Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-05-2010, 02:23 PM   #16
Robertb
Astak Director, Bus. Devl
Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Robertb's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,560
Karma: 2500000
Join Date: Apr 2008
Device: Astak Pocket PRO
We hate DRM also!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
I didn't have to log in; I don't have an account there.

I was rather disappointed that they didn't have any questions about DRM. Yes, I'll buy a whole lot more ebooks if they're cheaper ... but not from anyone who only sells DRM-restricted books.
Dear Worldwalker:

I am not allowed to sell on here... but I can mention www.EZread.com. While we have to have some DRM eBooks so people can buy the latest titles; we do go out to Book Festivals and Book Expo America events talking with tons of independent authors and publishers to bring more non-DRM titles to our site.

I am told we have great pricing (normally the lowest) and this week you can download a free copy of Steven Lake's new "Oort Perimeter" (the first novel is his landmark Sci-Fi "Earthfleet" Saga). Membership is free on www.EZread.com, we only do titles in EPUB and PDF, there is a good search engine on there, and we have 400,000 "pay" titles and the entire Google Free Library. We are actively growing more titles and the site works for any device ported with Adobe Digital Editions. Soon we will even add an interactive book forum with reviews.

It is worth a look see!!
Robertb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #17
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722357
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
WARNING: Massive topic drift in progress!

Well, I took a look. I was rather amused, in a disturbing sort of way, by this one:

Quote:
In The days of The Comet by Wells, Herbert George
$5.95 $5.99 PDF
So for $5.99, I can buy a $5.95 copy of a public-domain book. Maybe DRM'd. And in a format that generally looks terrible on my Sony Reader.

My natural snarkiness aside, I checked the SF section (please don't call it "sci-fi"). On the first page, only 7 of the 28 books are in epub. If that's representative of the percentages throughout, it's not promising. After some highly unpleasant experiences, I'm very gun-shy about PDFs; my Sony PRS-505 has issues with them, and conversion (when possible) to formats the 505 doesn't suck at displaying can be highly unreliable.

Incidentally, it actually took me a bit to realize there was more than one page, since no feedback to the number of pages is provided unless you experiment with the dropdown box at the very bottom. While we're selling each other stuff, contact me by PM if you're interested in website work.

A page or two in, I found a book I might like to read -- one which I've been reluctant to buy in physical form due to fear of suckage and not wanting to waste cubic footage on it -- and it's even in epub. Yay!

Quote:
Dragonheart by Mccaffrey, Todd J.
$27 $16.99 EPUB
Sticker shock!

Being the cheapskate I am, I did some price checking. Let's see, I could get a book that's almost certainly DRM-restricted for 17 bucks from you. Or I could get it on dead trees from Amazon for 8 bucks or from Borders (which, admittedly, would require me to actually go out in the sunlight) with this week's coupon for 5.35. I could buy it from the Sony store for 7.59, or buy the Kindle version and do unauthorized things to it to get it on my ereader for a bit over 6 bucks. Honestly ... why should I buy the book from you for over twice what Sony, Amazon, or the brick-and-mortar bookstores charge for it?

That's really not a promising introduction to EZbooks.

Or, to "Welcome to" as it shows on my tab bar (really, PM me about website work).

While I'm picking on Dragonheart, here's the description of it:

Quote:
Todd McCaffrey is the bestselling author of the Pern novel Dragonsblood, and the co-author, with his mother, Anne McCaffrey, of Dragon’s Kin, Dragon’s Fire, and Dragon Harper. A computer engineer, he currently lives in Los Angeles. Having grow
I sense something ... missing ....

Also, there seems to be no ready way to tell if a book is DRM-restricted or not. Considering that DRM is a deal-killer for me, that's pretty much a sales-killer, since I don't want to find out the hard way.

I certainly haven't dismissed EZread entirely, despite the problems (and the page after page of covers all saying "My EZread" ). But the sticker shock, the format issues, the lack of DRM information, and the website itself haven't really sold me on the idea of buying books there.

We'd probably better take this to PM or something, though, lest the mods come down on us both for thread hijacking.
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Advertisement
Old 05-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #18
ellenoc
Author
ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ellenoc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ellenoc's Avatar
 
Posts: 69
Karma: 501132
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Colorado
Device: Kindle
Even knowing designing survey questions is difficult, I wish one of these outfits would try to explore what their price increases are doing to change the way some of us spend our book money. I'm still spending the same amount monthly, but spending it quite differently. You'd think they'd want to know that their policies are pushing avid readers like me to get more traditionally published books from the library and buy more indie, small pub, and what I think are backlist books put out by authors who have regained rights. What they've done, for me at least, is pushed me from buying $9.99 and less books to buying $6 and less books, but I'm still reading everything I want to.
ellenoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 05:57 PM   #19
starrigger
Jeffrey A. Carver
starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
starrigger's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,352
Karma: 1107383
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Device: Galaxy Tab 10.1, Nook HD+, and Windows Phone
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellenoc View Post
Even knowing designing survey questions is difficult, I wish one of these outfits would try to explore what their price increases are doing to change the way some of us spend our book money. I'm still spending the same amount monthly, but spending it quite differently. You'd think they'd want to know that their policies are pushing avid readers like me to get more traditionally published books from the library and buy more indie, small pub, and what I think are backlist books put out by authors who have regained rights. What they've done, for me at least, is pushed me from buying $9.99 and less books to buying $6 and less books, but I'm still reading everything I want to.
It's hard for me to see what survey question could elicit from you the information that due to perceived price increases, you have stopped being willing to spend $9.99 on a book and are now willing to spend only $6. If I were a publisher, I wouldn't know how to interpret that.
starrigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 06:27 PM   #20
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 38,637
Karma: 19637653
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Sony PRS-650, Sony PRS-T1, nook STR, iPad 1, iPhone 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
In fairness to Tor, I should point out that they are getting their catalog into ebook format, though gradually (the ebook of Sunborn came a year later than I'd expected), the ebooks are starting to show up in a wider range of stores (Sony, B&N, Kobo, etc.), and the prices so far as I've seen lately do reflect drops in price for paperback, etc.

They're not getting everything right, but they're getting a lot right.

As for DRM, I've yet to receive a satisfactory answer as to why they didn't follow through on their expressed (to me) intention to offer DRM-free books. But I suspect it was either a Macmillan uber-decision, or it was just too hard to do, given that most of the distribution system is already geared to require DRM.

As for price, I'm happy that they're dropping to equal mmpb prices. I have sympathy for the viewpoint that they should be lower, but only up to a point. Ebooks are still something of a specialty market.

Anyway, I agree that the survey missed the mark on many of these questions, and I wish they'd provided a space for comments. (I'm still not sure if it was a Tor survey or a Macmillan survey.)
The problem though is the price. I get discount coupons in email from Borders. I can get anywhere from 25% to 40% off. Since the agency pricing, I would have to pay $7.99 for the eBook of Sunborn where I can pay less at Borders for the paperback. So actually, the price doesn't equal the MMPB price as the MMPB price can be discounted and the eBook price cannot. I signed up for a Fictionwise club membership that is now rather useless to me due to the Agency pricing.

Yes, the prices are coming down, but still staying a bit high with eBookstores no longer able to have sales on the Agency Five's titles. I was willing to pay $9.99 for some eBooks that are still in hardcover. But when they went to paperback (regardless of format), I wasn't willing to pay $7.99 or more. So really, basing the eBook price on some overly priced paperback was a lost sale. And the agency pricing is going to lose money as I won't be buying their eBooks at $9.99 and thus, if I do, it will have to be a lower price then that.

Why do these morons (yes, they are morons) think that $7.99 for an eBook is good when the shops are not allowed to have them on sale? The MMPB can be put on sale via coupons. but the eBooks cannot be on sale.

So what I have been doing lately is using the library more for eBooks and more for paperbooks. All this is doing is losing these morons money and the authors will be making less as well. So what I think is that all the authors effected should complain as loud as they can to the morons in charge of business stupidity.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 06:31 PM   #21
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 38,637
Karma: 19637653
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Sony PRS-650, Sony PRS-T1, nook STR, iPad 1, iPhone 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
2. Do you own a dedicated eReader? Select all that apply.
  • Yes, I own an Amazon Kindle
  • Yes, I own a Barnes & Noble Nook
  • Yes, I own a Sony eReader
  • Yes, I own an Apple iPad
  • I don’t own a dedicated eReader, but am planning to buy one
  • I don’t own a dedicated eReader, and have no plans to buy one

So, where's "Yes, I own a different dedicated eReader?" Astak, Onyx, iLiad, eBookwise...

And since when is the iPad a "dedicated eReader?" By that logic, a netbook is a dedicated eReader.
To be honest, it doesn't really matter which reader you own. It matters which DRM formats it handles. So if it handles ePub with regular Adept, select Sony. If you have one of the other's listed, select that. If what you have doesn't fit, then I have no idea what to select.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 06:39 PM   #22
Elfwreck
Grand Sorcerer
Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Elfwreck ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Elfwreck's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,140
Karma: 24387938
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, California, USA
Device: Clié; PRS-505; EZR Pocket Pro, PRS-600, Kobo Mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
To be honest, it doesn't really matter which reader you own. It matters which DRM formats it handles. So if it handles ePub with regular Adept, select Sony. If you have one of the other's listed, select that. If what you have doesn't fit, then I have no idea what to select.
I have a Sony. I have no idea what people with a Jetbook or eBookwise are supposed to click. But my Sony doesn't handle DRM; I haven't installed any DRM-able software on my computer.

Which means, if they'd had the sense to ask about it, they might've preferred to throw my answers out entirely. I won't buy DRM, so they may not care how many ebooks I read; I'm not one of their target customers.
Elfwreck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 06:41 PM   #23
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 38,637
Karma: 19637653
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Sony PRS-650, Sony PRS-T1, nook STR, iPad 1, iPhone 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
It's hard for me to see what survey question could elicit from you the information that due to perceived price increases, you have stopped being willing to spend $9.99 on a book and are now willing to spend only $6. If I were a publisher, I wouldn't know how to interpret that.
I'm basing $9.99 on getting it now while the paper book is only in expensive hardcover. But once a paperback copy is out be it MMBP or some god awful expensive format created just to make more money, I want the eBook dropped less then $7.99. I don't go in for the new format of paperback that oddly shaped, doesn't fit the bookcase, and is there so more can be charged. And I don't go for the eBook price being based on that monstrosity of a paperback format.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 06:42 PM   #24
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 38,637
Karma: 19637653
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Sony PRS-650, Sony PRS-T1, nook STR, iPad 1, iPhone 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I have a Sony. I have no idea what people with a Jetbook or eBookwise are supposed to click. But my Sony doesn't handle DRM; I haven't installed any DRM-able software on my computer.

Which means, if they'd had the sense to ask about it, they might've preferred to throw my answers out entirely. I won't buy DRM, so they may not care how many ebooks I read; I'm not one of their target customers.
But your Sony could handle DRM if you wanted. So I take it you don't borrow library ePub that you would then be able to read for FREE?
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 07:05 PM   #25
=X=
Wizard
=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.=X= ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
=X='s Avatar
 
Posts: 3,672
Karma: 12205348
Join Date: Mar 2008
Device: Galaxy S, Nook w/CM7
Okay took the survey

I found question #3 to be interesting. If hardback, Paperback, eBook where priced the same what format would you prefer.

That is a question you cannot win no matter how you answer it.

=X=
=X= is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 07:06 PM   #26
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722357
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
I think what the publishers aren't realizing about the change is this:

Their traditional model is one where they as an industry are the gatekeepers of books. They decide what will be published. They decide what book prices will be. They decide which books will be on the store shelves, and when, and for how long. The reader has few choices, with the only really viable alternative involving public libraries (which would probably never have gotten any traction if they'd been proposed today).

The problem is, that concept is already as dead as the buggy-whip business. The publishers aren't the gatekeepers anymore; anyone who wants to can sell their book as an ebook, or POD on dead trees, for that matter. Free books, ranging from public-domain classics to authors' promos, are everywhere a reader turns. Authors are reclaiming their backlists and selling ebooks, whether directly, or through retailers, or through authors' consortia such as Closed Circle. And, of course, there's always the darknet for those who choose to go that route.

So readers who were formerly limited to fulfilling their desire to read by buying books at publishers' prices, from the limited available selection of the works of a limited number of authors that the publishers chose to make available, now have choices. Lots of choices. And they're taking advantage of those choices -- buying indie books, buying through authors' websites, buying from market-smart publishers like Baen and O'Reilly, finding public domain works here on MobileRead, etc.

The genie can't be put back in the bottle, and the bell can't be un-rung. The old model of publishing, which was based on the fact that only a substantial company had the resources to turn a manuscript into a book on a bookstore shelf, is gone. Trying to cling to it is like insisting that all automobiles should carry a buggy whip. It's gone, and it's not coming back. Big publishers are no longer competing only with other big publishers; in today's market, they're competing with everyone from smart little publishers like Baen to every schmuck with a word processor and a Facebook page.

And that's what they're missing. The market has changed, and the change is not about price, it's about value.

What value does a big publisher -- Tor, let's say -- bring to the table? Why should I buy a book from Tor rather than from BookView Cafe? Or from Joe Schmoe with a tacky Facebook page? What is the benefit to me from that Tor imprint on the cover, and why should it be worth money to me?

Most publishers have not yet figured out that selling poorly-formatted, error-laden, DRM-restricted ebooks for higher-than-pbook prices is not enhancing their brands; in fact, they're destroying the image, the market appeal, and the goodwill that they are going to have to depend on to compete in the publishing marketplace in the future. They have something very important to the consumer that our buddy Joe with his Facebook page and those really bad circa-1995 animated GIFs doesn't: They have editors. They have development editors, they have copy editors, and the whole nine yards, whereas Joe Schmoe has his brother-in-law, who's the same guy who told him his Facebook page looks "really rad". That is something they can compete on ... but it seems that instead, all too often it's the first thing being cut.

They still have some vestiges of the gatekeeper role. Many buyers still have the idea that if a book is from a big name publisher, it's going to be of higher quality (content-wise, that is, not just production-wise) than whatever it is that Joe Schmoe is selling, and OMG someone stop that MIDI! That carryover will last for a while ... but it, too, is dying. Readers are connecting with each other in ways that were not practical twenty years ago, and finding books they want to read in those ways. Just as we used to be more likely to read a book recommended by a friend than pushed by a massive advertising campaign, today our "friends" extend to bloggers whose taste matches ours, entire online social networks, random people on MobileRead, etc. The value of those third-party recommendations is overtaking, if it hasn't already, the value of a publisher's name. If someone whose recommendations I trusted told me I just had to read Joe Schmoe's book, that it's great despite that Facebook page with the background that must be bringing in kickbacks from the manufacturers of headache remedies, I'd read it. It's not so much that my trust in publishers has gone down (although given the level of trash some of them are pumping out, they're certainly trying to make that happen) but that the availability of other, and more trusted, sources has increased dramatically.

Tor is not going to be able to compete on price with Joe Schmoe. His ebook costs him nothing to produce, market, or sell. They have to -- they absolutely must -- compete on value. They have to have a better product (and a better website!) than Joe does, and they have to have consumer trust in their brand that will make them stand out from the Joe Schmoes of the ebook world. They also have to accept that the market now has choices, many choices, other than them, and the loss of their quasi-cartel control over it means they don't get to determine the prices anymore. They're in a free market now, and free market forces will determine the price. If readers would rather pay $1 for Joe's very strange ebook about the space aliens living in his spleen instead of $20 for Tor's latest and greatest, the customers think they're getting a better value for their dollar from Joe than from Tor. If Tor wants to compete, they're going to have to match and beat that by either offering more value, or asking for fewer dollars. That's capitalism, and however little they like it all of a sudden, it's about to have its way with them. In fact, it's starting to look like something very close to a perfect market, which is a very rare beast indeed.

Good editing adds value.
A reputation for picking good books adds value.
DRM takes away value.

The equation is this:

value = content + editing + reputation - DRM - price

If that "value" number comes out higher for Joe Schmoe than it does for Tor, then Joe is going to be the very startled author of a bestseller.

Content isn't fully under their control; they can only publish what comes in the door, and luring the good stuff in the door means offering the authors a better deal than their competition -- which is not only other publishers but self-marketing. They can lower the price variable, but in the long run, they're never going to undercut Joe with his zero expenses. The only variables they really have control over are editing and DRM, and those actions which influence reputation. Joe doesn't use DRM, so they can't out-compete him on that. If they're going to compete, the editing has to be better, and their reader cred has to be top-notch. Aside from pushing for a government-protected monopoly or cartel status, that is the only thing they can do. That's how free markets work.

So the question Tor should be asking isn't "how much would you pay for an ebook?" ... it's "what would make you want to buy an ebook from us rather than them?" Until they understand that, they're just going to be researching the price of buggy whips.
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 07:34 PM   #27
starrigger
Jeffrey A. Carver
starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
starrigger's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,352
Karma: 1107383
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Device: Galaxy Tab 10.1, Nook HD+, and Windows Phone
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I'm basing $9.99 on getting it now while the paper book is only in expensive hardcover. But once a paperback copy is out be it MMBP or some god awful expensive format created just to make more money, I want the eBook dropped less then $7.99. I don't go in for the new format of paperback that oddly shaped, doesn't fit the bookcase, and is there so more can be charged. And I don't go for the eBook price being based on that monstrosity of a paperback format.
Jon, I'm not sure what godawful format you're referring to. Trade paperback? If so, then it's just another option for publishers trying to make books profitable. I personally prefer mass market paperback to trade paperback, and yeah, I wish they all fit my shelves--but I can tell you that one reason you're seeing so many trade paperbacks is that they sell--in some cases, making books profitable that would otherwise lose money in MMPB.

As for the publishers being morons--no, I don't think they are. (Though I sometimes say otherwise under my breath.) While I think they were all sipping from the same Apple-flavored kool-aid when they devised the agency model, they're all trying to come up with a way to take an industry that's been in trouble for years and steer it to sustained profitability. While it's a popular refrain here on MR to talk about greedy publishers, the fact is that most publishing operates on a very thin profit margin. What seems like an obvious pricing model to ebook aficionados may not be so obvious from the other side of the counter, where profits from ebooks are still small.

At present, it's spitting into the wind to try to insist that ebooks should be priced less than a MMPB. But I do agree on the question of sales and coupons, etc. I don't know what's going to happen with Fictionwise, but I hope when the time comes to reevaluate the agency model, they'll see the blunder of eliminating that kind of healthy retail competition. Maybe they'll be ready to take Apple down a peg or two by then.

Oh--and even though I'm currently published by a major publisher, I'm happy to see at least one current in the industry shift to favor the indies and smaller presses. They're our most important counterbalance to the increasing conglomeration of the pub industry.
starrigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 07:53 PM   #28
starrigger
Jeffrey A. Carver
starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
starrigger's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,352
Karma: 1107383
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Device: Galaxy Tab 10.1, Nook HD+, and Windows Phone
Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
So the question Tor should be asking isn't "how much would you pay for an ebook?" ... it's "what would make you want to buy an ebook from us rather than them?"
That's a very good point. And most of the rest of what you said is right on, also.

However, I don't think publishers have ever been gatekeepers, exactly. They're finders, nurturers, marketers of writing that they think either deserves an audience or will sell for some other reason. Publishers don't band together to try to keep the other stuff out. They don't exclude, except to say, "This one isn't for us. Better luck elsewhere." Sometimes good stuff gets turned away, sometimes bad stuff gets published. But mostly, what's published lies above some basic threshold of quality. And the editing process helps to ensure that. The same does not apply across the board to self-publishing.

But your main point is that the landscape is changing fast, and they need to adapt or they'll die. With that, I agree. I spend a lot of time myself thinking about the best way to adapt. I'm not sure I've found it yet.
starrigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 09:01 PM   #29
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 38,637
Karma: 19637653
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Sony PRS-650, Sony PRS-T1, nook STR, iPad 1, iPhone 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
Jon, I'm not sure what godawful format you're referring to. Trade paperback? If so, then it's just another option for publishers trying to make books profitable. I personally prefer mass market paperback to trade paperback, and yeah, I wish they all fit my shelves--but I can tell you that one reason you're seeing so many trade paperbacks is that they sell--in some cases, making books profitable that would otherwise lose money in MMPB.
Yes, Trade paperback is what I was spacing on. I don't like the fit to my hand. It feels unnatural. Plus, I don't like the increased price. And a lot of the time, the text size/line spacing is too big for my liking. The problem is the trade is not liked by all and we have to wait even longer to get MMPB. Why not publish both at the same time and see what really sells?

Quote:
As for the publishers being morons--no, I don't think they are. (Though I sometimes say otherwise under my breath.) While I think they were all sipping from the same Apple-flavored kool-aid when they devised the agency model, they're all trying to come up with a way to take an industry that's been in trouble for years and steer it to sustained profitability. While it's a popular refrain here on MR to talk about greedy publishers, the fact is that most publishing operates on a very thin profit margin. What seems like an obvious pricing model to ebook aficionados may not be so obvious from the other side of the counter, where profits from ebooks are still small.
It's like a lot of things these days. What kind of business model is It's selling pretty well so we'll raise the price?. We've got CD, movies, and now eBooks. All selling pretty well so the prices go up. I've spent less on eBooks since April 1, then I have in a long time. Would they rather get some money from me or none?

Quote:
At present, it's spitting into the wind to try to insist that ebooks should be priced less than a MMPB. But I do agree on the question of sales and coupons, etc. I don't know what's going to happen with Fictionwise, but I hope when the time comes to reevaluate the agency model, they'll see the blunder of eliminating that kind of healthy retail competition. Maybe they'll be ready to take Apple down a peg or two by then.
The Agency model might not be so bad if they allowed sales/discounts. I get discounts on paper books, why not eBooks? What makes eBooks so different that the publishers won't allow discounts/sales? As for Fictionwise, I see them folding after most use their micropay rebates & club memberships expire.

I do hope they see the agency model for the mess it really is and do away with it. Are they really lowering prices the same day the book goes from hardcover to MMPB?

Quote:
Oh--and even though I'm currently published by a major publisher, I'm happy to see at least one current in the industry shift to favor the indies and smaller presses. They're our most important counterbalance to the increasing conglomeration of the pub industry.
I agree 100%.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #30
starrigger
Jeffrey A. Carver
starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.starrigger ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
starrigger's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,352
Karma: 1107383
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Device: Galaxy Tab 10.1, Nook HD+, and Windows Phone
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Yes, Trade paperback is what I was spacing on. I don't like the fit to my hand. It feels unnatural. Plus, I don't like the increased price. And a lot of the time, the text size/line spacing is too big for my liking. The problem is the trade is not liked by all and we have to wait even longer to get MMPB. Why not publish both at the same time and see what really sells?
Because it costs money. Sometimes they do publish tdpb and mmpb simultaneously, but not that often. The tdpb is basically a hardcover, without the boards. Tor will often publish in tdpb books that they don't think they can sell enough of to justify mmpb, with its lower profit margin. (Just today, my editor said to me, "Mass market is a bitch these days.") A lot of books just aren't selling well in mass market in the current climate. The economics are different, and they can do smaller press runs with tdpb. Some books never get into mmpb. It's not because they don't want to; it's because they don't get enough orders.

Quote:
Are they really lowering prices the same day the book goes from hardcover to MMPB?
Beats me. In the examples I've seen, yes. Close enough, anyway. I really haven't been seeing the higher prices everyone's talking about. Except that Kindle can no longer do loss leaders. So yeah, it's a hit for Kindle owners who want the newest books. For me, the biggest hit has been the semi-collapse of FW.
starrigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ebook reader survey results Nate the great News 21 01-22-2010 09:08 AM
A Survey on the market for ebook readers sneha_mani Introduce Yourself 2 01-12-2010 12:40 PM
ebook survey djgreedo News 47 08-11-2009 11:27 AM
YouGov does survey on ebook readers ShortNCuddlyAm News 9 07-20-2009 11:15 AM
eBook Reader Survey bringer666 Introduce Yourself 5 08-14-2008 09:36 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:53 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.