Originally Posted by GregAlexander
If Kindle allows me to buy books that work on multiple platforms, to avoid the "Apple Lock-in", that could work very well. Read my books on a Kindle, Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Gpad etc.
It does not. You are locked into their own format. No computer. In fact, if you lose your Kindle, you lose your books. At least, that's the way it is now. There have been complaints about that. And, unlike Apple's method so far, you cant back up anything on a computer, so no hard backup on a DVD is possible.
This is presuming that the price cuts for eBooks doesn't come purely from the printing and distribution proportion of costs, which are largely removed in a eBook model.
Well, if we look at how much the book does cost in a "real" book store, not a Costco, selling just a very small number of titles at a very low price where they lose money, but use it as a price leader to get people in the store, then we see the average selling price is somewhat over $18. small bookstores sell it for more, but the big chains sell it for less.
But the price will be $12.99 to $14.99. That's a bit lower. It's also just the price while the hardcover is at full price. The price drops after that.
The costs are realized during that hardcover sales period. If they aren't, we may never see a trade paperback, and we're less likely to see a pocket version later.
Amazon is paying half the list price for a book, but paying substantially less. What does that say?
If the printing and distributing costs are about 25%, on average, then publishers are doing pretty well with Amazon there. But if Amazon cuts the price to around $7, which they would have to in order to make a profit, that entire model for the industry goes out the window.
At $7, its almost impossible for the publishers to recover costs. If that cuts into hardcover sales in a big way, it will simply make fewer books profitable. That will mean less books published over the year.
The only books that will make money are those by authors such as James Patterson and a few others. Where will the industry be then?
We see talk of people self publishing, and thats a good thing. They can afford to price their own books much lower. But who are these people? How will anyone know if they're good? Do you go by the book reviews in the app store? I've found them, for the most part, to be useless.
What about nurturing new young authors as publishers do? What about editing? What about copy checking and proofing? What about fact checking? What about artists? What about about layout editing and font selection, etc.? Then there are marketing costs.
These are all valid issues.
If a book sold for $25, and the digital edition sold for $19, that would be a good price. It would leave everything in place except print production and distribution. But books are sold much closer to the line. Publishing is not a high profit industry because most of the product loses money.