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Old 07-19-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
Kali Yuga
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Kindle Books Outsell Hardcovers

NYT Article....

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/te...ndle.html?_r=2

A few salient points:

• up to 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcovers sold, including titles where no ebook is available
• that figure does NOT include free Kindle books
• Kindle devices are still selling well, as users see a need for both iPads and a specialized reading device
• Surprise! No "hard" numbers in the article

I should'a bought some AMZN stock a few weeks ago....
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:01 PM   #2
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I just saw this article a minute ago. Definitely a watershed for what's to come. It says they project the print market to become 25% of the overall book market, and that sounds about right to me. Buying books in print will become the new way of appreciating a book you really love. AFTER you read it as an ebook while you were in traffic, you decide you want to have it for when you're actually sitting in your chair deliberately reading too.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:05 AM   #3
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The Kindle Nation Daily blog just posted about this too, though oddly they said 148 ebooks to 100 hardcover books. Nevertheless, it certainly feels like ebook sales have gained huge momentum.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneD View Post
The Kindle Nation Daily blog just posted about this too, though oddly they said 148 ebooks to 100 hardcover books. Nevertheless, it certainly feels like ebook sales have gained huge momentum.
The Times has the 148 figure, too. The difference is timeframe.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:08 AM   #5
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This, despite publishers' efforts to "protect" hardback sales with high ebook prices.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:36 AM   #7
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:47 AM   #9
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think how many more they could sell if there were no

a) geographic restrictions and, to a lesser extent,
b) drm ....

!
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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Really awesome... I don't get mine from Amazon but it really is a good thing for the ebook reader market. I just hope for a decent reader for large technical pdfs cause up to now my prayers to the god of technology have gone unheard. Perhaps I should start with the human sacrifices...

GJMS
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #11
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Strnad View Post
This, despite publishers' efforts to "protect" hardback sales with high ebook prices.
No, they're trying to protect the hardcover best sellers. Those are the crown jewels of the industry. They generate the most revenue, carry the highest margins, and make the most profit. If people buy ebook editions instead of the hardcover, the publisher doesn't "make it up on volume".

There's a one year lag between the release of the hardcover and the mass market paperback edition to give the hardcover time to sell the people who want the book now before the cheaper edition arrives. "Agency pricing" has the same purpose - if the retailer wants to offer an ebook edition at the same time as the hardcover edition, they have to charge a higher price so the publisher doesn't lose the difference on the sale. If they want to charge the lower price, they have to wait for a while after the hardcover is released to do it.

Publishers are trying to survive. eBooks have simply thrown more turmoil into a market that was already struggling, with unit sales flat or down and revenues up at all only because of price increases. This has been going on for years, and the process began well before ebooks appeared and became popular. Publishers are going through wrenching mergers and consolidations, imprints are folding, and layoffs are daily occurrences. Lines are getting trimmed because there are simply too many books chasing too few readers.

I'm unsurprised at the move to the agency pricing model - why should ebooks be different from paperbacks? And my scarce resource is time to read the books. Price is not the determining factor.
______
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
There's a one year lag between the release of the hardcover and the mass market paperback edition to give the hardcover time to sell the people who want the book now before the cheaper edition arrives. "Agency pricing" has the same purpose - if the retailer wants to offer an ebook edition at the same time as the hardcover edition, they have to charge a higher price so the publisher doesn't lose the difference on the sale. If they want to charge the lower price, they have to wait for a while after the hardcover is released to do it.
That's true in theory, but some publishers (Macmillan for example) are keeping the prices on some of their ebooks at the higher rate even months after the paperback comes out ($12.99 ebook vs $7.99 paperback).

Also was the publisher not making more on those books ("hardcover" ebooks) the old way? 50% of a $25-$28 list price (regardless of retail price) vs 70% of the Agency retail price? So it's not all about 'losing the difference' on a sale.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:36 PM   #14
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Take THAT, publishers. Die already.
Yeah, I'm excited for this news :-D
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
That's true in theory, but some publishers (Macmillan for example) are keeping the prices on some of their ebooks at the higher rate even months after the paperback comes out ($12.99 ebook vs $7.99 paperback).
Pricing is "What the market will bear". Macmillan has maintained higher prices because it thinks it can get them. I don't know offhand what titles this practice has been applied to, or how well the practice is working for them, but I'm unsurprised it's occurring. If I were them, I might do the same thing. I want to survive. I want to open my doors and do more business with my customers tomorrow. To do so, I must make money, and how much I must make is not determined by simple greed.

Quote:
Also was the publisher not making more on those books ("hardcover" ebooks) the old way? 50% of a $25-$28 list price (regardless of retail price) vs 70% of the Agency retail price? So it's not all about 'losing the difference' on a sale.
It is about losing the difference. What cut the publisher got on a retail sale depended upon the book and the retailer, and was set by contract. Depending upon who the retailer was, and whether they were big enough to buy directly from the publisher, or had to purchase from a distributor, teh numbers could vary.

One of the issues the publishing industry has been wrestling with is returns. Publishing has historically had a 100% returns model. Unsold titles could be returned for credit. (In practice, unsold hardcovers were actually returned. Paperbacks had the covers stripped of and returned, and the body of the book became trash. Coverless books often got resold at a small fraction of the cover price, which was another industry headache.) And given the nature of the distribution chain, it could be a year before the reports were in and you even knew if the book sold.

In other industries, the retailer bore part of the risk, because they couldn't simply return any unsold stock for credit. At the department store I once worked for, for example, clothing had a regular markdown schedule, depending upon how long it remained unsold, with progressive price cuts before it went to Clearance, because it couldn't be sent back for credit. It was up to the buyer to make good guesses on how much of what to order.

One thing publishers have been experimenting with is a higher discount rate for retailers, in exchange for limits on the amount that can be returned. It's been slow and tentative for the same reason trimming lines to fit demand has been occurring in wrenching spasms: nobody wants to be the first to try it.
______
Dennis

Last edited by DMcCunney; 07-20-2010 at 02:28 PM.
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