have to be around $7 cheaper in my Dan Brown example from the consumer’s perspective to be equivalent.

Last edited by markbot; 12-13-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:10 AM   #29
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it comes down to who gets that $5 of economic value. the publisher, writer, retailer, or consumer. in a perfectly competitive market the consumer gets all of it.

Last edited by markbot; 12-13-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:35 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
But you don't carry it out, sir. This is for one year's earnings. The cost to convert to an e-book is a one-time only charge. Therefore it should be amortized over the entire sales of the e-book, for the entire length of the e-book copyright. Or look at it another way, it costs X dollars in time, labor, or money (for somebody else) to convert the book to an e-book. Like a publisher's advance, the writer needs to "earn out" that cost, then the rest becomes his profit thereafter.
I didn't carry it out explicitly, but in most businesses, a one or two year payback time is very generous. In publishing, with common book press runs of only 10-50,000 books and returns of over 50%, what happens next year is likely irrelevant, unless your name is Nora Roberts or Steven King. Most books never earn out. Most also disappear from shelves within a year.

One of the small, but real benefits of ebooks to both authors and publishers is the ability to keep backlist books "in print" for an indefinite period of time without running afoul of the "Thor Power Tools" inventory ruling. It means you might be able to _buy_ the ebook of that obscure third volume of the not-very-well-selling series Joe Midlist wrote in 1993 instead of scouring used book stores for it.

Regards,
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