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Old 10-30-2006, 05:47 PM   #61
slayda
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Originally Posted by Cthulhu

On another point:
Was watching TV today with some friends today, and when I mentioned the neat technology of e-ink & the SONY reader, one said "who reads anymore?"
If they don't read, what do they do during the TV commercials?
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:51 AM   #62
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TIVO generation.
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:19 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slayda
If they don't read, what do they do during the TV commercials?
That is why they invented the remote.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:55 PM   #64
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All right folks.
It has been nice chatting with you all on so many various and sundry topics.
Sadly, doubt that I will ever be investing any money into the SONY Reader, or any E-text device.

Earlier today, phone Penguin Books--the publisher of J. Kerouac, and W. Gibson, at the least--to see about tranferring--legally--my physical library. While waiting for a customer service rep., perused the web site so I could maybe rattle of some ISBN's.

Out of the twelve books that I saw onscreen, the four(!) that were offered as e-text made me simply hang up the phone. Want to read about Relativity? $11.00 hardcover, $10.00 paperback **$16.95** for a MS Reader format.

Sorry kids. Can never spend twice as much for a file that the creator thinks I'm just borrowing. Have fun. The game's too rich for my blood
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:41 AM   #65
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Cthulhu, sorry to hear. It's obvious publishers need to rethink their pricing strategies for e-books. Still, if you look hard enough (i.e. compare various online shops), sometimes you find e-books available at attractive prices.
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:11 AM   #66
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The unfortunate reality is that the publishing companies have never thought you _owned_ one of their works. Now they have the technology to enforce that. And they're going to make you pay a premium to prove that point to you!
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:49 AM   #67
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Don't give up yet! Money will talk soon. When they realize that no one is buying, they'll have to drop prices. Taking us for milk cows is a pipe dream!
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:02 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu
$11.00 hardcover, $10.00 paperback **$16.95** for a MS Reader format.
Yeah. I was looking up books by my favorite authors. It varies from author to author (probably from publisher to publisher), but there are quite a few eBooks out there for hardcover++ prices, with cheap paperbacks already in circulation. What are they THINKING? I already own paperback copies of these books, and there is no way I'm paying more than I originally paid to get them onto an eReader. I'll buy a $400 sheet-feeding scanner first, hack up my originals, and put the remains in storage so I can "prove" that I bought them if someone ever tries to take me to court for having e-copies.

Note to publishers: for books I've already bought, that I frequently re-read, I would consider paying $2-3 each to get the electronic versions. You can make more money off of me, a previously paying customer, if you just use a little imagination. And you could probably sucker me for close to the hardcover price for an eBook when a long-awaited book first comes out in HC. But once it's been out for 6 months or so, charge less than the paperback version or you lose my business. I'll borrow the paperback from the library or buy it used, and you won't see a dime.

Actually, I think HC buyers should always get the eBook version for free with their purchase. They could then donate the HC to a local library, if they don't want to store it, which would make it that much more likely that others would read it and either buy it or look for other books by that author (or editor or whatever).
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:05 AM   #69
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These are very good ideas, especially the "paper and e" combo!
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:17 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible
Don't give up yet! Money will talk soon. When they realize that no one is buying, they'll have to drop prices. Taking us for milk cows is a pipe dream!
That's a great point. Wasn't it Apple that said they realize that they are competing against pirates? They realize that they need to provide content in a way that actually works for consumers. E-book publishers still seem to want a fantasy milk cow from customers, even if they impose constricting DRM. We all feel it's crazy because there could be so much more profit, but they all view the market as currently tiny and are scared of piracy and want complete control over usage of content through DRM feeling they can turn customers into milk cows in the future if they just tie us down enough. At least that's what they portray to us. At some point they will eventually have to bend to what customers with the money want. I hope so, anyway. And I'm afraid that if they don't, all they do is teach everyone to be a pirate, which is not really in anyone's best interest. But without a resolution to this, e-books are going to stay limited as an industry, and everyone loses. It's sad.
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:12 AM   #71
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That's a great point. Wasn't it Apple that said they realize that they are competing against pirates?
I'm pretty sure that was Disney.
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:12 AM   #72
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Neko, although I think you've nailed most of the points, I would not pay hardcover price for an e-edition of a book when it first comes out.

I remember the days of LPs, and during that time, tape cassettes would be released with (or soon after) LPs. But no one charged the same for a cassette as for an album... the quality was too disperate to make it a deal. At the time, the music industry considered cassettes a throwaway product, and they risked the ease of copying, but they produced them anyway, found a good price point, and hoped for the best.

Sooner or later, the print industry will reach the same conclusions as music did with cassettes, create their own e-product (instead of letting Potterphiles hand-scan them), and adjust their prices. It'll happen faster if they see it as a viable revenue stream... in other words, if enough people are asking for them.

Yes, this could have happened sooner. Yes, the print industry is dragging this out painfully. But sooner or later, technology will make it so easy for people to scan their own books and share digital copies, that the industry will have to provide their own e-books to prevent that increase in piracy and profit loss. We're getting really close with the new book-scanning HW reviewed on this site, and with better flatbed scanners at home. It's only a matter of time.
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:27 AM   #73
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...sooner or later, technology will make it so easy for people to scan their own books and share digital copies, that the industry will have to provide their own e-books to prevent that increase in piracy and profit loss. We're getting really close with the new book-scanning HW reviewed on this site, and with better flatbed scanners at home. It's only a matter of time.
Great point! I think that this is going to be a key incentive for publishers to be reasonable about their e-book pricing and DRM and so forth. It's unfortunate that it takes this, but I agree that people will be able to create their own scans pretty easily soon. In fact, I envision a $100 overhead scanning setup that uses a 10MP cameraphone in a cameraphone overhead stand, plus free software to manage the images, do OCR and format conversions, maybe even with a remote control shutter. If the cameraphone camera capability is good and fast (coming soon I'm sure), then everyone only needs the stand and software. It would only take a few minutes if pics were snapped rapid fire. It would only take the time to turn pages. Maybe 3 secs per 2 pages (i.e per picture). A 1000 page book would take 500x3secs = 25mins of labor plus OCR time!

Most importantly, if that becomes a widespread possibility, the publishers will be forced to cater to the customer. That could very well be a big impetus for a real DRM-free e-book market. And then if it's DRM, people will still be willing to buy e-books to avoid the hassle and to be legit with the payments.

Well, there's a whole lot of "if's" up there, but we can always hope!
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:44 AM   #74
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Nekokami's idea of providing an ecopy of the book with the sale of the paper version, could be implemented in an easy way. This copy could be on a fragile magnetic strip or an RFID tag, taped inside the book. Any attempt to remove it will destroy it. A scanner, proprietary to an author's guild, would bring revenue by it's sale. The funds generated, plus an extra at the sale of the book, would suffice to provide the e-book without DRM.
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:51 AM   #75
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Quote:
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Neko, although I think you've nailed most of the points, I would not pay hardcover price for an e-edition of a book when it first comes out.
I would be willing to pay if I actually got the hardcover, maybe. But I've kind of moved on from this thinking myself. In the other thread I said the price probably ought to be more like the used book price (HC during the HC phase of publication, I suppose, stupid though that is, PB the rest of the time). It's certainly not that I think of eBooks as "only as good as used books," whatever that might mean, I just think it could be useful for publishers to think this way.

Bob's scenario in which scanning becomes quick and easy enough that lots of people are doing it and it starts to drive the eBook market seems plausible to me. Traditional publishers probably won't move much until they see a threat to existing sales. Unfortunately, their first reaction is likely to be a knee-jerk "sue the scanners" impulse. I don't look forward to that part. But hopefully we can all move past that to something more sensible soon.

Question for you all: if I'm willing to send in my paperback book -- or perhaps the front cover, so that it can't legally be resold-- what should be a reasonable price for an eBook replacement? I've got an awful lot of books here, and I'd be happy to "compress" most of them to digital format, if there were a legal path to do so.

(Secondary question: if a company vowed to pulp the originals afterward, would it be legal to accept books to digitize them for their original owners only? I know this would vary country-by-country, I'm just wondering what the range of opinions is out there.)
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