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Old 02-01-2010, 10:43 AM   #1
P.X. Fort
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We need to stand up to ebook pricing NOW.

We all mostly agree that an ebook should not cost anywhere near Hardback and paperback prices.

Simply looking at the inherent costs from printing to brick and morter sales, an ebook bypasses this entire process.

But what is going to happen will follow the same model as the banking industry and ATM machines. The evolution will be more rapid with ebooks since our knowledge and technology are much more sophisticated.

The Adoption of the Technology 30 years ago was slow but steady. Banks urged and suggested to their patrons that they use these ATM systems since it would be much more convenient for them allowing 24 hour access to their money for free. The banks claimed that their savings due to reduced teller capicity would be reflected in better Rates and services.

The ATM card began to become the norm until we became dependent.

The Bank promise of better rates and services never transpired, instead the banks increased profits due to a reduced teller capicity and through fees on ATM transactions.

We were dupted into paying to get our own money and we do it still today.

If we do not act now, in only a few years we will pay $25 for a new ebook realease. We will pay it because others will pay it. A person who buys only a book or two a year will not care about the price. The fact that they can easily download it from the comfort of their Starbucks chair will justify the cost to them. Meanwhile, the publishers will be laughing about how they used to hate the electronic book market.

The progression of technology is always touted as a time saving lower cost alternative. But it rarely manifests in that way.

We need to make sure this time it does.

Last edited by P.X. Fort; 02-01-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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This seems very similiar to the conversatoion already well under way in the 'Book prices, Ebook prices - value' thread.

for what its worth I think ebook value is what people will pay for them.

to me and others they are of more value than a hard copy.

If a hard copy were $6 and the ebook $6.50 I would prefer the convenience and openess of an Ebook.

I can back it up, lend it to my family to read at the same time as im reading etc
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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I will just treat ebooks like I do regular books if it comes to that. If there is a book that I MUST read the day it is released I will pay more than the $9.99 that I am used to... like looking at the hardcover.
If I can wait then i will wait until the price goes down, like getting the paperback instead.
Odds are that there will be another book that gets my attention by that time so they will loose out on a sale
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
to me and others they are of more value than a hard copy.
Not with DRM they aren't.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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Not with DRM they aren't.
For me, the value of a DRM-infected book is strongly affected by how easy it is to disinfect it. A MobiDRM-infected book is worth about the same to me as a clean one, since the DRM will get stripped as I load it into calibre, which I do regardless of source. Something infected with ADEPT or MS Reader DRM is worth slightly less, since that takes a moment of my time to clean up. Secure eReader and Topaz books are worth considerably less to me, but that's mostly because it takes more effort to convert the file into something presentable once I've disinfected it. Books infected with FairRead (or whatever Apple ends up calling their new DRM scheme), or books infected with any other form of DRM I cannot remove (like Sony's lrx) will be of no value to me at all until somebody writes a tool to remove that flavour of malware.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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Not with DRM they aren't.
yes they are.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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Yet try reselling your digital ebook on ebay and see how soon you are sued for "piracy". Personally, they seem to be hell-bent on creating a 'legal' market that can only be seen as a joke, so I'm not really inclined to reward them monetarily for their efforts any more. This whining about how they are "due" profits is so totally opposed to their otherwise "free market/capitalism rules" backgrounds that it just makes me nauseous.
Amazon's capitulation after a measly 2 days will just cause a chain reaction, and then we'll have manufacturer-enforced prices. What a joke.
I'm pretty far from believing in an unfettered free market, but this.. Oh well, another 3-350$/year customer gone.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.X. Fort View Post
We all mostly agree that an ebook should not cost anywhere near Hardback and paperback prices.
Demonstrably false by checking past threads on this issue. What *is* true is that we fall into two camps-those who believe that most of the cost of a book is in printing & distribution & those who understand that most of the cost of a book is in the writing, editing, preparation, and advertising. (Slanted word choice was deliberate-if you can't figure out what I believe then you probably shouldn't be reading this thread.)
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:24 PM   #9
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Demonstrably false by checking past threads on this issue. What *is* true is that we fall into two camps-those who believe that most of the cost of a book is in printing & distribution & those who understand that most of the cost of a book is in the writing, editing, preparation, and advertising. (Slanted word choice was deliberate-if you can't figure out what I believe then you probably shouldn't be reading this thread.)
Last I checked, the act of writing has no cost. Please do not confuse this with someone saying it has no /value/. It certainly has value. But there is no real cost to the act of writing, except the sunk cost of the writing instrument, whether it be pen and paper, typewriter, or computer. (there are opportunity costs, but we won't go into those here).

As for editing, that editing would occur anyway, because it's done for the physical book. The ebook is, in essence, a freebie, because it costs nothing to produce (modulo some minimal formatting changes) over and above the production costs for the physical book.

The same goes for advertising: The advertising's already done for the physical book. Making an ebook equivalent available is again a freebie, as what's being advertised is the content, not the format.

You're conflating the costs of producing a physical book with the costs of producing an ebook version of an existing physical book. What is being discussed here is the price and value of said ebook.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:31 PM   #10
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yes they are.
That's your opinion, mine is different. DRM restricts things that should be fair use and first sale rights, like lending to family, which hardback books allow. Therefore, to me, a DRM'd eBook has less value because it artificially restricts my rights.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
Demonstrably false by checking past threads on this issue. What *is* true is that we fall into two camps-those who believe that most of the cost of a book is in printing & distribution & those who understand that most of the cost of a book is in the writing, editing, preparation, and advertising. (Slanted word choice was deliberate-if you can't figure out what I believe then you probably shouldn't be reading this thread.)
My concept of value doesn't depend on how much someone else spends for getting it printed/storing it on their server. So all those "calculations" just don't make sense to me, except that I hope the author is getting a fair percentage.

It is a matter of what value I put on the reading material itself, and how much enjoyment I'll get from reading it.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:34 PM   #12
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What *is* true is that we fall into two camps-those who believe that most of the cost of a book is in printing & distribution & those who understand that most of the cost of a book is in the writing, editing, preparation, and advertising.
There's a third camp - those who understand that comparing printing/distribution vs writing/editing/preparation/advertising is the wrong argument.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:39 PM   #13
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Cost, Value, and Perceived Value.

I suggest that Perceived Value is the salient feature. In other realms, the public has less Perceived Value to electronic media than physical. Advertising, magazines, and newspapers are good examples. The paper based sell for more.

Some have argued that they believe the convenience of electronic is an added value.

Others have argued that the lack of "rights" to lend, sell, or donate is a serious detriment. And DRM is an additional detriment.

On other threads the topic of lower quality of eBooks is mentioned. There are errors in eBooks that do not exist in the paper editions.

We each value these attributed differently. But, my first statement is probably the most important: The public has less Perceived Value for electronic editions of media than physical.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mcl View Post
Last I checked, the act of writing has no cost. Please do not confuse this with someone saying it has no /value/. It certainly has value. But there is no real cost to the act of writing, except the sunk cost of the writing instrument, whether it be pen and paper, typewriter, or computer. (there are opportunity costs, but we won't go into those here).

As for editing, that editing would occur anyway, because it's done for the physical book. The ebook is, in essence, a freebie, because it costs nothing to produce (modulo some minimal formatting changes) over and above the production costs for the physical book.

The same goes for advertising: The advertising's already done for the physical book. Making an ebook equivalent available is again a freebie, as what's being advertised is the content, not the format.

You're conflating the costs of producing a physical book with the costs of producing an ebook version of an existing physical book. What is being discussed here is the price and value of said ebook.
Hmm-act of writing has no cost, is your time available for free? I have a *huge* number of projects for which I'd like to hire you then. Since you don't charge for your time.

Also, you're correct about the paper book having already paid for most of the costs-*if* you're willing to wait for the ebook until pbook sales reach the point where those costs have been recouped. (BTW, most books don't ever reach this point.) See other threads for protests over publishers delaying their release of ebooks.

If you desire, as I assume you do, that publishers release both ebooks & pbooks at the same time then you should understand that sales of both releases will be used to recoup the costs-in which case the prep, etc. *are* costs relating to the release of the ebook.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #15
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As for editing, that editing would occur anyway, because it's done for the physical book. The ebook is, in essence, a freebie, because it costs nothing to produce (modulo some minimal formatting changes) over and above the production costs for the physical book.

The same goes for advertising: The advertising's already done for the physical book. Making an ebook equivalent available is again a freebie, as what's being advertised is the content, not the format.

You're conflating the costs of producing a physical book with the costs of producing an ebook version of an existing physical book. What is being discussed here is the price and value of said ebook.

Those arguments only make sense if physical books are always available first. So you don't agree with Jeff Bezos, who sees an eBook only future?
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