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View Poll Results: Would you buy an ebook at the same price as the corresponding printed book?
I would even pay more for the ebook! 12 7.02%
Yes. 31 18.13%
No, but I would buy the print book. 11 6.43%
No, I would choose another book to read instead. 20 11.70%
No. But I would consider purchasing the ebook when the price was reduced. 97 56.73%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-20-2017, 10:32 AM   #1
darryl
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Are you prepared to pay the same price for an ebook as for the print book?

It has become increasingly common to find ebooks that are priced at comparable levels to their printed counterparts. What is your attitude to this? Do you consider this good value?

PS: Since posting I realise that the last option, buying when the price is reduced, is not mutually exclusive of the other options. As I cannot edit the poll please pick one answer from the first four options and if you wish indicate in the comments whether you would consider purchasing when the price was reduced. My apologies. It's getting late over here and I must be more tired than I realise.

PS2: Clarification. The questions relate to new books, since used print books are often available at a nominal price. By all means indicate in the comments that you prefer these used print books.

Last edited by darryl; 07-20-2017 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:37 AM   #2
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I prefer ebooks, so I'd pay more. And frequently do, when there are used pbooks available for a trivial sum.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
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Clarification needed: Do you include second-hand print books in your "corresponding printed book" or only new copies?
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:46 AM   #4
darryl
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Clarification needed: Do you include second-hand print books in your "corresponding printed book" or only new copies?
Given the nominal prices at which some used books are often available it is probably better to confine the poll to new books. If people do prefer used print books please feel free to discuss in the comments. Thanks for pointing this out. I've edited my original post accordingly.

Last edited by darryl; 07-20-2017 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:50 AM   #5
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Ok so I am cheap. I typically only buy second hand paper books. Usually for $1 or less. I have been known to spend up to $2.99 for ebooks.
To me: no book is a must-have.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:52 AM   #6
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I vastly prefer ebooks, and the price of a book is not taken into consideration. The ability to enlarge the text, and make other adjustments, are the reasons.

If price was the only thing to consider, I'd be buying used books from the local thrift shops.

I can't easily read paperbacks, and hardbacks are heavy and take up a lot of room. I wear progressive lenses, and have had poor vision since I was 5. Trying to read small print for too long can bring on bouts of mild nystagmus, which can lead to vertigo.

When I bought my first Kindle in 2009, it was wonderful. I hadn't been able to read the way I wanted to for years.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl View Post
It has become increasingly common to find ebooks that are priced at comparable levels to their printed counterparts. What is your attitude to this? Do you consider this good value?
This is certainly not the case in the UK market. I buy most of my ebooks from Amazon, and the cost is typically between half and two-thirds that of the print book. Eg, at the moment I'm buying and reading all of Dick Francis' novels. The ebooks are £3.99; the paperback edition (again from Amazon) is £7.99, so the ebook is half the price of the paperback.

Having said that, I'm not particularly a price-sensitive buyer. Any book under £10 counts as an impulse buy for me. I would be willing to pay more for an ebook than a pbook because of the benefits the ebook offers. The only books I tend to buy as pbooks these days are reference and non-fiction books.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:59 AM   #8
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Hmm... I voted "No. But I would consider purchasing the ebook when the price was reduced" before I read your post asking us not to pick that.

Thinking about it though, I buy lots of old genre books. The e-books range from $0.99 all the way up to $2.99 and I buy them even though used paper copies can usually be had for cheap.

On the other hand, I won't buy a book selling at $9.99 that's been available as a mass market paperback for years (Clive Barker's Great and Secret Show, for instance).
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:02 AM   #9
HarryT
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On the other hand, I won't buy a book selling at $9.99 that's been available as a mass market paperback for years (Clive Barker's Great and Secret Show, for instance).
£3.53 at Amazon UK, as a matter of interest.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:05 AM   #10
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Yes... I would pay the same (and possibly more) for the ebook. I'll even go a step further: I don't even know what the price of the print book is in most cases. It's not something I look at or use as criteria for my purchase decisions. I don't want the print book, so its price is meaningless to me. My decision to buy an ebook is typically made before I've even noticed what it costs (not to say that I wouldn't kick up my heels at a price that vastly exceeds the typical new-release ebook price of top-tier, traditionally published authors).

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Old 07-20-2017, 11:08 AM   #11
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I would pay more for an e-book than a paper book because it is of greater value to me. It doesn't matter to me if the publisher makes a greater profit on it.

That said, I only purchase new books that I am eagerly awaiting from my favorite authors and backlist books that I have already read and especially loved enough to want to own a copy. Otherwise borrowing from a library works just fine for me. Ownership becomes less appealing the older I get. After all, I can't take them with me and e-books have no resale value to my heirs.

Last edited by jhowell; 07-20-2017 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:10 AM   #12
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£3.53 at Amazon UK, as a matter of interest.
Alas!
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:13 AM   #13
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I don't think I'd buy an ebook that was more expensive than the new paperback, but in the UK I can't think of a situation where that has actually happened in recent years.

I don't think there's any hope for the poll - a third of us have chosen the option you regret adding!
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:16 AM   #14
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I chose the first option, though I expect to be in the minority by the time enough people vote.

I understand budget concerns, especially with people who read over 100 books a year, but I virtually never factor in ebook vs pbook price in my buying decisions. It's just not relevant to me.

The argument I often see for cheaper ebooks goes along the lines of, 'I prefer ebooks but they aren't printed on paper and so don't cost the publisher nearly as much so I shouldn't have to pay as much.' I don't view it as being owed a certain price by the publishers depending on their expenses. I view it as supply and demand- the publishers will charge what people will buy it at, and it's as simple as that. The only caveat is sensible government oversight to prevent monopolies, price gouging and the like. I do give that we're living in the 'Wild West' of ebook pricing, or at least as the Wild West is beginning to be reined in- publishers vs sellers, sometimes wildly fluctuating price ranges, sometimes crazily priced ebooks, publishers flailing about at times.

The major difference between ebook and pbook for me in the buying is the used books factor- used pbooks can be sold for a fraction of the new cost while ebooks are always the new cost. With ebooks comes the ability to pirate for free, but that is illegal while cheap used pbooks are (usually) legal. Also, you can borrow either type from the library depending, but in general it's much easier to loan someone a pbook to read than the narrow avenues to loaning them an ebook.

Anyway, I basically always buy ebooks instead of pbooks unless the ebook isn't available or rarely when I want the layout/graphics/whatever of the pbook (the illustrated A Brief History of Time comes to mind... though I might've bought the ebook if the illustrated version had an ebook counterpart). Maybe if the price difference is really exorbitant (say the ebook is more than $25 U.S. higher than the pbook) then I would consider the pbook because of price but it hasn't happened yet.

A slight aside, but I am pondering beginning to up my (small at present) read pbook collection though. I'm finding that whenever I look at my bookshelf (oh, who am I kidding, pile of books, though arranged as aesthetically pleasing as possible) it only reminds me of my favourite books before I started reading ebooks. I generally only keep (kept) around my favourites and lost some favourites to unreturned loans which is why the collection is small, but of course with ebooks all my favourites in the last say decade are just stored on a device. So I'm considering starting to collect all my favourites in pbook form to form a tiny library just for the aesthetic and tactile enjoyment of it, as well as so that visitors may strike up a conversation about more recent favourites now and not only about my tattered copies of Portrait of a Lady and War and Peace again for the hundredth time.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:16 AM   #15
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I don't think I'd buy an ebook that was more expensive than the new paperback, but in the UK I can't think of a situation where that has actually happened in recent years.
The only situation in which ebooks are often more expensive in the UK is in the case of popular newly-released hardbacks, where the hardback is massively discounted, and the ebook isn't. As I noted in an earlier post, and as you rightly say, ebooks are almost always significantly cheaper than paperbacks in the UK.
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