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Old 12-17-2009, 01:19 PM   #31
BearMountainBooks
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Lots of books only come out in paperback, so that whole argument doesn't work that well. I followed the "news" as it filtered out and was disappointed that there were mostly complaints and moaning--rather than discussion and excitement about innovation and reaching more readers and selling more product.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:25 PM   #32
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Yea, it seems to me ebook also removes the problems of having to guess a good print size and logistics and worry about left over stock if it doesn't sell. They don't have to worry about used books cutting into their sales either.

Also I don't see why would they have to sell the ebooks right off at paperback prices. If Amazon wants to do that and take a loss, I would think producers happily take their money and extra sales? For me something like $19 at first for average fiction book would be ok for first few months, then drop it to <$10.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:28 PM   #33
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The publishing industry is just struggling with what the music industry did a few years back. Their creaky old business model has fallen apart and they're split (though I doubt 50/50). There are the folks who don't want anything to change. Remember that line from the Matrix?

Quote:
...these people are still a part of that system... You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
I don't see the future being a world where this old business model can continue to thrive. I suspect that books will continue to be printed for a very long time, but as technology continues to improve and more people shift towards ereaders, the model is going to shift and other marketing options are going to stand out.

I suspect that publishing is probably going to become a much leaner industry. In my ideal world, printed books would be available only as Print-on-demand. You could buy the book online and walk down to a Kinkos and print it out, or wait for the nice finished copy to show up on your doorstep in a few days. Otherwise, you're buying it for your reader/phone/whatever and reading it in a few minutes.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:32 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
Define 'better'. IMO the person writing for money is more likely to write the better book-because they're the ones who will pay attention to their customers. The person 'writing for literature' is more likely to pay attention only to their own opinion of what's 'best'.

I, obviously, define 'better' as 'more popular' rather than as 'satisfying esoteric critics'.
But if you try to adapt to the customers you usually will not continue to sell a lot of books. If it was predictable what would sell only books that sold a lot would be published.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:37 PM   #35
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Oh my god, oh my god,

Amazon is trying to away my reading choices, by offering me books for $9.99. it's the end of literature as we know it.

Oh my god, what am going to do?

As if it wasn't bad enough trying to stop the government from taking away my $800 a month health care premiums.

Oh my god, I need another tea bag
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:00 PM   #36
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A few news snippets from MediaBistro's eBook Summit. More publishers bashing Amazon, with profitability for publishers being threatened. Plus, adverts may be coming to an eBook near you.

Amazon's $9.99 eBook Price Point Attacked as "Predatory Pricing" From: mediabistro.com (blog)
@ eBook Summit: Advertising Is Coming To E-Books From: paidContent.org

Growing e-book industry discusses challenges at MediaBistro event From: DM News - Dianna Dilworth
And yet Baen Books has managed to price between $5-$6 for YEARS! And let us not forget all those delicious Fictionwise titles running between $5.99-$7.99. One must presume that Fictionwise is in it for a profit, yes?

I grant that a publisher will find their share of ebook cover prices smaller than what they get from a decent hardcover - but given the costs involved in producing mass-market paperbacks (Remember, the bookstores want between 50%-55% of the cover price.), I can't help but believe the publishers are distorting the facts - just a trifle.

Derek
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:05 PM   #37
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No - you can sell paperbacks at a profit because the hardback sales have already paid the up-front costs of producing the book. What people seem to want are eBooks released simultaneously with the hardback, but at paperback prices. That's a pricing model that just doesn't work.
Up-front costs... Let's see, new cover art for the mmpb versions, new fonts and style changes, need to have the book re-edited because the publishers tend to NOT keep the submissions as RTF/HTML/XML files - and did I forget the entire new set of costs in actually PRINTING the paperbacks?

Well, at least the *important* up-front costs of upper-management and publicity have been met. And we can forget about the authors, they really don't count for snot in the whole scheme of things...

Derek
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:24 PM   #38
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That thing about adverts makes my skin crawl... Please, PLEASE, don't dirty our books with ads!
Agreed on that! Ads? Ugh, what an idea...
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:31 PM   #39
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They call it predatory pricing. I call it the most I'd pay for a novel I'll read once--be it an e-book or a paper book.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:32 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
Define 'better'. IMO the person writing for money is more likely to write the better book-because they're the ones who will pay attention to their customers. The person 'writing for literature' is more likely to pay attention only to their own opinion of what's 'best'.

I, obviously, define 'better' as 'more popular' rather than as 'satisfying esoteric critics'.
To their customers? Seriously, that's what literature is reduced to is it? And what are writers now? Word vendors? Entertainment facilitators? Distraction enablers?

To write only for money is not to write at all.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:00 PM   #41
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And yet Baen Books has managed to price between $5-$6 for YEARS! And let us not forget all those delicious Fictionwise titles running between $5.99-$7.99. One must presume that Fictionwise is in it for a profit, yes?

I grant that a publisher will find their share of ebook cover prices smaller than what they get from a decent hardcover - but given the costs involved in producing mass-market paperbacks (Remember, the bookstores want between 50%-55% of the cover price.), I can't help but believe the publishers are distorting the facts - just a trifle.

Derek
I think the publishers are full of it as well. I've looked at what figures are available and came to the conclusion that the publishers are nuts. The margin on an ebook is higher than the margin on a hardback (right now it is significantly higher because Amazon is paying them the same for both). About half the cost of producing an pbook are not incurred when producing an ebook. PPB (paper, printing, and binding) is typically 20% of the cost of a book, distribution is around 10%, and returns & warehousing can make up another 20%. (Note: returns are not customer returns, but bookstore returns of unsold books.)

Baen Books seems to be the only publisher that has figured this out, and they have adjusted their business model appropriately. For example, they release their ebooks before they sell pbooks, bundle books together, and do a whole host of things designed to promote ebooks.

Last edited by Daithi; 12-17-2009 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:34 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Wetdogeared View Post
A few news snippets from MediaBistro's eBook Summit. More publishers bashing Amazon, with profitability for publishers being threatened. Plus, adverts may be coming to an eBook near you.

Amazon's $9.99 eBook Price Point Attacked as "Predatory Pricing" From: mediabistro.com (blog)
@ eBook Summit: Advertising Is Coming To E-Books From: paidContent.org

Growing e-book industry discusses challenges at MediaBistro event From: DM News - Dianna Dilworth
They're right, of course. It is predatory pricing. That price should be closer to $6 than $10. But that would require some serious restructuring of how books are distributed and sold. Of course, business on the internet is all about disintermediation...

Xenophon
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:39 PM   #43
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I see so making books affordable is an attack on literature. FAIL


It is when authors/publishers/retailers are more concerned about $ than writing that is the true attack on literature.


=X=
100% agree
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #44
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They're right, of course. It is predatory pricing. That price should be closer to $6 than $10. But that would require some serious restructuring of how books are distributed and sold. Of course, business on the internet is all about disintermediation...

Xenophon

Win!
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:53 PM   #45
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Predatory Pricing

I question how it can be called predatory pricing when Books on Board and Fictionwise also sell best sellers for $9.99

I thought predatory pricing implied that other sellers could not match the pricing because there was such a huge disparity.

???


Amy
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