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Old 03-27-2019, 03:55 AM   #31
Timboli
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Originally Posted by barryem View Post
Unless you're a person who has to read the lastest books as they come out it's easy to buy ebooks cheaply. I get an email about sale books from Bookbub and Book Gorilla every day. Typically I'll find a book I want to read about every other day and if it's $2 I'll buy it. If it's $3 I'll think about it. Often they're just $1. Prices above $3 are uncommon and most are $2.

A lot of those are older books and that's fine with me. I just began a book published in 1990, and that's probably one of the newer books I've read this year.

We live in a world of choices. We can choose to read expensive books or we can choose to read inexpensive books. It's up to us.
True and not true really.

If you buy just based on cost, then you are correct.

If you buy into an author and especially a series, things are not so easy, especially if an ongoing story and each book is an incomplete part of an ongoing whole. Take the author I have already mentioned, Robert Jordan. His Wheel Of Time series really needs to be read as a whole.

Prices for each ebook in the series are rarely determined in advance, especially when still in development. So you either hold off until the series is complete or you take a punt. Once you take a punt though, you are at their mercy, and while you can say it is still a choice, you are kind of making redundant in many instances, the money you have already spent, if you decide not to buy any more ... especially if you are yet to read your prior purchase(s).

There are of course a few ways to look at these things, and what we call an unspoken agreement between the customer and the author/publisher of a series.

And of course, some books in a series are quite independent to the others.

BookBub is great by the way, as you know. I use it a lot, as it helps me wade through the huge number of choices out there. Not used Book Gorilla.

I'll diverge for a moment, though it is of course related.

While being interested in ebooks since first the idea was ever mentioned, it took me a good while before being willing to pay for an ereader. AUS like many countries, is a year or five behind many USA things. So it wasn't until the Kindle Keyboard became available here in AUS and at a sale price, that I took a gamble and bought one. It was a gamble for a few reasons, the most important one being the reading experience. It kind of stacked up logically, but that could just be flawed due to unknown aspects.

Luckily a mate had bought one not long before, and I got to play with it at his house. It also had a nice leather cover with builtin light, both of which impressed me greatly. So I didn't go in blind. But even on sale it was still quite an outlay.

I had done my homework though and the Kindle Keyboard was very convincing, and I had also been collecting ebooks for years in readiness, especially from The Gutenberg Project. So I was kind of well prepared, me having no interest in buying ebooks from Amazon at that point, especially as no PayPal, and I severely restricted who had access to my credit card details.

In fact, it was while I was away in another state on holidays, just after buying the Kindle, and taking it with me of course, that I changed my mind about Amazon. I was in a big department store, and they had a display stand in an aisle which had great looking paperback books by an author I did not know - C.J. Box. The titles grabbed me as did the covers. They were going for $10 AUD each, which was about half the usual cost of a paperback. The blurb on each sounded like a story I could really enjoy, with a great setting to boot.

I nearly bought one, but decided I would check prices online when I got back to the hotel I was staying at, my phone only having Wifi.

At that point, AUS did not have its own Amazon store, so I had to use the main one. I found those same books by C.J. Box were going for between $6 and $7 at Amazon. I then made a snap decision to let Amazon have my credit card details and I bought his first book, in the Joe Pickett series, and I have been buying them ever since ... over 20 of his ebooks now. I then looked at other ebooks by Piers Anthony and others I collected, and many were a pleasant surprise cost wise ... and here I am, some 2500+ Kindle ebooks later. To be fair, just over 1700 of those now are freebies I have gotten via BookBub. Still, it is getting close to 900 I have actually paid money for at Amazon. I've also bought a few from other places.

It was price that did it for me, and price it remains.

My initial intent was to use the Kindle Keyboard just for the free ebooks I had collected. I was quite happy reading physical books, several thousand of which I have. I am well and truly a collector ... even wanted to be a Librarian, but no jobs for male librarians back in the day, so I eventually became a Fireman instead ... who have a fair amount of time for reading, especially on night shift. I used to read in excess of 100 books a year, but family and other interests have intruded now. That might not seem like many to some, but a fair number were Fantasy epics, between 800 to 1000 pages each.

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Old 03-27-2019, 04:31 AM   #32
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Following on from my divergence in my last post ... still all related.

After deciding to actually buy ebooks from Amazon, I was determined it would only be for new authors, and not those I already collected. That didn't last long, as prices and availability and ease of purchase made me change my mind. I did however for a good long while, restrict it to non series ebooks. Or to put it another way, if I had started buying physical books in a series, then I would continue to do so. New series were a different matter.

(One of the reasons for sticking to physical format for a series, was resale options.)

Much later of course, I finally realized I much preferred to read an ebook, for a variety of reasons, so buying new books as physical made no sense. I also have to downsize one day, and my bookcases take up a lot of space, so I had to get sensible. I was also thinking of a possible future, where I went on the road now and again after retirement, in a caravan or campervan or RV (dreaming). Where the ideal thing would be to have my movies, books and music etc in a digital format, to make the most of space etc.

In the decade prior to buying an ereader, I bought a lot of physical books (mostly paperback) at sales tables in shopping centres and beyond. It seemed there was always a book sale on somewhere and every weekend for sure. This was certainly true in my home city in AUS, and after a while it became a sort of norm. In that time I bought a lot of books I would never have considered, just because they were only a dollar or three and sounded great or interesting. At that time, most new releases in Book Shops were going for $20-$24 each. Old releases were a little cheaper.

Such a conflict or contradiction going on. Why not sell for cheaper and avoid so many sales?

Even before those sales started or became common, I refused to pay new book prices. I felt they were way over-priced. A few years prior, books experienced a big jump in prices, around the time GST (tax) came into existence here in AUS. That jump was bigger than the extra 10%, and it seemed someone was taking advantage to get more profit.

So I either bought from supermarkets which gave discounts or sales tables. Later I bought via the web. I also bought a lot of second hand books.

Over the years, I have read many accounts by authors such as Piers Anthony and Terry Goodkind and many others, of how many Publishers behave (certainly prior to ebooks), and like with the Music Industry, a lot of greed and rorting and bias is going on. So my trust, as it is with politicians, is quite low with Publishers. So when they say ebooks are just as expensive (some even say more), I just call liars ... and there are plenty of examples out there of good publishers and authors making a good living selling at fair prices. Incredibly, some of the worst offenders are those with a huge fan base ... just pure greed and opportunism ... and ultimately, stupidity.

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Old 03-27-2019, 05:18 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
The crux of many peoples' problem is their continued insistence on comparing the price of the format they want to the price of the format they don't want. Why? I don't know. If they prefer to buy/read ebooks, then it naturally follows that they might just value them more than physical books (even if they won't admit this to themselves and others). Why should anyone sell someone what they want most, for less than the price of something very similar that they don't want at all? It makes no sense to me.
I find that kind of perverse. They are the same story, just different delivery format.

At the end of the day, you read the story and enjoy it however much you do. The method of delivery to your brain does have some impact, but that varies. There is a mix of desires involved, and you cannot say they are entirely different. You are buying a book or ebook for the same activity of reading the same words. The book and ebook have the same genesis in the author's mind, they have the same development ... so with the end product, one naturally compares prices ... what is the best value for money for a very similar product.

Is anyone gonna say they disliked the story because it was a physical book or ebook? Hardly think so. The experience of reading may be impacted due to health issues for instance, and that might impact the flow of the story. But you cannot apply such to everyone, and you cannot certainly base price on it.

The story has the same value to me however I read it.

If something is cheaper to produce, and ebooks definitely are, then why wouldn't you pass a good portion of that saving onto the customer. What better promotion than reading books for cheaper, especially when you consider what is spent on promotion much of the time.

Most people have this perception that digital progress means cheaper, and why shouldn't they? Especially when all the facts say that conclusively.

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Old 03-27-2019, 06:41 AM   #34
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If you want to support your author, it is not necessary to buy his book for a high price, if there is an e-book version. On the websites of the authors, there is always the option of a voluntary contribution, the author will get this money much faster, even if you make a smaller amount than the cost of 1 book.
I'm pretty sure that when people say "I want to support my author", they also want to actually read their books.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:47 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Timboli View Post
I find that kind of perverse. They are the same story, just different delivery format.

At the end of the day, you read the story and enjoy it however much you do. The method of delivery to your brain does have some impact, but that varies. There is a mix of desires involved, and you cannot say they are entirely different. You are buying a book or ebook for the same activity of reading the same words. The book and ebook have the same genesis in the author's mind, they have the same development ... so with the end product, one naturally compares prices ... what is the best value for money for a very similar product.

Is anyone gonna say they disliked the story because it was a physical book or ebook? Hardly think so. The experience of reading may be impacted due to health issues for instance, and that might impact the flow of the story. But you cannot apply such to everyone, and you cannot certainly base price on it.

The story has the same value to me however I read it.

If something is cheaper to produce, and ebooks definitely are, then why wouldn't you pass a good portion of that saving onto the customer. What better promotion than reading books for cheaper, especially when you consider what is spent on promotion much of the time.

Most people have this perception that digital progress means cheaper, and why shouldn't they? Especially when all the facts say that conclusively.
Sorry, but I find your logic equally perverse. The price of the format you don't desire has zero bearing on the price of the format you do. The mere act of you wanting it more adds value to it. If you think the publishers don't know this, you're fooling yourself. Give yourself a break and stop comparing P to E prices. Change paradigms. Price the experience, not the format, and you'll understand why many (myself included) find book-pricing (E or P) quite the bargain. Certainly more reasonable than dinner out, a concert, or a sporting event (events I find similarly pleasing, experience-wise).
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:30 AM   #36
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Let me put it another way:

Before ebooks became reality, I did not care one whit about the production costs of "books." Not even a teensy bit. So why would I suddenly start caring now? It's not a factor in my valuation of the experience. Why should I expect a significant drop in price for an experience that has remained the same for me as a reader (in fact, there's much I value more about ebooks)?

For contextual purposes, I will also note that I don't care if someone else got a better deal than me on the same car. I know it's not exactly a tit-for-tat analogy, so please don't bother pointing out all of the ways buying a car is different. I'm just using it to help explain my mindset. Which is; given that I'm comfortable with the price I paid for something, I really don't care if there were ways the producers of said something could have sold it to me for less had they wanted to. My valuation of luxury expenses does not factor in costs of production. It's not relevant.

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Old 03-27-2019, 07:44 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Sorry, but I find your logic equally perverse. The price of the format you don't desire has zero bearing on the price of the format you do. The mere act of you wanting it more adds value to it. If you think the publishers don't know this, you're fooling yourself. Give yourself a break and stop comparing P to E prices. Change paradigms. Price the experience, not the format, and you'll understand why many (myself included) find book-pricing (E or P) quite the bargain. Certainly more reasonable than dinner out, a concert, or a sporting event (events I find similarly pleasing, experience-wise).
Absolute rubbish. Who says I want it more? I want it instead, totally different. We are not talking about two entirely different things. We are talking about the same things essentially, but in two different forms. It is a preference for many of us, purely because there is a choice. If ebooks didn't exist, we would still be happily reading our physical books, and not feeling hard done by.

In no way shape or form is an ebook worth more. If it is to you, then that is purely in your mind. I can see where you are coming from, but it is not where I or many others come from. If you've put your own superficial value on a book, then good for you, enjoy. But don't force that on the rest of us.

It is not unreasonable to see an ebook, as the format given to a Printer before physical books are printed from it. So any production cost after that is mostly an artificial one where ebooks are concerned.

If an ebook costs less to make for essentially the same product, then why shouldn't it be cheaper?

I believe in paying a fair price for something because of its real value, not some misbegotten notion of how much it must mean to me, based on the fact I want it. Imagine what would occur if we applied that foolish notion to everything in our lives. We'd be instant paupers and have very few things.

I honestly don't know how you can possibly compare a book to a dinner or sporting event etc. Very different activities and experiences. All pleasure is not the same, nor is the production of such.

Even if we took the notion that a book is a bargain price and so actually worth more, an ebook version should still be cheaper, because it costs less to produce and deliver. A physical book has many significant added costs.

At the end of the day, it is about judgment, and the judgment of what a book should cost, has been around for a long time. Who are you or I to second guess that, except when there is disparity or conflict or contradiction. With an ebook though, it is a given, based on the facts, that it should be cheaper.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:03 AM   #38
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Let me put it another way:

Before ebooks became reality, I did not care one whit about the production costs of "books." Not even a teensy bit. So why would I suddenly start caring now? It's not a factor in my valuation of the experience. Why should I expect a significant drop in price for an experience that has remained the same for me as a reader (in fact, there's much I value more about ebooks)?
I've always cared about the price. Any average person with average wages would. We all need to make our money stretch sensibly. So if I am expected to pay a high price for a book, I want to know why, because it will mean going without something else, perhaps even another book.

So I have always found it important to know what is involved in producing a book. Especially as I generally care about the author if I really like them. I don't see it as a drop in price, I see it as the price for an ebook, which is different to a physical book, so naturally cost should be different if they cost different to produce. It is no different to anything else in life.

What you are saying, is that a seller can choose to charge more for an ebook, just purely because they reckon you will get greater benefits from it, and not actually base it on production costs. Virtually a whimsy with the price ... an element of random.

Sorry, I just cannot relate to that. I believe in paying a fair price and no more.

If both you and I read a book, what are the odds we will like it the same? If we don't, should we be charged differently? If I severely dislike the book, should my money be refunded? Or perhaps given a discount because it did not live up to expectations?
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:07 AM   #39
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I'm always a bit leery of joining these conversations, since I obviously have a vested interest. However, I will add two observations:

While the behaviour of publishers may seen strange to outsiders, I have little doubt that they have their reasons behaving as they do. Unless you are privy to their financial situation it seems presumptuous to criticise their choices. Time will tell if they are doing things right or wrong, but in the mean time it's a little like the science vs anti-science debate: Are you going to believe the people with the actual data and measurements, or those who are upset because the situation doesn't suit them?

For a long time my e-reader was something I used only occasionally, but now it has overtaken me to the extent that I am now looking to obtain e-book editions of favourite books that I already have in paper just because e-reading is so convenient. So I keep my eye out for favourite authors coming out on special. eg: I've picked up half-a-dozen Pratchett's over the last few months for $5 each. I haven't seen Agatha Christie on special in all that time, and yes, I do find that quite strange and can't help wondering if the "publishers have any idea" ... although in this case I'm betting they do: they might be missing me buying the books on the cheap, but they're still getting all those people willing to pay full price because they don't already have a copy.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:31 AM   #40
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Absolute rubbish. Who says I want it more? I want it instead, totally different.
Yeah. Keep telling yourself it's "totally different." That people wanting ebooks "instead" doesn't still translate into value that publishers can (and should) leverage.

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We are not talking about two entirely different things. We are talking about the same things essentially, but in two different forms. It is a preference for many of us, purely because there is a choice. If ebooks didn't exist, we would still be happily reading our physical books, and not feeling hard done by.
And you're still not being hard done by. You don't have to buy ebooks. If you truly see them as essentially the same thing, then why differentiate? Buy the one you feel is the fairer value and have done. Happily read your physical books. You can't have it both ways. You can't desire, prefer--whatever-the-heck you want to call it--ebooks and pretend that your preference doesn't translate into added-value in the economic sense. That sort of thinking is what's absolute rubbish in my opinion.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:32 AM   #41
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I just don't see the point of price comparisons in this matter. It doesn't matter what the price of the print book is if I'm not going to buy it anyway. Respectfully, I think you're over-thinking this.

Buy what works best for you. I'll do the same.

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That's a weird thing to say. Are you rolling in the money or something?
Of course not. My comment should have been that cost isn't the only consideration when I'm looking to buy a book. It's rare when when I must have a certain book RIGHT NOW. My TBR pile is pretty high.

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Loaning your ebook to another, while not impossible if you don't mind breaking some rules you shouldn't have to, is problematic, especially where DRM is concerned. I often shared my books with my mother and father. To do that now, they need a device and I must be a so called bad boy, and they also willing to be naughty. I am sure, that in many instances, another copy is just bought, and once again the providers etc are laughing all the way to the bank.
I've never loaned a lot of my books...the people in my life who share reading interests are my mother, my husband, and a DIL. They all have devices or apps registered to my Amazon account. Nothing "bad boy" about it. I don't give drm stripped books out to friends. But the DRM issue is not particularly problematic for me.

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I don't see how that is really a factor. Books are just books, not some exotic item that we need to pay more for due to rarity or high cost of production.
Books are not a living necessity. Neither is expensive salmon. That's my point there. (school needs don't count here)
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:10 AM   #42
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...and I'm not on this world to feed the fat cats.
My fat cats certainly have me convinced that I am on this world to feed them
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:23 AM   #43
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Before ebooks became reality, I did not care one whit about the production costs of "books." Not even a teensy bit. So why would I suddenly start caring now? It's not a factor in my valuation of the experience. Why should I expect a significant drop in price for an experience that has remained the same for me as a reader (in fact, there's much I value more about ebooks)?
Though I've mostly learned to stop griping about ebook prices, I will say that before ebooks, I did care a teensy bit about book production costs. To whit: a lot of old backlist books stopped being sold as mass market paperbacks and were repackaged by the same publisher as more expensive trade paperbacks (typically double or triple the price). Usually they had the same cover and no new content. The reason for the change was purely a cash grab.

As a customer, I felt like I was being soaked. The publishers were getting money for old rope.

With paper books, I could always look for a used copy. With ebooks, since I never need to read it right now, I can wait for a sale. But I do understand why some people complain about ebook prices, particularly for old backlist books.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:03 PM   #44
theducks
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Let me put it another way:

Before ebooks became reality, I did not care one whit about the production costs of "books." Not even a teensy bit. So why would I suddenly start caring now? It's not a factor in my valuation of the experience. Why should I expect a significant drop in price for an experience that has remained the same for me as a reader (in fact, there's much I value more about ebooks)?

For contextual purposes, I will also note that I don't care if someone else got a better deal than me on the same car. I know it's not exactly a tit-for-tat analogy, so please don't bother pointing out all of the ways buying a car is different. I'm just using it to help explain my mindset. Which is; given that I'm comfortable with the price I paid for something, I really don't care if there were ways the producers of said something could have sold it to me for less had they wanted to. My valuation of luxury expenses does not factor in costs of production. It's not relevant.
Some of us were concerned about $
I waited for the cheaper paperback edition to fit my budget (and my shelves ) Basically, these are the same book. What varied was production and transportation costs (paperbacks being smaller and lighter)

But you are correct in that I don' t go out and say "Today I buy a $9 book". Nope: I say "I need some Science fiction to read, who gets my $9?"
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:27 PM   #45
DiapDealer
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Every book I buy is brand-new to me. Whether it's E or P; backlist or new-release. When a book was first released doesn't really matter much to me and what I'm willing to pay for it. Time doesn't make a good story worth less IMO (and the story is the only part of a Book I care about). Of course I'm not looking to convert my extensive "Already Read" library to digital either, like some are. I understand wanting a better deal, I just don't understand someone thinking they're entitled to one.
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