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Old 03-28-2019, 09:29 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by barryem View Post
So I think the bigger disparity is in the price of books in general. They've gotten way more expensive than inflation can account for. Compared to that the difference in ebooks and print books is small.
That's precisely why so many of us expected significant cost savings when moving to digital. Now we feel ill-used and cheated in many cases.

But in truth, the big publishers have never seemed particularly caring for either customers or many of their authors, so I'm not that really that surprised, just angry with them all over again ... and maintaining that just anger, while getting on with other aspects of life. As lovely as books are, in many cases they are just a luxury item ... and we have plenty of those to distract us these days.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:35 AM   #62
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It frequently surprises me when some posters assume the publishing industry is full of idiots simply because they don't want to join in a race to the bottom and make books a commodity. The publishing industry is constantly experimenting with pricing trying to find that point that maximizes their profits (which I suspect can vary quite a bit depending on the specific book).

It's a very interesting new world with ebooks and backlist. I do wonder what the real world data is for how sales have been changed by ebooks and audiobooks, but we aren't likely going to find that out unless individual authors decide to share that information. I haven't run across anyone actually doing it since Scalzi did it with Redshirts and Lockout, and that's been a while.
We disagree about the characterisation of Indie book pricing as a "race to the bottom". And like it or not, in my view at least books are already a commodity and have been for a long time. We have disagreed about both of these things in the past and continue to do so. The publishing industry are pricing ebooks in what they consider their own best interests, which of course includes a consideration of the effect on print book sales, which most Indies do not seem to place a high emphasis on if they care at all. I don't like it very much, but it is certainly neither stupid nor unreasonable. They are making a good effort at having their cake and eating it to by reducing prices to Indie levels later to catch those who would not pay the initial price and having
It's a very interesting new world with ebooks and backlist. I do wonder what the real world data is for how sales have been changed by ebooks and audiobooks, but we aren't likely going to find that out unless individual authors decide to share that information. I haven't run across anyone actually doing it since Scalzi did it with Redshirts and Lockout, and that's been a while. sales and promotions.

A limited number of authors releasing data is interesting but of little value compared to more broad based analysis such as Author Earnings used to provide to the public. Somewhat ironically given its origins this data and analysis is now provided only to subscribing customers and is likely being used by the Big 5 together with other industry reports to inform their pricing decisions.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:40 AM   #63
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We've had this particular conversation here a lot. In general, consider this, would you write books if you were paid 30 cents per book that you sold?
Well, ultimately it could depend on how many books you sold, but are you saying that's all the author gets? What about the publisher?

There are so many factors involved when developing and providing a book, and quite a difference between authors and publishers.

I am quite happy to listen to a well supported argument in support of why things are priced the way they are and even if they should cost more. But what I refuse to believe, is ebooks aren't significantly cheaper to provide than physical books. It's not like there aren't many authors and publishers out there, already doing the fair thing.

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It generally will take me 5 or 6 hours non stop reading to read a normal sized novel. Even at $15, books are a bargain from the stand point of dollars per hour of entertainment. It really doesn't matter if it's an ebook, a paperback book or a hardback book, it all takes the same amount of time to read.
I find that a very limited way to view things, and I believe I have already covered why. So many facts to take into account and personal bias etc.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:43 AM   #64
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Why not? We do it for other things.
The price of my Nisan Leaf vs Tesla.
Rent House vs Apartment.
Hamburger vs Steak
New vs Used/refurbished
Indeed, but in this instance, it is more like comparing two types of apples, so even more of what you are saying.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:55 AM   #65
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And yet people pay exorbitant prices for gold and diamonds because of they think that they are rare. Diamonds are not as rare as people think. DeBeers has managed to successfully manage the supply and demand of diamonds resulting in artificially high prices. They will actually buy back and stop supplying specific diamond sizes when the price starts to drop. DeBeers was once prevented from doing business in the United States because they are a monopoly. Now they can and do because Congress passed an exemption for them. So I do not think the prices charged for eBooks are out of line compared to other businesses.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:56 AM   #66
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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?
Of course they have their reasons. Looking at all the logic, unless I am missing something (hence this topic), they don't stack up.

I'm on the data side. It's never been about a situation that suits me, that's a bias. To me, it is all about fairness.

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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.
Well, so far for me, I have resisted re-buying physical books I own in ebook form. Unlike with music and even movies, where you listen and watch more than once (certainly with music) and so get your money's worth updating to an improved format.

And it is not like I don't still enjoy reading many of my physical books. But money is the real deciding factor for me. I've spent enough on books already. perhaps if ebooks were priced at what I could sell the physical books for, I might consider it. Those physical books do have a history though and I am rather attached to them ... like seeing bookcases full of books as well.

Then of course, there is my angst against many publishers. I am not giving them any more money than I can help. Hell will freeze over first.

And best of all, I don't really need to bother.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:59 AM   #67
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And yet people pay exorbitant prices for gold and diamonds because of they think that they are rare. Diamonds are not as rare as people think. DeBeers has managed to successfully manage the supply and demand of diamonds resulting in artificially high prices. They will actually buy back and stop supplying specific diamond sizes when the price starts to drop. DeBeers was once prevented from doing business in the United States because they are a monopoly. Now they can and do because Congress passed an exemption for them. So I do not think the prices charged for eBooks are out of line compared to other businesses.
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I cannot see how that makes any of it right and fair.

There are many greed based situations in this world, which is why the rich get richer and smaller in number and the poor poorer and greater in number.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:13 AM   #68
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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.
Where is your proof about the value? Sure many publishers will use any excuse they can to convince us we should pay more.
And why 'should', don't you believe in fairness?
Most of us weren't put on this world to make someone a fat cat.
What I care about is Justice and Fairness as the guide to everything.

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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.
Well, I have a preference for ebooks, and according to all the facts I know, they should be quite a bit cheaper than physical books. So why would I want a physical book? You are really not making much sense.

I can agree, that if an ebook is cheaper, it is worth more to me, and so I will buy it if that equates to a fair price.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:14 AM   #69
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My fat cats certainly have me convinced that I am on this world to feed them
Indeed .... ha ha ha ha ha.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:26 AM   #70
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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.
Sorry, don't get your reasoning. What is fair or acceptable about over-pricing? Are you saying I should turn away and pretend it isn't happening, and that my money is endless?

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


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It's rare when when I must have a certain book RIGHT NOW. My TBR pile is pretty high.
As is mine, but I do buy in advance when I can ... even as a pre-order if the price is fair.

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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.
Lucky you, but I guess you can appreciate that may not be the norm or a very high number at least, would like to share.
Even though I am in AUS, I had my Amazon account before the AUS store existed, which unlike current AUS accounts, means I can legally share with my wife. AUS accounts don't have the Family option last I looked ... one of the main reasons I haven't switched, despite their regular prompts to do so.

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Books are not a living necessity. Neither is expensive salmon. That's my point there. (school needs don't count here)
Still no reason to accept being ripped off. Are you saying we should?
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:43 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I understand wanting a better deal, I just don't understand someone thinking they're entitled to one.
And who thinks that?
It is not about a better deal, it is about a fair price.
You are totally mixed up over this.

Clearly you have plenty of money to throw away, to say the things you do. I don't say that to be insulting, but to state an obvious conclusion.

Most people wisely consider where their pennies go.

The digital age we live in promises that digital variants of things will naturally be cheaper. For some reason, many publishers think they are exempt and make up all sorts of excuses and play all sorts of games. It is nothing but a cash grab on their part or an attempt at some kind of niche market.

Many of us realize there is likely corruption going on. That stockpiled physical books sold as rare items at disgusting high prices, is reputedly part of what is or was happening. That and many more things. We are only guessing that of course, but it seems pretty conclusive when you have an overall picture of things. Ebooks mess with that paradigm big time.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:55 AM   #72
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Well, I have a preference for ebooks, and according to all the facts I know, they should be quite a bit cheaper than physical books. So why would I want a physical book? You are really not making much sense.
Believe me, the feeling is mutual. I find your logic equally baffling, convoluted and downright nonsensical. My guess is that it's all that "fairness and justice" nonsense you want to spout to support your ideas while demanding that those whose opinions differ from yours support theirs with facts. Here's a small sampling:

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Originally Posted by Timboli View Post
I'm on the data side. It's never been about a situation that suits me, that's a bias. To me, it is all about fairness.
Contradicted yourself in one sentence. Fairness is not "data."

And of course, I must still provide hard proof of my ideas...
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Where is your proof about the value?
...while you can continue to pretend that it's all about the "data" not adding up for you. I assume you mean "data" like this:
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And why 'should', don't you believe in fairness?
Most of us weren't put on this world to make someone a fat cat.
What I care about is Justice and Fairness as the guide to everything.
Hard "data," that.

Or your claim that you're not interested in "bias"
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Then of course, there is my angst against many publishers. I am not giving them any more money than I can help. Hell will freeze over first.
So far as I can see, your whole entire argument is predicated on bias and some preconceived notion about how things "should be." As if "should be" is an objective data-point of some kind.

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Originally Posted by Timboli View Post
You are totally mixed up over this.
Yes, of course. I'm confused. You're the epitome of sense-making.

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Originally Posted by Timboli View Post
Clearly you have plenty of money to throw away, to say the things you do. I don't say that to be insulting, but to state an obvious conclusion.
Obvious to whom? Trust me. If you had to live on my paycheck, you'd cry your eyes out. I can't even even see the national poverty level from my seat.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 03-28-2019 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:57 AM   #73
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Yep. These diatribes lose me at, "It isn't fair!" However can it not be "fair" to charge whatever the market will bear? And keeping in mind that pricing algorithms are complex? Since when have some goods not had higher profit margins than others?
You have funny conception of the market, which most of us less fortunate ones realize is Capitalism gone rampant and Democracy diminished.

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Do they bring the same expectations to the grocery store?
Of course we do. If something is over-priced we don't buy it or go elsewhere for it, where it is a fair price.

When there is only one source for an ebook, you don't get that luxury, and that is why there are rules governing monopolies, but alas hard to enforce or prosecute in this instance.

So all we can do is complain about unfair prices, which is what many of us do and will continue to do. Plus support those who play fair and show respect for their customers.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:10 AM   #74
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Believe me, the feeling is mutual. I find your logic equally baffling, convoluted and downright nonsensical. My guess is that it's all that "fairness and justice" nonsense you want to spout to support your ideas while demanding that those whose opinions differ from yours support theirs with facts. Here's a small sampling:
That worked well ... where is it?

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Contradicted yourself in one sentence. Fairness is not "data."
Actually it was 3 sentences in one paragraph. That last sentence was kind of thrown on the end and I could have easily made it another paragraph, but as I didn't let's examine it, with a simple response - the data shows that unfairness is happening.

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And of of course I must provide hard proof of my ideas...
Only if you want to ... not forcing you, just giving you a chance to prove your point to me.


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...while you can continue to pretend that it's all about the "data" not adding up for you. I assume you mean "data" like this:
Hard "data," that.
That wasn't data, just comments. Plenty of data out there if you care to look.

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Or your claim that you're not interested in "bias"

So far as I can see, your whole entire argument is predicated on bias and some preconceived notion about how things "should be." As if "should be" is an objective data-point of some kind.
Just because I have a view and feelings doesn't infer they are a bias. You so love to twist things.

Show me that bias with some facts. Prove me wrong ... if you want.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:18 AM   #75
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I just pre-ordered a three-book omnibus priced lower than one of the books contained in the omnibus. I also recently bought a seven-book omnibus that cost less than any two of the books in the omnibus. (Omnibus and individual books both by the same publisher.)

None of this makes any sense if you assume that price is based on cost of production.
Not really like that.
Perhaps you should think of it as price based on profit.
Surely they don't give stuff away ... or maybe they do for some reason ... but imagine how much profit they might be making on the singles.

One cannot fail to consider the money sometimes spent on the promotions that occur ... essentially a gamble and loss until recuperated. I wonder how they pay for that? Might it be a better promotion to sell ebooks for cheaper? Just saying.
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