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Old 07-21-2018, 08:02 AM   #31
darryl
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They can still buy the books as ebooks, they just can't borrow them from the library as ebooks for the first several months. It sounds like you are trying to frame this from a moral point of view. I have a hard time accepting the premise that anyone has a moral right to free stuff, especially when it's more free stuff right now, rather than in a few months.
No. Not at all. Those who want the ebook immediately may obtain it by paying the inflated price, as you quite rightly point out. Finances permitting of course. Certainly I do not contend that there is "a moral right to free stuff", as you so eloquently put it. I'm just pointing out that this little experiment does cause collateral damage. As I stated originally, I don't blame the publishers for conducting the experiment. However, its open-ended nature does lead me to question whether it is in fact an experiment or simply an unannounced change of policy.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:33 AM   #32
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No. Not at all. Those who want the ebook immediately may obtain it by paying the inflated price, as you quite rightly point out.
(Emphasis again mine.)

You keep trying to get away with hot-button words. What do you mean by "inflated"? "Price that some customers are willing to pay, designed to maximize revenues"?

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Finances permitting of course.
And if finances don't permit, then they get to wait just as with every other consumer good someone can't afford/can't justify.

Piracy exists. But why the torturous attempts to gloss it over?
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:13 AM   #33
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(Emphasis again mine.)

You keep trying to get away with hot-button words. What do you mean by "inflated"? "Price that some customers are willing to pay, designed to maximize revenues"?



And if finances don't permit, then they get to wait just as with every other consumer good someone can't afford/can't justify.

Piracy exists. But why the torturous attempts to gloss it over?
Sorry if I wasn't blunt enough for you.

I regard the agency prices charged for most new releases by the Big 5 under agency pricing as inflated. I regard them as a rip-off and don't purchase them at these prices. IMHO this is the reason why this particular publisher has been seeing an adverse impact on its ebook sales over a period of time. Not library lending.

Also IMHO, these prices are not set to maximise revenues but to delay ebook adoption in an attempt to protect the market for paper books. A failing and in fact doomed endeavour, also IMHO.

Indeed people who can't afford or won't pay the inflated price should wait. Books are not special snowflakes to which some different form of morality should apply. But clearly some of them will not wait. Far from torturous attempts to gloss over piracy I actually stated:

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Not affected at all (apart from the said inconvenience) are those prepared to do without altogether, wait, or download a pirate copy. Guess which option many seeking instant gratification are going to choose?
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:20 AM   #34
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Moreover, books are pretty fungible. There's always something else to read.



(Emphasis mine)

What does "must" really mean in this context? "Really, really want to a lot"? That's not the imperative you'd like it to be. If they truly "must", they have to find a way to pay for it if they're honest. It's not the moral equivalent of stealing a loaf of bread when you're starving.
I agree with you on this. Books are indeed fungible. It is very rare that someone "must" read a book in an objective sense. My use of the word in this instance was subjective, referring to the state of mind of the person rather than the objective truth.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:20 AM   #35
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(Emphasis again mine.)

You keep trying to get away with hot-button words. What do you mean by "inflated"? "Price that some customers are willing to pay, designed to maximize revenues"?
I think "inflated" means "far above and beyond the cost of producing and distributing". I do think it's ridiculous that e-books supposedly cost more than regular books but greed is what it is.


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And if finances don't permit, then they get to wait just as with every other consumer good someone can't afford/can't justify.
Or not. This won't effect piracy. All this will do is make libraries more irrelevant.

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Piracy exists. But why the torturous attempts to gloss it over?
Things like this make piracy an attractive option. Some people don't feel they should wait when they can get it for free. This is simple economics but the culture of the forum makes it taboo to speak of it. At least as far as I've seen.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:24 AM   #36
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Pirates aren't to blame for everything. Fewer people are reading.
Maybe. However, there are a lot of pirates who read. In fact, I would say most of the people who are involved in the technology fields are huge readers. There are many underground efforts to consolidate and distribute e-books.

However, it's really just a losing battle on the side of the publishers.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:25 AM   #37
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Maybe. However, there are a lot of pirates who read. In fact, I would say most of the people who are involved in the technology fields are huge readers. There are many underground efforts to consolidate and distribute e-books.

However, it's really just a losing battle on the side of the publishers.
You are confusing the issue. Where is all the books that are free? Free as in the distorted sense of free from Richard Stallman. He appears to be your hero. Now try and convince a writer to publish their books free of charge with the right to copy, distribute and share the book. Oh, sure, allow them to sell the paper books, but keep the ebook free.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:34 AM   #38
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I think "inflated" means "far above and beyond the cost of producing and distributing". I do think it's ridiculous that e-books supposedly cost more than regular books but greed is what it is.




Or not. This won't effect piracy. All this will do is make libraries more irrelevant.



Things like this make piracy an attractive option. Some people don't feel they should wait when they can get it for free. This is simple economics but the culture of the forum makes it taboo to speak of it. At least as far as I've seen.
Ever work in retail or in service? Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a teenager, I worked for a summer at Chick-fil-a. A large soda cost 8 cents to produce and was sold for $1. Of course, the biggest cost in a fast food place is labor. The next summer, I worked in a service station (back in the days when we pumped the gas, checked the oil and washed the windows), same deal. We charged at least twice as much as we paid for a part and it was pretty likely that the actual cost of production was well below what we paid for it.

Very few items are priced at just above what it actually cost to produce them. When you look at just the cost to physically produce an item without looking at everything involved, then you are cherry picking. There are a lot of people involved with creating a book and making it available that have to be paid. The physical cost of actually printing a book is a small, small fraction of the total cost of making it available.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:22 AM   #39
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When eBooks were able to be put on sale and the prices were lower, sales took off. For example, Fictionwise in its heyday had a great business model. Agency killed that. BooksOnBoard had a good business model. Agency killed that. I bought a lot of eBooks from Fictionwise and BooksOnBoard because I get what I felt was a good deal. Sometimes you are better to sell more for a lower margin and make more money then selling less for more.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:36 PM   #40
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You are confusing the issue. Where is all the books that are free? Free as in the distorted sense of free from Richard Stallman. He appears to be your hero.
Tons of free books all over. Some can be found on this very forum. As for others, I think this forum has rules about that sort of thing. Richard Stallman is my hero. He so far has been proven right that DRM and copyright are going to be the mechanisms of control used to restrict and monitor your ability to read.


Well...some people's ability.

Now my point isn't that books should be free but they should be reasonable priced *AND* accessible if publishers don't want people to investigate alternative options.

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Now try and convince a writer to publish their books free of charge with the right to copy, distribute and share the book. Oh, sure, allow them to sell the paper books, but keep the ebook free.
I don't have to convince anyone of anything, that's my point. It's going to happen regardless and there's nothing the publishers can do about it.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:39 PM   #41
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When eBooks were able to be put on sale and the prices were lower, sales took off. For example, Fictionwise in its heyday had a great business model. Agency killed that. BooksOnBoard had a good business model. Agency killed that. I bought a lot of eBooks from Fictionwise and BooksOnBoard because I get what I felt was a good deal. Sometimes you are better to sell more for a lower margin and make more money then selling less for more.
And sometimes you don't make Jack and go out of business, which is what happened to Fictionwise and BooksOnBoard. Fictionwise sold itself to B&N back in 2009, before the Agency pricing model was introduced in 2010. The Buywise Club, i.e. Fictionwise's discount business model, was actually discontinued in March 2010.

Getting cheap books is great, except that if it's not a sustainable business model, then it goes out of business. Many companies have found that playing the discount game and the race to the bottom tends to be an unsustainable business model. You are basically trying to survive on a very narrow profit margin, which means anytime there is a down turn, you go belly up. Anyone remember what else happened in 2009? Big economic downturn.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:24 PM   #42
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It seems that some here are implying that those of us who don't want to pay what we consider a high price for an eBook are pirates. Not at all. We just don't pay those high prices (high in our mind, but maybe not yours). Instead, we will borrow books from the library, or read other, older books that do not cost as much to acquire. And if some publisher chooses to delay allowing libraries to handle their books, then we will continue on reading other stuff instead of those unavailable new release books.

Does that make us pirates in your mind? There is zero logic in that thought process IMHO.

I'm guessing this experiment is for the publisher to determine how to maximize their profit. That's a fine goal for them. For some people, this experiment may push them to buy more eBooks rather then waiting for them to become available in the library. That's fine. I have no qualms with that. But for me, and I would propose also for the majority of library patrons, we'll just read OTHER stuff instead, as I have stated repeatedly above. This does not imply that we are pirates in any way. It simply serves as evidence that we want to maximize the benefits of our entertainment dollars. Just like the publishers want to maximize their sales. It's the exact same reason why I haven't gone to a movie theater in decades (too expensive in my mind). I wait until the movie can be rented at a RedBox much cheaper. That economical behavior choice doesn't make me a movie pirate either.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:01 PM   #43
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I don't have to convince anyone of anything, that's my point. It's going to happen regardless and there's nothing the publishers can do about it.
That is where you are dead wrong. Entertainment content producers (music, movies, books) will not start to all working as a charity and as hobbyists making no money.

There is no right / entitlement to read. There is no excuse for pirating books. Not before ebooks and not now with ebooks. Whether you make money with it or not. There is plenty of legally free stuff.

And that is where you and me will have to agree to disagree. No further point to argue with your extreme point of view.
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:47 PM   #44
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And sometimes you don't make Jack and go out of business, which is what happened to Fictionwise and BooksOnBoard. Fictionwise sold itself to B&N back in 2009, before the Agency pricing model was introduced in 2010. The Buywise Club, i.e. Fictionwise's discount business model, was actually discontinued in March 2010.
I wasn't into Fictionwise or Books on Board though I did hear very good things about them and their business models. I haven't looked closely enough into the matter to have an informed opinion on the reason for the demise of either. Common sense and logic would indicate that business models built on discounting Big Publishing's books had Buckley's chance of surviving agency. Logically such business models were doomed by its introduction. To survive the businesses concerned needed to find a new business model which could thrive under the new arrangements. Neither seem to have succeeded.

A matador of course may wave a red cape at a bull. I don't know what you call a person who waves a red cape at a penguin. Good luck.

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Getting cheap books is great, except that if it's not a sustainable business model, then it goes out of business. Many companies have found that playing the discount game and the race to the bottom tends to be an unsustainable business model. You are basically trying to survive on a very narrow profit margin, which means anytime there is a down turn, you go belly up. Anyone remember what else happened in 2009? Big economic downturn.
We've had this discussion before and I don't expect we will ever agree. However, I would respectfully point out that pricing below Big Publishing does not automatically make a business model unsustainable nor constitute a race to the bottom. For the former to be true would require Big Publishing be so efficient and competitive that no one else could do better. Yet Amazon clearly has. Comprehensively.
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:07 PM   #45
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That is where you are dead wrong.
Oh, am I?

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Entertainment content producers (music, movies, books) will not start to all working as a charity and as hobbyists making no money.
I'm sure they won't. I have no idea what they are going to do. I know what's happening now and I can plot trends.


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There is no right / entitlement to read. There is no excuse for pirating books. Not before ebooks and not now with ebooks. Whether you make money with it or not. There is plenty of legally free stuff.
There should be. Personally I think there is a right to read. As for pirating books, well it was happening long before ebooks were even a thing and it's happening now.

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And that is where you and me will have to agree to disagree. No further point to argue with your extreme point of view.

Ok, I enjoyed talking with you. Have fun with your head in the sand.
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