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Old 02-10-2010, 12:08 PM   #16
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Also, nobody makes a SD card low-capacity enough to be sane for an ebook-- you'd either have to have a line producing 1 to 8 MB cards (insane) or have a ebook taking up a tiny percentage of a hundreds of MB to several GB card (insane.)
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:16 PM   #17
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Why not allow brick and mortar stores to sell ebooks at a discount? You bring in your ebook reader. They would have cables that will connect to almost all of them. You can browse the physical books to see if there are any that you want. Then they assist you in putting the ebook on your reader. For a lot of novice people this would be an almost must and it would keep people coming into the bookstores, although they wouldn't be moving as much physical stock.

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Old 02-10-2010, 12:43 PM   #18
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This is exactly what I'm thinking will happen, with the portable media as an option for the people that don't have their reader with them...

"Come and browse the physical books, have a latte and muffin while you're at it. When you're ready to leave we'll install your purchases on your reader!!

Didn't bring your reader? Take home our handy SD card (or other compatible media) and install them yourself!! Bring the card back for a discount on your next purchase!"
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:48 PM   #19
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The problem I see with this model, is that generally there are far more books on sale than video games. With video games, people typically only want the latest and greatest, and older games are forgotten, where as with books, people still read books from 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 100 years ago, etc. To start doing this would be a massive undertaking that would be problematic from a logistics standpoint, and many may not sell well enough to justify it. They just need to move to an even easier purchasing system, although some ways are drop dead easy as is (such as if you stick with the methods that Amazon and Sony supply, and only get more difficult if you start going to third party retailers).

Last edited by Hellmark; 02-10-2010 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:35 PM   #20
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This could work along with the in-store kiosk idea. You wouldn't have to buy a new memory card for every book. Just keep adding to the first one until full.

I still don't see much advantage over the download method except for impulse buying at a retail location, paging through a paper book and then instantly walking over to the kiosk to buy the e-book. Of course you can get the same instant gratification while browsing with a Kindle or Sony 900 in your hand.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #21
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Yeah, being able to buy at home or wherever and get instantly is a huge appeal for e-books for me.

With games, I like the physical copy as they're pricey and I can get them second hand, trade/sell them after I'm done with them etc. So I'll be resistant to a move to download games as prices aren't going to come down as game development costs are so hi for 3D games in HD on the 360 and PS3.

I'll pay $5-10 for an e-book that I can't trade or resell to recoup some of the cost. I won't pay $40-60 for many games that I can't resell. Even at $20 I'd be much more picky about what games I play than I am now when I can get games off a trading site like Goozex for very little out of pocket costs since I'm just using points earned from games I traded to other uses, and only paying shipping costs on those, and $1 for each game I receive.

But $5-10 is pocket change, so I don't mind spending that to read a book with no chance of trading or selling it.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsvick View Post
"Come and browse the physical books, have a latte and muffin while you're at it. When you're ready to leave we'll install your purchases on your reader!!
Except for the lack of physical e-book media, this first part essentially describes the B&N nook experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsvick View Post
Didn't bring your reader? Take home our handy SD card (or other compatible media) and install them yourself!! Bring the card back for a discount on your next purchase!"
And a customer-accessible Web browser could handle this part by adding them to your account.

The trend is for physical media to go away in every content area, to be replaced with pervasive Internet connections and cloud storage. Music gets download. Movies get streamed. I just don't see e-books bucking that trend, unless someone comes up with an e-book reading device cheap enough to be a one-shot, single-title device that sells for less than $15 (content and all) and still makes a profit.
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:07 PM   #23
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For what it's worth: mini CDR's are 36 cents each, and hold 185MB. That is full retail price, buying in bulk would probably be more like 25 cents each. Of course you would still have to get the book on your reader via a computer, as opposed to just inserting an SD card directly into the device...
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:18 PM   #24
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This is a difficult issue. What I retain of this subject is that the present entities dealing with ebooks have no wish to offer a tangible product anymore. They make enough money with fewer paychecks to issue.

You might like to see what other people had to say about this very subject a few years ago. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7533
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkchapman View Post
The trend is for physical media to go away in every content area, to be replaced with pervasive Internet connections and cloud storage. Music gets download. Movies get streamed. I just don't see e-books bucking that trend, unless someone comes up with an e-book reading device cheap enough to be a one-shot, single-title device that sells for less than $15 (content and all) and still makes a profit.
Absolutely right. I think that over the next several (10 maybe) years, as eBooks become more popular, we'll see a lot more of the brick and mortar stores closing. Everything mentioned here would be their last, desperate grasp at retaining a customer base. Eventually they will be small stores, catering to a very select client base.

The only time I go in one now is when I'm killing time at the mall while my wife is in a different store
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:32 PM   #26
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With video games, people typically only want the latest and greatest, and older books are forgotten
No, older ones are no longer available for purchase.
I'm looking for a way to get Populous to play on my Vista machine. My 5" floppy is, erm, not useful here. Would I pay the $15 it originally cost? Probably not; $15 will get me a much more advanced game these days--but I'd happily pay $5.

Older games don't sell to new players because they can't buy them, not because there's no market. Most of the entertainment industries (books, movies, tv, video, music) are under the impression that the public really wants brand-new content every few weeks... when iTunes has proved that no, they want to listen to the 1-hit wonders from their teen years as much or more as they want the new chart-toppers, and the books they heard about in college and never got around to reading, and the comics their friends collected, and the movies that they saw with their first girlfriends.

Digital media has proven that we don't actually want to throw away pop-culture as soon as the broadcast run is over.

There'd be a booming market in older video games--bugs and all--adapted to play on new machines. It's just that it's not believed to be lucrative enough for the game companies to put resources in that direction, but they're too paranoid about losing money to license them out cheaply. (Or, as is often the case, the original company has vanished, and the games are now copyright orphans.)
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:43 PM   #27
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I think the key here is putting more than 1 book on a card.

If you could go to a store and get (for example)

All of J.R.R Tolkien's printed works, Lord of the rings, Hobbit, Similarion, etc on 1 SD card.
Buy it, take it home, put it in your reader, and read them.

I think another part would be similar to how used books used to be sold. Bring that same SD card back when your done, and get a 30-50% discount on your next purchase. So the store can resell it, or reload it with their latest offering.

Some authors have series of 3, 4, 5 books or more.

Wheel of Time series by Jordon comes to mind. Imagine being able to get all of them, for one reasonable price PLUS a spare SD card. You've paid for them, so you would have the right to copy them to your computer. Plus you'd have the ability to resell them back to the store.

Its just going to take some innovative thinking and marketing by the brick and mortar stores. Doesn't mean its impossible, or they can't survive, just means they have to work a bit harder at it.

I like the idea as it brings Ebooks back closer into line with what you can do with Paper books.
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Old 02-10-2010, 03:07 PM   #28
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I understand why some folks may want to shop in a physical bookstore and then buy the ebook, but that purchase could just involve emailing you a download link. There's no reason it has to involve physical media. If your device can connect to a network and synch, you wouldn't even need to do that. Turn on the wireless and there's your book. I think most technophobic people would prefer that to SD cards. I'd be annoyed having to swap out the card for every book I wanted to read. The wallet full of cards would be another thing I'd have to carry around, more clutter in my house, and more resources being wasted. No thanks.

The only real advantages I see here are the abilities to resell the book or possibly send it overseas. Even with reselling, that is something that could be allowed in DRM without the need for physical media. So I could see a niche for a retailer that wants to sell around the geographical restrictions. Of course international shipping tends to be prohibitive so that might not go so well. Besides, it seems likely that settling the international rights will become more important as ebooks gain ground. I wouldn't be surprised if geographical restrictions are a non-issue in a few years. I can't see enough call for this to support the cost of implementing it in your average bookstore, even a big chain.
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Old 02-10-2010, 03:15 PM   #29
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There'd be a booming market in older video games--bugs and all--adapted to play on new machines. It's just that it's not believed to be lucrative enough for the game companies to put resources in that direction, but they're too paranoid about losing money to license them out cheaply. (Or, as is often the case, the original company has vanished, and the games are now copyright orphans.)
A bit OT, but WiiWare does this, successfully selling older Nintendo games to play on the Wii using an emulator. What has made that practical, I think, is a large market and a slick purchase/download process.
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:02 PM   #30
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I understand why some folks may want to shop in a physical bookstore and then buy the ebook, but that purchase could just involve emailing you a download link. There's no reason it has to involve physical media. If your device can connect to a network and synch, you wouldn't even need to do that. Turn on the wireless and there's your book. I think most technophobic people would prefer that to SD cards.
The advantage would be to stores--so a customer could walk in, browse, pick half a dozen books, purchase the ebook versions & have them loaded on a card at checkout--and load that card into their reader immediately. This is potentially most useful for tourists and people who are visiting a bookstore that's normally outside of their travel range.

One card per book does seem a bit much, but plenty of people would be willing to pay an extra $5 for the card if they were buying several books. Stores could have pre-loaded collections: complete Lord of the Rings, or the entire Wheel of Time series, or whatever.

The hitch, and the real reason this won't happen--it would take non-DRM'd books (or a form of DRM tied to the card itself rather than the reader), and it'd be ridiculously easy for customers to give away or resell the cards later. And the publishers really don't want to do *anything* that would create an actual used ebook market.
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