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Old 02-01-2010, 05:42 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by zacheryjensen View Post
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?
I'm kinda hoping the digital music story plays out again, just a bit quicker

2003: Apple sets most music at one easy to remember price (0.99) with DRM.
2009: Apple moves to a 3-tiered pricing strategy (0.69,0.99,1.29), with no DRM.

2007: Amazon sets most books at one easy to remember price ($9.99) with DRM.
2010: Amazon moves to ?
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:59 PM   #62
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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.
Well, given that people are already proofreading novels for free, you never know...
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #63
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I'm kinda hoping the digital music story plays out again, just a bit quicker

2003: Apple sets most music at one easy to remember price (0.99) with DRM.
2009: Apple moves to a 3-tiered pricing strategy (0.69,0.99,1.29), with no DRM.

2007: Amazon sets most books at one easy to remember price ($9.99) with DRM.
2010: Amazon moves to ?
2010: Amazon moves to having zero control over pricing because they're now in agency models with the big six.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #64
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What you pay for an item isnt decided by its production cost. It is decided by its perceived value.
OK, how about this: perceived value is greatly influenced by a perceived production cost.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:27 PM   #65
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OK, how about this: perceived value is greatly influenced by a perceived production cost.
How about this: Perceived value is greatly influenced by a cost-benefit analysis and one's level of disposable income, along with the average price history of similar purchases.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:28 PM   #66
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OK, how about this: perceived value is greatly influenced by a perceived production cost.
That's definitely true for a very small percentage of consumers that actually try to think about such things. But, in practice, the majority of consumers have no sense or concern for such things. They just know how much they care to have a thing, and their perception of value is based almost entirely on their desires rather than thinking more deeply about what they think would be fair and all that.

This is why people will pay hundreds of dollars for Hannah Montana concert tickets, for example. Or, as a more relevant example, are willing to be ripped off for an overpriced hardback edition on the release date instead of waiting for the more compact, often higher quality trade paperbacks that will come out a few months later.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:49 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
Ebooks are an inferior product.

I would have to agree that ebooks are inferior in terms of quality. If they want to charge more, they should improve the quality.

1) DRM ridden (Limits portability among other issues)
2) Inconsistent formatting , sometimes poor proofing/editing (Difficult to go into the file and fix the errors myself because of DRM)
3) Many of my ebooks do not even contain cover art
4) Can not lend out/resell
5) Can't even donate to a library

I believe there was a whole thread devoted to the format and errors in J. R. R. Tolkien's ebook when they were first released.

It's like paying hardcover prices on a mass paperback book. You can argue that it's worth it because a mass paperback books is lighter and smaller so you're paying for the convenience. /shrug

I just don't feel that ebooks are worth $15 or even $10. But that's my own perception and I'm sure many would disagree since we value things differently based on our own nature.

Last edited by MerLock; 02-03-2010 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
I am getting slightly confused here by a number of opinions.

Firstly that $15 is expensive.
I feel thats a very good price for a NEW Ebook Id expect to pay around $20 for a HB copy.

it may seem expensive because of Amazons discounting but it really imo isnt overly expensive.

Why do we believe an Ebook should be less than a HB?

surely as many on here believe its the content that is important? if a HBs cost of delivery, production etc is less than a couple of dollars, then an Ebook price a couple of dollars under HB seems reasonable to me.

The same should then apply when release as a PB an Ebook price of say a dollar less.

The industry doesnt seem to have 'got'/managed this yet, but i believe they will get there.

But in the meantime why are we unhappy at what seems a reasonable price?
You left out resale value. If you read a new release quickly, you can recoup a pretty substantial percentage of the cover price in the secondhand market.

That's both a reason why people might think ebooks should be cheaper, and why publishers should be falling over themselves, including aggressive price reductions, to encourage their readers to switch to ebooks.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:34 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MerLock View Post
It's like paying hardcover prices on a mass paperback book. You can argue that it's worth it because a mass paperback books is lighter and smaller so you're paying for the convenience. /shrug

I just don't feel that ebooks are worth $15 or even $10. But that's my own perception and I'm sure many would disagree since we value things differently based on our own nature.
It's more like paying hardcover prices for a manuscript proofread and edited by a six year old in FrontPage Express and converted with Calibre.

I wouldn't pay Hasselblad prices for keychain digital camera, even though they both take pictures and it's the photographer's eye that matters most. Indeed, the latter camera is much more convenient and portable, just like ebooks. You will also save money long-term because you don't need to spend all that money on expensive film and developing/printing. Many people will well prefer the crappy but convenient digital keychain, but only a very very small number of early adopters would have paid $3000 for it.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #70
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Ah I see what you mean, yeh fair point. Lucky publisher I guess
i think the publishers need to do whatever they can to build their reserves, as has been pointed out i think soon the Author-Editor-Agent-Retailer model may leave them struggling.
What a shame... like the rest of the world, they will have to reshape their business model to fit the new reality. It kills me that they are proposing that an ebook file which is locked down with DRM has value even close to the printed work. Eventually free market will bring ebook prices down while the quality of what we have to choose from will rise.

IMHO a newly released novel with DRM is worth (to me) about 1/4 of the hardback price. But that same file is probably worth 1/3 to 1/2 of the value once in paperback. Without DRM the file is now portable, enabling it to be read when I get a new device from a different manufacturer. Now it is coming closer to the value of the original works less the printing and distribution costs.

I used to purchase 24-50 books a year. Now I have purchased maybe 3 or 4 in the past year. The remainder of my reading has come from my public library. For now I will continue to utilize my public library for ebooks until I can purchase open portable files at a reasonable cost. I am patient and will wait...
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:04 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
I am getting slightly confused here by a number of opinions.

Firstly that $15 is expensive.
I feel thats a very good price for a NEW Ebook Id expect to pay around $20 for a HB copy.

it may seem expensive because of Amazons discounting but it really imo isnt overly expensive.

Why do we believe an Ebook should be less than a HB?

surely as many on here believe its the content that is important? if a HBs cost of delivery, production etc is less than a couple of dollars, then an Ebook price a couple of dollars under HB seems reasonable to me.

The same should then apply when release as a PB an Ebook price of say a dollar less.

The industry doesnt seem to have 'got'/managed this yet, but i believe they will get there.

But in the meantime why are we unhappy at what seems a reasonable price?
I have to say that in my case, $15 is too expensive for an ebook and that I rarely purchased a HB book because of the cost involved. I have to stick below the $9.99 price and really can't get a grip on why they are so expensive. Again, less production and overhead costs should be an advantage to the ebook reader market.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:46 PM   #72
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Clearly, you haven't stopped caring.

Also, you must realize that DRM is hardly the only way that people are restricted with purchases. You know, it's illegal to make a copy of a paper book!? WOW! No DRM and it's still "restricted."
Well, actually I am just scanning some paper books that my grandfather bought over 70 years ago. First of all, they are all still usable and readable, no need to be "activated" - just open and read. Second, yes, you can legally scan them after 70 years (at least in my country) so even your grandchildren will be able to use the books you bought. That is, simply put, the advantage and inherent greater value that paper books have over ebooks.

In other words, try to imagine buying a car that is restricted only to your own use and only permitted to drive in one city. If you want to drive elsewhere or lend your car to anyone, you must "authorise" it. After several years the company that used to authorise your car goes broke or changes their policy - they're no longer interested in authorising your car. You are left with a useless heap of steel and plastic. How does this compare to a car that you can just use anywhere, anytime you want?

It's exactly like that with paperbooks and DRM-ed ebooks. I can do anything I like with a paper book, now and forever, till it decomposes (which can be 50 to 500 years, depending on paper used). With a DRM-ed ebook I can only do a couple of things that the seller permitted me to do and I am completely at their grace. Electronic readers do not last for ever. In all probability I will have to replace my reader in the next three or four years. What about the DRM-ed books I bought? Will there be any devices compatible with the (then) obsolete DRM schemes? Will the company that sold the book to me still exist? And if they exist, if they feel like that, they can flatly refuse to re-authorise my ebook for any reason they can think of (cause they don't have the rights to this book any longer, cause their server broke, cause they feel you abused your customer rights, cause you exceeded some limit or cause ... anything else).

I have already bought DRM-ed music and books in the past and while they seemed OK at the moment when I bought them, now, after a couple of years already more than half of them are "dead" in every practical sense. I replaced my PC, bought a new MP3 player and I cannot reactivate the stuff I bought for exactly the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph. So for me it is definitely: "No, thank you." I won't buy DRM-ed stuff any more unless I can immediately convert it into a format I am able to use no matter what device I own at a given moment.

Last edited by macminer; 02-06-2010 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:11 PM   #73
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If the Publishers insist on DRM, the most logical direction for eBooks is rental, not purchase.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:46 PM   #74
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If the Publishers insist on DRM, the most logical direction for eBooks is rental, not purchase.
Yes. Many are awaiting such an option as noted in another thread.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:44 AM   #75
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Iqy here,

I self published a couple of years ago in paperback and sold nearly 3,000 copies. I'd never do it again, so I spent a long time checking out ebook publishing sites but couldn't make much sense of them, they were either too complicated, too greedy, or just too messy for simple me. Then along came epub, and thankfully I stumbled across zuluexpress.

'Ondabeach' seems to have it wrapped up at ze, thats why I went with him. DRM free, so important and so obvious to everyone except the greedy old fashioned publishers, generous royalties which I hear he is even thinking of improving, and he recommends a price of around $2.95 to say $5.95 per ebook for new writers. Sounds low to writers but when you get more from that than JKR gets from Bloomsbury, it is perfect. Once more writers discover what ze offers I reckon it could outgrow even Amazon, simply because its generous for everyone, and there are no greedy lazy middlemen to feed, the writer gets the lions share! Thats the secret.

If anyone would like to know what I've found out over the last few months about the cost of ebooks, I'm happy to post it. You will be amazed at the con the publishers are pulling on readers.
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