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Old 10-10-2006, 11:53 PM   #1
bostonte
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My View of eBook Pricing

Not that my opinion matters to the powers that be, but I felt like a rant. Seems logical to me, what do you think?

Publishers should feel quite comfortable allowing lower prices on DRM'd Sony eBooks. (Of course there's always the proceeved threat of backlash from brick and mortar owners.)

Having been an avid reader for years, and managed a large book store during university, the "best" customers of the store buy just about any and every new release (i.e. all the new mystery thrillers, biographies, etc. -- just about anything on the front shelf when you walk into the store). They typically walk in, spend all of 20 seconds at the shelf, and grab 3 or 4 books.

And what do they tend to do with them when they're done? They trade them at a used book store or give them to friends who give them to friends. Only very specific things are kept.

The publisher has the very nice advantage of being able to completely cripple the secondary market with books sold through CONNECT. Except for rather extreme measures (deauthorizing my reader and selling my account details, I suppose would work) -- they're almost guaranteed to limit the sale to one reader only. (i.e. no trading among friends) with the current implementation.

Obviously the publishers aren't oblivious that one copy of a new release from B&N is quite likely to be passed around -- they've worked this into their pricing model.

It needs to be unworked from the pricing model of eBooks, or they need to offer us the same options we get when we purchase a real book -- when I'm done with it I should be able to "deauthorize" myself and give/sell it to someone else.

Certainly my thoughts are restricted to certain genres of books (not reference or instructional, for instance).

Rant over.. back to spending more money at CONNECT, it's as darn additictive as iTunes. Might as well just sign my paycheck over to the two.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:40 AM   #2
NatCh
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:07 PM   #3
airlik
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I've been a subscriber to the NY Times for a long time, and when I heard they were in talks with Sony about publishing for the reader, (not that they probably cared) I sent an email to their subscription department with some ideas for e-copies of their paper I'd be happy to pay for. One of the things I listed was the ability to transfer the rights, possibly using their rights server to exchange the keys or something and transfer "ownership" to someone else. When I'm done with my paper, the neighbour reads it.

It actually seems like something that would be very useful for an eBook - the ability to have a second-tier market... the publishers could even get their fat fingers in on it by managing the key exchange when you "sell" the book and take a small cut or something. I don't think it would ever happen, though. A "second hand" digital book is still in perfect condition, whereas many people are willing to pay the "new" premium for a paper book. There's GOT to be some compromise, though. I hate not having an easy way to lend a book to a friend when it's DRMd...
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
slayda
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What I think the publishers could do to support ebooks while still making a profit on pbooks is to include an ecopy of the book when the pcopy is purchased (especially if the pcopy is hardback). This way when we want a "backup" library in hardcopy we have it and don't beat up the pcopy since we're reading the ecopy.

I recently purchased a David Weber hardcopy novel and was supprised that it came with a CD containing ecopies of not only that book but several previous ones (that I had already purchased and had in my personal library). That made me want to buy from Baen again.
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