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Old 01-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #1
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Kindle book prices have increased?

I'm finding myself buying the used paper version instead of the kindle version lately even when it is available in both formats.

It used to be that the Kindle version was typically cheaper than the used version after shipping costs. Now, however, the Kindle version seems to be $9.99 if the new version is greater than $9.99 and only slightly cheaper than the new version if the new version costs below $9.99....which is sometimes more expensive than the used version. Although, this varies by how new or popular the book is.

Anyone else think Kindle book prices have become less competitive?
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:08 AM   #2
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Only a matter of time. Lure in with low prices, then slowly raise them to increase your share price.

Hopefully this isn't happening. I still don't understand how the electronic versions are even $9.99. There is virtually no cost associated vs. paper book (trees, factories, trucks, workers, gas, packaging, shipping, on and on and on...).

Oh well, at least eBooks are still a little cheaper than paper. Fast forward 30 yrs and eBooks will be 99% what the world reads. Bet they will be the same price as hardbacks...
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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I think overall the prices are better than other places... but then again I really only purchase the new books that come out right at $9.99.
There is a guy here that did a price comparison between Amazon and fictionwise and fictionwise was cheaper.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67635

I like to have my book at Amazon and have the ability to use wispernet... but that is just my $0.02
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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funny i was just talking about how much cheaper amazon was over sony books..
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by coolbreeze View Post
I still don't understand how the electronic versions are even $9.99. There is virtually no cost associated vs. paper book (trees, factories, trucks, workers, gas, packaging, shipping, on and on and on...).
I read a message on another forum by a small publisher of trade paperbacks. He says his total cost for the physical book is around $2.50 in the quantities he has printed, including shipping, printing cost, packaging, etc.

If this is accurate, then it's not unreasonable for an ebook to cost $10 or more (when compared to a hardcover). Printing and distribution costs do not seem to be the major part of a book price. The publisher still has to pay the author, editors, promotional costs, proofreaders, misc. staff, the rent, and utilities, etc.

And ebooks aren’t even a major source of income yet.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMikeD View Post
I read a message on another forum by a small publisher of trade paperbacks. He says his total cost for the physical book is around $2.50 in the quantities he has printed, including shipping, printing cost, packaging, etc.

If this is accurate, then it's not unreasonable for an ebook to cost $10 or more (when compared to a hardcover). Printing and distribution costs do not seem to be the major part of a book price. The publisher still has to pay the author, editors, promotional costs, proofreaders, misc. staff, the rent, and utilities, etc.

And ebooks aren’t even a major source of income yet.
Well, the retail stores take a 50% cut of the cover price. So if a paper book runs $10 then only $5 is left for the publisher and if you take the $2.50 from that, well, all the rest has to come from the remaining $2.50...

Derek
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
Well, the retail stores take a 50% cut of the cover price. So if a paper book runs $10 then only $5 is left for the publisher and if you take the $2.50 from that, well, all the rest has to come from the remaining $2.50...

Derek
That's why I specified hardcover for the $9.99. I have no information on paperback costs for major publishers, and only this one data point for a small publisher. I have yet to see someone come up with credible figures for printing and distribution cost for hardcovers and paperbacks. A lot of numbers are thrown around, but not from anyone I'd give credence to. So basically, we're making up numbers.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMikeD View Post
I read a message on another forum by a small publisher of trade paperbacks. He says his total cost for the physical book is around $2.50 in the quantities he has printed, including shipping, printing cost, packaging, etc.
Do you remember if that cost included returns?
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:40 AM   #9
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Do you remember if that cost included returns?
Wasn’t mentioned.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMikeD View Post
That's why I specified hardcover for the $9.99. I have no information on paperback costs for major publishers, and only this one data point for a small publisher. I have yet to see someone come up with credible figures for printing and distribution cost for hardcovers and paperbacks. A lot of numbers are thrown around, but not from anyone I'd give credence to. So basically, we're making up numbers.
I worked for Prima Publishing back in the mid-90s. Back then, it was a standard rule that for HC, TPB and MMPB books, the retailer got 50% of the marked cover price (and any discounts they offered was taken from that part) for any book. If the publisher kept books in the warehouse and shipped direct to retailer, the publisher avoided paying a distribution center, but otherwise the distributor/fulfillment center got between 45-55% of the remainder for storage and shipping fees. That basically meant that for a book that went from publisher to distributor to retailer, the publisher got about 25% of retail cover price. From that came printing, marketing, art and editorial costs as well as authors' royalties and advances. The rest was pure profit! (About 5% of cover price.)

But if you want more realistic figures for printing costs I suggest you dummy up an estimate through BooksJustBooks. To give you an idea, I've just gone to their site to create a simple estimate for a 2,000 copy order of a 384-page novel, simple 4-color cover with the most basic paper and type on the interior. Here's what I got back for an estimate.

***************************************
General Information
* Book Title: Homebrew

Quantity & Page Count
Quantity (+/-5%): 2,000
Page Count 384
Show me options available for digital printing
Show me options available for offset printing


Book Options - Single Color Text - 5 x 8"

Quantity of Books
Please choose either digital printing options or offset printing options Binding: Perfect (paperback)
Cover (Ink): Four color plus layflat film lamination (4-0-0-4)
Cover (Paper): 10pt C1S

Text (Ink): One color (black)
Text (Paper): 50# white offset (540ppi)


Requesting Book Option Data
Offset Printing - Instant Price

Unit Cost: 2.56 This instant price is for reference only and can not be honored by BooksJustBooks.com unless it is turned into a Firm Quote.
Total Cost: 5,122.11

There is an additional $100 administrative fee on all print orders.
*****************************

Note that this company basically just prints your work and, if I understand correctly, warehouses for you. I think they'll also handle shipping if you ask for it - but that's extra, of course.

So for a 2,000 copy run of a mid-size TPB, the printing costs run about $2.56 each. BTW, switching to a 6"x9" TPB boosted per-copy costs to $2.70 and total cost to $5,406.69. So not much of an increase for a significantly larger page.

Derek
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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The $9.99 Kindle price is attractive for new books out in hardcover. But with delays in ebook releases and/or the $9.99 pricing, I found that waiting has the benefit of watching paper prices drop.

Its become clear the Kindle prices often do not drop along with paper pricing (and if it does, the savings is often minimal).

For the first time in 2 years, I find myself buying paper books again because of pricing.

Here are some paper books, I've purchased this month - all new, all from Amazon...all more expensive on the Kindle.

Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC
1 "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"
Muriel Barbery; Paperback; $7.50
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC
1 "The School of Essential Ingredients"
Erica Bauermeister; Hardcover; $5.44
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC
1 "The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel"
Yoko Ogawa; Paperback; $5.60
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC
1 "The Cellist of Sarajevo"
Steven Galloway; Hardcover; $8.56
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC
1 "LoveHampton"
Sherri Rifkin; Paperback; $4.25
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC
1 "In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing"
Lee Woodruff; Paperback; $3.14

I'd rather buy ebooks but I am a firm believer that the price needs to be below what I can get it for in print.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:19 PM   #12
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I think it often depends on timing and the title you are after. Amazon seems to have specials on certain groups of titles at different times.

I think it's possible to monitor the price of certain titles via the amazon website (pricewatch I think it's called) so when the item is discounted you get an email. If you can wait for the book in question, it's a good way of getting it cheaper. The pricing levels are disappointing for many books but I think it's offset by the obcenely cheap best sellers. Sucks if you don't read bestsellers.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:53 PM   #13
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Perhaps Amazon's new pricing structure will help. We must realize that publishers have more than just Amazon to think about, and cutting prices for them will create issues elsewhere.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:28 PM   #14
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Kindle Books Price Increase

Hi All, A co-worker was telling me about this just this week.

I just got the Kindle from Santa, so it saddens me that the prices are going up on the books. I have 2 ways to look at it:

1) If it costs the publisher/Amazon NOTHING but a few cents to send over the electronic document (no paper, no printing, no packaging, no shipping) why would a price increase? They are making virtually 100% profit, right?

2) However, take a random author (Steven King, Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, etc.) and note that they make their money based on how many books the publisher prints and sells. So the Publisher now owns the right to publish the book. They make a tidy profit on the $25-$29 hardback, still a decent profit on the $6.99 to $8.99 paperback, and of course they also want their share of the soft copies sent electronically. For almost every electronic copy that goes out, they (and the author) are losing the money that same reader might have given them through royalty $$$ for a printed copy. If the publisher doesn't sell books, he loses money. The author loses money. The only way they can re-coup it is to raise the price on the version they are losing money on.

Do I like it? Heck no! I spent over $300 for the reader, so I do think I should get a discount on the finished product.... however I do see both sides.

The co-worker said he had read that the Publishers are the ones forcing Amazon the increase in their prices, as they want their money, and Amazon was setting their own price. In America, shouldn't a wholesaler have a set price, and sell it to the retailer, who then decides if they want a 10, 50 or 100% profit on the merchandise?

The true fans of any auther probably buy the hard copy as well! I know I do for several authors.... Just my opinion, and if I insulted anyone, my apologies! Not my intention :-)

Last edited by Batgirl13; 02-02-2010 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:21 PM   #15
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The co-worker said he had read that the Publishers are the ones forcing Amazon the increase in their prices, as they want their money, and Amazon was setting their own price.
Pretty much accurate, yes. There are finer details it leaves out, like Steve Jobs' role in this fiasco. There's plenty of discussion about it here on MR - looks in the News and Discussion forum if you're interested.

Quote:
In America, shouldn't a wholesaler have a set price, and sell it to the retailer, who then decides if they want a 10, 50 or 100% profit on the merchandise?
Yup. That's why Macmillan (and other publishers) don't want Amazon to be a retailer anymore. They want to (Macmillan already has) convert Amazon into a commissioned sales agent, so the publisher tells Amazon how much to sell the book for, and then pays Amazon a percentage of the sale price for every copy they sell. Again, I'll point you at the numerous discussions about this in the News forum here on MR (and pretty much everywhere else e-books get talked about a lot) for more information or to discuss whether this is good/bad/indifferent.
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