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Old 07-31-2019, 08:23 PM   #16
fjtorres
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Common sense. Well, except for asking the publishers to compete on price with their own products being frictionlessly offered for free.
There is no law requiring publishers to put their books in libraries.
Don't like libraries lending your books? Don't "sell" them.
It's only 15% of their digital income, which is already under 20% of the total. Less than 3%.

It's not as if they need the money, right?
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:46 PM   #17
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I wasn't saying that matching the price of the hypothetical random indie book is a good strategy, just that the presence of cheaper random indie books should exert some downward pressure on random non-indie books. Which, at least to me, doesn't really seem to be happening, at least in the agency era.


EDIT: then again, there's less desirable big5 books that are more reasonable. I doubt many people would, say, pay $15 for those, and they're generally not trying to sell them for that price.

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Old 07-31-2019, 09:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
There is no law requiring publishers to put their books in libraries.
Don't like libraries lending your books? Don't "sell" them.
It's only 15% of their digital income, which is already under 20% of the total. Less than 3%.

It's not as if they need the money, right?
Pretty sure publishers do have to sell to libraries. Even if not forced to....clearly the publishers are re-evaluating the cost benefit
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:19 PM   #19
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I wasn't saying that matching the price of the hypothetical random indie book is a good strategy, just that the presence of cheaper random indie books should exert some downward pressure on random non-indie books. Which, at least to me, doesn't really seem to be happening, at least in the agency era.


EDIT: then again, there's less desirable big5 books that are more reasonable. I doubt many people would, say, pay $15 for those, and they're generally not trying to sell them for that price.
In general, books, movies and music are not fungible. Perhaps there are some for whom one book is as good as the next, but the entertainment industry is driven by best sellers. Even in the indie industry, the best selling authors drive the industry.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:12 PM   #20
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In general, books, movies and music are not fungible. Perhaps there are some for whom one book is as good as the next, but the entertainment industry is driven by best sellers. Even in the indie industry, the best selling authors drive the industry.
Used to be driven by bestsellers from the big publishers. Back when they had an oligopoly on publishing. They were only competing on content. A bestselling indie writes a better book than a mediocre big5. Now the indie will write more books, the mediocre big5 is lucky to get a new contract for another book.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:50 PM   #21
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I didn't mean to say books are completely fungible, just that at some point for most books they can be priced out of the market.
In my opinion the big5 bestsellers are around that price for me.
I mean, when you can get 3-10, or more indie books, for the price of one bestseller...


And a side note, I think Amazon played the publishers big time, that they got market dominance, now agency lets them get a fairly healthy profit margin without anyone else being able to undercut them significantly in any way on price
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Common sense. Well, except for asking the publishers to compete on price with their own products being frictionlessly offered for free.
It's not frictionless. You wait your turn (which can be many months), then can only check the ebook out for a limited period. If it were truly frictionless, ebook sales of books available at libraries would be zero.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:39 PM   #23
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It's not frictionless. You wait your turn (which can be many months), then can only check the ebook out for a limited period. If it were truly frictionless, ebook sales of books available at libraries would be zero.
You make my point. The easier it is to check out a book from the library, the less incentive anybody would have to buy the book.

Before ebooks:

You have to leave your house and go to the library.
You have to locate and then check out the book.
You have to pay your late fees before being able to check out the book.
You have to deal with books others have read with their booger’s and Cheeto dust on the pages
You have to remember to take the book back
You have to find the book somewhere in your house
You have to take the book back and drop it off

Vs....now

You open and app, search for your book, and instantly download it to your device.

You are right about the hassle of waiting which remains about the sole reason for buying the book.

Ergo...by raising prices on ebooks sold to libraries...fewer copies will be purchased...meaning longer wait times....meaning fewer people will opt to check out for free vs simply buying the book right now.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:46 PM   #24
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It's not frictionless. You wait your turn (which can be many months), then can only check the ebook out for a limited period. If it were truly frictionless, ebook sales of books available at libraries would be zero.
Exactly. The only frictionless library is Kindle Unlimited. KU is probably the reason why Amazon is not trying to get into regular libraries - the shopping experience is too lacking.
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:40 AM   #25
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Or to put it in different words: why are big publisher ebook sales declining while overall ebook sales are increasing
I have to wonder if it isn't because many big publisher ebooks are priced equal to or higher than the paperback version. It seems to me the lack of physical product to manufacture/warehouse/ship plus remainder refunds is not factored into the sales price. Setting prices based on fear of piracy (one reason I've heard for higher ebook prices) doesn't make sense to me since a pirate only needs one original and wouldn't be deterred by a higher price for that single copy. Those consumers who want to obtain pirated copies usually know where to find them.

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Old 08-01-2019, 01:41 AM   #26
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You are right about the hassle of waiting which remains about the sole reason for buying the book.
The limited checkout time is even more of a reason, if you ask me (and a fair few people I know), if the book has a hold list. You can't choose when you read the book, or how long you take.

Personally I find very few of your "friction" aspects of paper library lending any sort of friction at all, but I suppose some people are not very organised, or live some distance from a library, or have library staff who fail to check books properly on their return. We have a great library branch system in my city, plus a Books on Wheels service for those who can't get to the library, as well as rates-funded council buses for seniors and disabled people who prefer to attend in person. Emails are sent automatically three days from the due date and at the due date, and you can reserve and renew books online.

Last edited by meeera; 08-01-2019 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:45 AM   #27
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The limited checkout time is even more of a reason, if you ask me (and a fair few people I know), if the book has a hold list. You can't choose when you read the book, or how long you take.

Personally I find very few of your "friction" aspects of paper library lending any sort of friction at all, but I suppose some people are not very organised, or live some distance from a library, or have library staff who fail to check books properly on their return. We have a great library branch system in my city, plus a Books on Wheels service for those who can't get to the library, as well as rates-funded council buses for seniors and disabled people who prefer to attend in person. Emails are sent automatically three days from the due date and at the due date, and you can reserve and renew books online.
Well...that’s just silly to suggest any form of going to an actual library and checking out a physical book isn’t more of a hassle than checking out an ebook from an app.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:54 AM   #28
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Some people don't have the mobility to *go* to the library, which is why bookmobiles exist and persist. Providing access to the young and access-limited in urban and rural areas.

As the library gripes make clear, ebook programs are intended for the access-impaired in urban/suburban areas. Not for general convenience. As is, many libraries are already spending more on ebook accessibility than they feel comfortable with, on a cost per read basis compared to print. So if ebook prices go high enough, putting the accessibility money back into bookmobiles starts to look more viable for that particular mission.

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Old 08-05-2019, 02:46 AM   #29
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Well...that’s just silly to suggest any form of going to an actual library and checking out a physical book isn’t more of a hassle than checking out an ebook from an app.
I made it clear that I, an individual, did not find it difficult to return paper books to the library or keep track of checkouts, because of geography, a variety of library systems and services designed to make it straightforward, along with some rather basic life skills (like not losing things willy nilly). My branch is two blocks away and is between me and a shopping centre, plus there is a book van should I not be able to leave the house (bookmobiles are not limited to rural areas). Paying late fees is not a "friction" because I don't incur them. Library books aren't covered with boogers and Cheeto dust because we have staff who check them as they are returned. "More" of a hassle? Perhaps very marginally, but most of your list just don't apply to me, happily.

I think people are using "accessibility" in different ways in this thread. Paper books are a less accessible form _for me_ because of their bulk and weight, and sometimes their font size. No amount of visiting bookmobiles will make that disability access issue go away, and that's why I talk about ebooks as an accessible format. I'm not using "accessibility" as a synonym for "convenience", and I wonder if that confusion is why some threads about ebooks and accessibility go awry.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:35 AM   #30
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In general, books, movies and music are not fungible. Perhaps there are some for whom one book is as good as the next, but the entertainment industry is driven by best sellers. Even in the indie industry, the best selling authors drive the industry.
Yeah, they're fungible. Not in the aggregate; indies are not a substitute for trad pub, but individual titles are mostly fungible. I.e., one can always find a book to read and most are willing and able to practice some self-restraint when necessary in terms of accessing a particular title.

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The limited checkout time is even more of a reason, if you ask me (and a fair few people I know), if the book has a hold list. You can't choose when you read the book, or how long you take.
It was a big improvement when OverDrive allowed you to manage your hold list; if a book is likely to be available to you at a bad time or too many at once, you can delay them to a better time. This is in fact far better than the waitlist option on paper books at the real library, in my experience.

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Paying late fees is not a "friction" because I don't incur them.
Late fees are a big advantage of paper library books. They're a tool for managing books you can't read in the available window and retaining them until you're done. Unlike OD, where the books won't open once they're due.
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