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Old 02-19-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
mcl
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"If you can afford an ebook reader, you can afford ebook prices"

http://consumerist.com/2010/02/publi...or-ebooks.html


As despicable as I find that statement, at least this guy's being intellectually honest, rather than trying to paint higher ebook prices as some necessity of he industry, or saying that the authors will starve.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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That might have once been true, but now my library has a huge selection of ebooks. So if you don't want to sell it to me for a reasonable price, I'm going to check out books from the library. And they're losing money, because I would be willing to pay around $5 for a book.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
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My mantra has always been...
"Cut the price in half and I will buy twice as much"

The music industry never understood this till Apple sold it for less than a dollar and made millions.

Last edited by Dusty; 02-19-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:10 PM   #4
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Being able to afford something, and being willing to pay the asking price are two different things.

I can afford more than $9.99 for an e-book easily. I'm not willing to pay more than that as it's not worth it to pay more than that for an e-book I'll read once.

If it's some book I want to have around longterm, I can probably pick up the physical book for less, and I prefer those for favorite books, reference books that get used more than once anyway.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
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I can, but I won't.

Because I've bought an ereader, I can't affort expensive ebooks. :P

I refuse to spend more than 10$. And more than paperback/mass market paperback price.

I've only bought about 4 books above 10$. I prefer to wait 'til the price drops or even buing the physical book if the price won't budge.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:15 PM   #6
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I agree that there's value in his explicit statement rather than the implicit "you're killing our authors!" propaganda.

Interestingly, Cory Doctorow recently touched on this same idea pointing out that hardcovers are more expensive than paperbacks not for any materials cost reason but because people are willing to pay extra to get them sooner. The publishers are currently searching along the demand curve for the most profitable spot. Hopefully that spot will end up in a place we can all appreciate (whatever it may be).

Thanks for the interesting link!

Last edited by thename; 02-19-2010 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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Frankly, one of the reasons I love e-books, besides the portability, is that the Reader pays for itself in savings over time, especially when all the free material (classics, creative commons, web content, etc.) is factored in. It's even affected by used book purchasing; I see no need to purchase an old copy of a classic philosophical work if I can get a nice edition from Mobileread or Feedbooks for free. For more recent works, it's a toss up and depends a lot on the availability at my local used book store (The Book Nook in Glen Burnie, MD) or at Daedalus Books (an outlet that has a lot of remainders).

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Old 02-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #8
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Completely untrue. Investing in hardware for me is quite simply a way to get things quicker, better and more cheaply. If it doesn't offer that, then I won't buy.

That statement, to me, says "buy my books second hand". So I will.


thename - Yep. Give me the ebook 6 months before the physical street date, even unedited, as long as it's DRM-free I am - demonstably - potentially a customer at $15. Waiting until the street date and then offering it to me for over $10? lolno.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcl View Post
http://consumerist.com/2010/02/publi...or-ebooks.html


As despicable as I find that statement, at least this guy's being intellectually honest, rather than trying to paint higher ebook prices as some necessity of he industry, or saying that the authors will starve.
Really? Hunh. Nope. *I* bought both my Kindle 2s for less than $50 - including shipping! (One was less than $40!) Of course I had to then ship them off for warranty repairs, which cost me a time-delay before I could use them, but total cost for the two was under $90. At the estimated $15/bestseller-ebook pricing policy, that means my Kindles only delayed the purchase of SIX ebooks. I read about ten times that many per year. So if I have to pay $15/ebook instead of $10, the increase will cost me an additional $300/year. Or else I must cut back my ebook purchases by 33%. Seems to me that his argument is flawed. I'm sure those 20 authors whose books I won't be purchasing can console themselves that at least they *would have* earned more money from these lost sales. Hope they like eating a lot of mac-n-cheese!

Derek
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:27 PM   #10
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Anyone paying 9.99 or more for an ebook obviously doesn't know how to do a basic web search and find the ebook for a better price- and NO, I am not talking about for free, but for a much more realistic price for a ebook in which you are basically just leasing and not owning
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:36 PM   #11
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Good article. As discussed many times, affordability is not so much the issue as is the value of current ebooks (as the author pointed out). In their current form, it is impossible to consider ebooks equal to paper books. DRM, lack of cover art, typos, poor formatting, lack of illustrations, etc. = inferior.

So, because ereader device owners can "afford" any price publishers wish to assign ebooks must certainly place us in the category of idiots. What arrogance.

Even if dollars are burning a hole in my pocket, I will not pay one cent more for what I consider a reasonable value for an ebook regardless of my desire to read a particular title. And as I no longer purchase paper books my options are the public library or no book and, in either case, the publisher/author/retailer loses.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnFalcon View Post
Give me the ebook 6 months before the physical street date, even unedited, as long as it's DRM-free I am - demonstably - potentially a customer at $15. Waiting until the street date and then offering it to me for over $10? lolno.
So all publishers need to do is put out the ebook a little in advance of the hardback and you'd pay $15? I think that's what publishers need to hear - ways they can add value to their ebooks on release to justify a higher price. (Personally there's no way in hell I'd pay $15 for an uncorrected proof, but it obviously works for some people.) The article's certainly right that publishers need to work on adding value to their ebooks with proper covers and additional material, and they definitely need to stop the practice of setting ebooks from pre-production proofs.

But yeah, I can see why the idea of spending $$$ on hardware in order to save $$$ on content pisses some publishers off.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:57 PM   #13
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Charleski - Well, no. not "all Publishers need to do". They need to engage me as a customer. Baen score very heavily on that. And they're not going to get me to pay $15 for everything, just the stuff I want most.

Fact is, most people are still not reading on dedicated devices, and they still won't pay the same as they will for a physical item. The entire "if you've paid for the device..." argument is nonsense...
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:01 PM   #14
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nope, doesn't wash. I bought the kindle partially due to the "$9.99" bestseller flag. I figured my investment would save me money in the long run.

I WILL pirate until the publishers meet that bargain. yes, I know it was Amazon making the bargain, but it is certainly liveable
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kindlekitten View Post
I WILL pirate until the publishers meet that bargain. yes, I know it was Amazon making the bargain, but it is certainly liveable
I don't think the prices justify piracy.

The appropriate response is to not buy the book, and write the publishers saying why you're not purchasing their product.

Something being priced to high doesn't justify stealing a copy. You wouldn't do it with a physical copy would you? Walk into borders and shoplift a book you want to read but feel it's too high? So why is it ok to steal the digital copy because the e-book is priced to high?

I'm always amazed how the move to digital content, and the ease of illegal obtaining digital content vs. physical products, seems to shift peoples moral judgments on right and wrong.
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