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Old 02-01-2010, 03:53 PM   #46
Seli
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Originally Posted by mcl View Post
* Ebooks do not have to be printed
costs seem to be minimal anyway for large print runs

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* Ebooks do not have to be stored in warehouses

* Ebooks do not have to be physically shipped to various locations across the country and world
AFAIK these costs are usually paid for by the seller, and there is a reason that big chains and online stores are outcompeting the small booksellers

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* Unsold Ebooks do not need to be returned to the publisher

* Ebooks do not need to be destroyed once returned
If I understand correctly usually other way around (for paperback), again sunk cost for the retailer, some extra bookkeeping for the publisher
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* Ebooks apparently undergo far less scrutiny than printed material, judging by the number of typos and other such errors present in them.
any additional scrutiny over the paper versions at the moment has to be paid for by a far smaller audience, this should actually increase ebookprices at the moment

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* Ebooks cannot be lent or resold the way a physical book can be, thus increasing the potential market for both ebooks and paperback books by eliminating the secondary market
percieved worth to the buyer, secondary market will be less of a concern as long as the back-catalogue is still available and priced cheap

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These are the reasons I believe an ebook shouldn't cost as much as the physical object, and definitely why I don't believe they should cost more than $9.99.
can go both ways, in my opinion
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:28 PM   #47
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If I understand correctly usually other way around (for paperback), again sunk cost for the retailer, some extra bookkeeping for the publisher
You misunderstand. Returns are called 'returns' for a reason - they're returned (either the whole book or just the cover) to the publisher for a complete refund. The only 'sunk cost' for the retailer is overhead and perhaps opportunity cost (if something else had been in that spot on the shelf and sold, they would have made money).

Industry-wide, returns average between 30 and 40 percent of books printed; returns of under 15% are exceptional.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:29 PM   #48
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Why do we believe an Ebook should be less than a HB?
Because I can not sell it after I have read it.
I can not lend it to my friends, I can not even let my wife read it, unless I let her use my reader.
The vast majority of paper books are read by more than one person. I own quite a few books that were purchased when my grandfather was a very young man.

Most of Ebooks we are talking here about are protected by DRM and that means that my rights are severely limited.


We are hearing ad nauseum that the actual physical printing and binding of a hardcover is only a very small fraction of the costs. A couple of bucks. A few years ago we have been told by publishers that $30 for hardcover versus $8 for paperback is a fair difference, because the hardcover was more expensive to print and bind.

Let us talk about returns. Books that do not sell quickly enough and are sent back to the publisher and end up in a "buck a book" shop if not in a pulp vat or landfill.
Let us talk about 50% of paperbacks that get the front page ripped and sent back to the publisher and the rest is pulped, or dumped in a landfill.
Let us talk about how much it cost to keep a physical copy until somebody purchases it and how much it costs to maintain 500KB file.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:31 PM   #49
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Those masses of books, too, aren't a complete loss. They represent, often, shelf space (advertising) which draws people to a book. A wall of books sells more copies than a shelf showing just the spine of a single copy. Still, a ludicrous system to me
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:32 PM   #50
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You misunderstand. Returns are called 'returns' for a reason - they're returned (either the whole book or just the cover) to the publisher for a complete refund. The only 'sunk cost' for the retailer is overhead and perhaps opportunity cost (if something else had been in that spot on the shelf and sold, they would have made money).

Industry-wide, returns average between 30 and 40 percent of books printed; returns of under 15% are exceptional.
That is just the money flowing back to the store for the unsold inventory (strange habit by the way) I was talking about the processing, the overhead in the physical destruction of the books.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:36 PM   #51
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Would you pay as much for an MP3 as you would for a physical CD in a case?

I don't see how its much different.

Wow..I just noticed that is sometimes the case, so I guess many people do

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Old 02-01-2010, 04:38 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Pardoz View Post
You misunderstand. Returns are called 'returns' for a reason - they're returned (either the whole book or just the cover) to the publisher for a complete refund. The only 'sunk cost' for the retailer is overhead and perhaps opportunity cost (if something else had been in that spot on the shelf and sold, they would have made money).

Industry-wide, returns average between 30 and 40 percent of books printed; returns of under 15% are exceptional.
To offer corroboration, when my wife was working as a manager at Barnes & Noble, the most frequent complaints I heard were about returns. There seemed to be an exceptionally large number of "character" customers who had a habit of buying a bunch of books and returning most or all of them nearly every time. They had to ban more than one customer due to this habit. The biggest problem was that the 30 day return policy guaranteed the original price, but blockbuster shelf cycles are so short that it wasn't uncommon for books being returned to have had their prices dropped to bargain status resulting a net loss to the store.

Abuse of returns could get expensive. Those people should learn to use the library!
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Because I can not sell it after I have read it.
I can not lend it to my friends, I can not even let my wife read it, unless I let her use my reader.
The vast majority of paper books are read by more than one person. I own quite a few books that were purchased when my grandfather was a very young man.

Most of Ebooks we are talking here about are protected by DRM and that means that my rights are severely limited.
but as i've said earlier that has to take personal preferences into account.

With a DRM Ebook Epub I can share with my family and we can all read at the same time, you cant with a HB!

My Ebook is backed up so I can never lose it, it cant get damaged. not possible with a HB.

its about whats important to the individual.

For you HB represents better value for me its ebook even with DRM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:40 PM   #54
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Would you pay as much for an MP3 as you would for a physical CD in a case?

I don't see how its much different.
Yes, and I do. The price of CD's have dropped. FYE near us sells all CD's for 9.99 per disc. What was your point again?

Also to point something out, this is a ridiculous comparison. You can trivially take a CD and make an MP3/AAC copy of it in about two minutes time without any manual intervention and a very, very high rate of success in terms of quality results. This can be done with a common personal computer with nothing more than the average PC equipment of a hard drive and cd-rom reader.

When you can do that same thing with a physical book -> eBook, this comparison will make sense. We'll talk again then.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:47 PM   #55
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any additional scrutiny over the paper versions at the moment has to be paid for by a far smaller audience, this should actually increase ebookprices at the moment
The problem today is that the ebook gets less scrutiny than the paper version. Especially when the paper version is scanned to produce the ebook version.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:57 PM   #56
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Would you pay as much for an MP3 as you would for a physical CD in a case?

I don't see how its much different.

Wow..I just noticed that is sometimes the case, so I guess many people do
I assume you mean the entire album in MP3 format as opposed to a single song Actually, the price of an entire album is right about $10, at least in iTunes it is.

The arguments though are exactly the same as they are with books. The music industry has, after many long and painful years, started to learn the difference - hopefully the publishing industry can learn faster and we can a point at which we are all happy, or at least not too angry.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:14 PM   #57
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You're never going to find parity in pricing between eBooks and pBooks because frankly, the offer is just different. The average customer is also different. The usage patterns are different. The technological limits and capabilities are different. And the people trying to make the comparisons are also quite different.

The only thing eBooks and pBooks have in common are the words inside them, and the people creating them.

I hate paper books, and have for as long as I've been reading on computer screens, well before eBooks were popular. I got interested in reading because of what I read on computer screens. I used to read fan fiction, and collaborative fiction every single day (and participate as well) as early as age 10. We're talking on the order of decades before standalone ebook readers were a viable product.

So with that said, I will probably never understand how a paper book fan decides what prices are fair or not. To me, all paper books are an archaic delivery mechanism and a hinderance to my enjoyment of what they are delivering. I can't possibly see them as being valued as high as an eBook, DRM not withstanding. Even with a "discount" in mind because of DRM, I still find eBooks to be far superior in concept and reality, and it's because of this that I'll probably never agree with you olde pbook shoppe types on the matter of price.

What remains to be seen is how the market acts, and we've got years before it will be apparent. If digital music is taken as even a vague indicator of what to expect with eBooks, I'd guess we have about another 5 years before the eBook market is competitive with paper books, and perhaps even longer (I guess it depends on how many elderly luddites exit that market right?) so discussions like this one are kind of a pointless exercise in flame-baiting, don't you think?
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:21 PM   #58
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but as i've said earlier that has to take personal preferences into account.

With a DRM Ebook Epub I can share with my family and we can all read at the same time, you cant with a HB!

My Ebook is backed up so I can never lose it, it cant get damaged. not possible with a HB.

its about whats important to the individual.

For you HB represents better value for me its ebook even with DRM.
That depends on the DRM and number of activations allowed. You still lose the ability to sell a book if you don't like it. You may also lose the ability to read all of your library in the future if the activation servers are taken down and for any reason you need to register a new device (such as hardware failure or upgrading to a newer reader). In some cases you lose the ability to purchase from other retailers, despite the content been the same and only the DRM wrapper been different.

Then there's the fact you're paying more for the reader hardware and books due to the need for companies to license a DRM solution. Costs that are not stopping piracy and are causing legit customers to pay more.

DRM may not be harming you yet, but it has harmed many people that purchased music only to have the (rather large) companies close their authentication servers down.

Last edited by JoeD; 02-01-2010 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:24 PM   #59
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That depends on the DRM and number of activations. You still lose the ability to sell a book if you don't like it. You may also lose the ability to read all of your library in the future if the activation servers are taken down and for any reason you need to register a new device (such as hardware failure or upgrading to a newer reader).

Then there's the fact you're paying more for the reader hardware and books due to the need for companies to license a DRM solution. Costs that are not stopping piracy and are causing legit customers to pay more.

DRM may not be harming you yet, but it has harmed many people that purchased music only to have the (rather large) companies close their authentication servers down.
I dont disagree with any of that AND I know people have been stung in the past.

However the risks are minimal for me as I rarely reread books and the advantages outway the disavantages.

thats why the value of an ebook to me is higher than a physical copy.

Horses for courses and all that
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:41 PM   #60
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The problem today is that the ebook gets less scrutiny than the paper version. Especially when the paper version is scanned to produce the ebook version.
That is true, according to comments by some people that seem to have inside knowledge the publishing industry just isn't equipped at the moment to create a well-produced electronic version in the same process they already use to make print-books. E-book creation is just an added branch, instead of an integral part of the process.

My own experience with publishers is strictly in scientific journal publishing and they seem to do fine. But they manage to get authors, proofreaders, artists etc. to work for free. And somehow I do not think this ever will be a viable business model for publishing novels.
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