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Publishers justify $13-$15 e-book prices for Apple iPad

post #1 of 210
Thread Starter 
After the introduction of the iPad gave publishers leverage to raise e-book prices on the Amazon Kindle, a new report states that consumers have "unrealistic expectations" about how low e-book prices should be.

This week, The New York Times provided a breakdown on the economics of producing a book from the publisher's perspective. It noted that while printing costs go away when a book is reproduced in an electronic format, a number of expenses remain, including royalties and marketing.

The report said that while the average hardcover bestseller is $26, the cost to print, store and ship the book is just $3.25. That cost also includes unsold copies returned to the publisher by booksellers.

Publishers get roughly half -- $13 -- of the selling price of a book. But after factoring in payments to the author and the cost of cover design and copy editing, only about $4.05 is left. And, the report noted, that doesn't even include overhead such as office space and electricity.

Under Apple's agreement with publishers for the iBookstore, the hardware maker will keep 30 percent of each book sale, leaving $9.09 for the publisher on a typical $12.99 e-book.

"Out of that gross revenue, the publisher pays about 50 cents to convert the text to a digital file, typeset it in digital form and copy-edit it," the report said. "Marketing is about 78 cents."

Author's royalty can range from $2.27 to $3.25 on an e-book, leaving the publisher with between $4.56 and $4.54, before paying overhead costs. For comparison, under Amazon's $9.99 e-book model, publishers would take in between $3.51 and $4.26 before overhead.

"At a glance, it appears the e-book is more profitable," the report said. "But publishers point out that e-books still represent a small sliver of total sales, from 3 to 5 percent. If e-book sales start to replace some hardcover sales, the publishers say, they will still have many of the fixed costs associated with print editions, like warehouse space, but they will be spread among fewer print copies."

Publishers are also wary of making e-books too cheap for fear of killing off booksellers like Barnes & Noble.

Apple will serve books for the iPad through its iBookstore, due to be a part of the iBooks application for iPad. The software features a 3D virtual bookshelf displaying a user's personal collection, and allows the purchase of new content from major publishers. Like the Kindle, it will offer content from the New York Times Bestsellers list.

The introduction of the iPad has driven publishers to force Amazon into higher prices for new hardcover bestsellers. While books are currently priced at $9.99 on the Kindle, that is expected to rise to between $12.99 and $14.99 by the time the iPad launches later this month.

The charge was led by Macmillan, which was followed soon after by Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins in renegotiating with Amazon.

Last week it was revealed that Amazon frantically phoned publishers as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs gave his keynote introducing the iPad in July.

While publishers had their way and Amazon reluctantly agreed to higher prices, not every bestseller will carry the new, higher premium price. It has been said that while higher prices are an option for publishers, and most new titles will be between $12.99 and $14.99, publishers can also choose to lower prices on select titles.
post #2 of 210
Well written summary that should quiet people, but won't.
post #3 of 210
The way I figure it, it costs the publishers half the cost of a traditional paper book for a e-book on the iBookStore with Apple taking their 30% cut.

Apple and the publishers can go ahead and charge $13-$14 a e-book, however if they included a rental price of half that amount, they would see tremendous amount of activity and Apple's iPad sales would skyrocket.

With Apple's custom A4 processor and possible (unknown at this time) processor based DRM schemes to enforce the copy protection of rentals, it shouldn't be a problem.

It might very well be rentals will be a option, as the iPad is lacking on storage capacity and people tend to read books and then hardly touch them again except for reference.

If my book rental predictions are realized, it would explain why Amazon was jammed up to raise their e-book prices so quickly after the iPad announcement. (to adjust the pricing levels)

Rentals of e-books would be a tremendous profit potential as it's in the reach of more people at a lower price point than buying would be. Most people who are considering the iPad as a e-reader will be put off by it's $499 price tag, unless they knew they could get rent their books cheaper than buying it at $9 on a Kindle like they were used too.

Also with traditional books, publishers don't realize a profit from all the trickle down readers, so renting would be a solution to take those e-books out of circulation once read by the original purchaser.

It's can be assumed that Amazon is now working on a book rental scheme with a Kindle with color screens in order to compete with Apple's iPad.

I would be buying Apple shares right about now just in case, because if rentals are permitted, it's going to rock this world. If it's not announced and the iBookStore is just a fancy e-reader for the niche riche types who can afford to drop $13-$14 left and right to read books, then breaking even isn't a bad option either.
post #4 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After the introduction of the iPad gave publishers leverage to raise e-book prices on the Amazon Kindle, a new report states that consumers have "unrealistic expectations" about how low e-book prices should be.

Interesting! I recall similar arguments being put forward by the music industry. Fact is that there is very little overhead for the publisher who is being given access to a new technology (not just by Apple) and he still gets to sell his existing paper product.

Do the publishers really believe that we would pay $13 - $15 for an e-book when we can have the physical product for the same/similar money? Unless the pricing is right then this may squash interest in the iPad.
post #5 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Well written summary that should quiet people, but won't.

It won't because it's BS.

Using the figures the publishers themselves quoted, they make $13.67 profit on a $26.00 ebook. The same $26.00 paper book gets them something like $4.00 profit. So they are making four times the profit per ebook.
post #6 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It won't because it's BS.

Using the figures the publishers themselves quoted, they make $13.67 profit on a $26.00 ebook. The same $26.00 paper book gets them something like $4.00 profit. So they are making four times the profit per ebook.

That's why they only intend to charge $12-$14 for the ebook, not $26. Where is the BS here?
post #7 of 210
So, who pays $26.00 for a hardcover bestseller?
post #8 of 210
If the content was unlocked, I could definitely justify paying more for an eBook. In fact, with appropriate backups and supported reading platforms, an electronic copy could last much longer than a print version. Add DRM--and the device lock-in and other nastiness that goes along with it--and the whole thing is a much tougher sell, in my opinion.

tzb
post #9 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by artse View Post

So, who pays $26.00 for a hardcover bestseller?

Well, if I check the bestseller lists in the NYT or Time mag... quite a few people do.

Local prices differ quite a bit, too. Where I am, $26 is a decent price for a paperback. The last hardcovers I bought were closer to $50.
post #10 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzb View Post

If the content was unlocked, I could definitely justify paying more for an eBook. In fact, with appropriate backups and supported reading platforms, an electronic copy could last much longer than a print version. Add DRM--and the device lock-in and other nastiness that goes along with it--and the whole thing is a much tougher sell, in my opinion.

tzb


Actually if the iPad had and rentals and the DRM to enforce it wouldn't be so bad, because rental prices are cheaper than buying and there is ALWAYS a way around DRM schemes.

I wonder if one could scan a iPad screen like a paper book? OCR the results?
post #11 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarepants View Post

Interesting! I recall similar arguments being put forward by the music industry. Fact is that there is very little overhead for the publisher who is being given access to a new technology (not just by Apple) and he still gets to sell his existing paper product.

Do the publishers really believe that we would pay $13 - $15 for an e-book when we can have the physical product for the same/similar money? Unless the pricing is right then this may squash interest in the iPad.

Books are not the primary driver for the iPad. Its the slew of apps we don't even know about yet. iBook is just one of them.
post #12 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It won't because it's BS.

Using the figures the publishers themselves quoted, they make $13.67 profit on a $26.00 ebook. The same $26.00 paper book gets them something like $4.00 profit. So they are making four times the profit per ebook.

$13.67 is not profit it is revenue. I'm no accountant but they do provide a break down where the money gets spent in the article.

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post #13 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"At a glance, it appears the e-book is more profitable," the report said. "But publishers point out that e-books still represent a small sliver of total sales, from 3 to 5 percent. If e-book sales start to replace some hardcover sales, the publishers say, they will still have many of the fixed costs associated with print editions, like warehouse space, but they will be spread among fewer print copies."

The newspaper and magazine publishers are having the exact same problem. They'd like to get their readers online ASAP, but their cost structure makes the print business model worse and worse until they stop printing.
post #14 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarepants View Post

Interesting! I recall similar arguments being put forward by the music industry. Fact is that there is very little overhead for the publisher who is being given access to a new technology (not just by Apple) and he still gets to sell his existing paper product.

Do the publishers really believe that we would pay $13 - $15 for an e-book when we can have the physical product for the same/similar money? Unless the pricing is right then this may squash interest in the iPad.

Maybe publishers are trying to kill off the ebook?
post #15 of 210
What is this model going to do to the Public Libraries? I think it's a little surprising that Apple hasn't been in negotiations with them as well. Anyone heard anything about this? With more people getting EBooks, they won't be as many donations. I think instead of worrying about major book stores closing, let's worry about the great reasources we have for renting books for free!
post #16 of 210
Clearly, the book publishing industry is facing the same challenges that are driving the music industry nuts.
1. For years the music industry kept profit from the musician and charged high prices for vinyl, tape, CD, whatever. They want that to continue. But artists are more frequently refusing to give up profits to Sony/BMG, et al and are using their own labels.
2. Now some artists are finding ways to make a profit on their work while bypassing the "traditional" distribution systems.
3. The average (and in this case I mean under 30 years old) music consumer sees no reason to pay for the older, traditional, more expensive system.
4. THEREFORE THINGS ARE CHANGING RAPIDLY.
5. The sooner the book publishing industry starts to deal with the new reality the less money they will lose to a bunch of people who WILL find ways to share books no matter what kind of laws either the music or book publishing industries try to get enacted.

WAKE UP EVERYONE...THIS IS A NEW WORLD...CHANGE!
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post #17 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

The way I figure it, it costs the publishers half the cost of a traditional paper book for a e-book on the iBookStore with Apple taking their 30% cut.

Apple and the publishers can go ahead and charge $13-$14 a e-book, however if they included a rental price of half that amount, they would see tremendous amount of activity and Apple's iPad sales would skyrocket.

With Apple's custom A4 processor and possible (unknown at this time) processor based DRM schemes to enforce the copy protection of rentals, it shouldn't be a problem.

It might very well be rentals will be a option, as the iPad is lacking on storage capacity and people tend to read books and then hardly touch them again except for reference.

If my book rental predictions are realized, it would explain why Amazon was jammed up to raise their e-book prices so quickly after the iPad announcement. (to adjust the pricing levels)

Rentals of e-books would be a tremendous profit potential as it's in the reach of more people at a lower price point than buying would be. Most people who are considering the iPad as a e-reader will be put off by it's $499 price tag, unless they knew they could get rent their books cheaper than buying it at $9 on a Kindle like they were used too.

Also with traditional books, publishers don't realize a profit from all the trickle down readers, so renting would be a solution to take those e-books out of circulation once read by the original purchaser.

It's can be assumed that Amazon is now working on a book rental scheme with a Kindle with color screens in order to compete with Apple's iPad.

I would be buying Apple shares right about now just in case, because if rentals are permitted, it's going to rock this world. If it's not announced and the iBookStore is just a fancy e-reader for the niche riche types who can afford to drop $13-$14 left and right to read books, then breaking even isn't a bad option either.

Didn't you read the information? It's about 25%, not 50%. That changes your entire equation.
post #18 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarepants View Post

Interesting! I recall similar arguments being put forward by the music industry. Fact is that there is very little overhead for the publisher who is being given access to a new technology (not just by Apple) and he still gets to sell his existing paper product.

Do the publishers really believe that we would pay $13 - $15 for an e-book when we can have the physical product for the same/similar money? Unless the pricing is right then this may squash interest in the iPad.

First of all, that just for when books come out as a hardcover, the prices will drop. Hardcovers go for about $17 to $18, in most large bookstores, not $13. Costco and places like that don't count, because they get just a very few titles, and sell them as loss leaders. Usually, they also get the bookclub editions, which are more cheaply made.
post #19 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It won't because it's BS.

Using the figures the publishers themselves quoted, they make $13.67 profit on a $26.00 ebook. The same $26.00 paper book gets them something like $4.00 profit. So they are making four times the profit per ebook.

What are you talking about? Show a summery of the numbers.
post #20 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, if I check the bestseller lists in the NYT or Time mag... quite a few people do.

Local prices differ quite a bit, too. Where I am, $26 is a decent price for a paperback. The last hardcovers I bought were closer to $50.

Wow, you need to find a new place to buy books. The article said "the average hardcover bestseller is $26". Not paperbacks were $26. List price on the top 10 NYT bestseller list currently runs 23.95 to 29.95. You might try Amazon, the highest price for the same 10 books was $16.19.

So,as I said, who pays $26 for a hardcover bestseller? Makes the math in the article BS as someone said...
post #21 of 210
Quote:
a new report states that consumers have "unrealistic expectations" about how low e-book prices should be.

hehe...well, I guess the market will decide that
post #22 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by artse View Post

So, who pays $26.00 for a hardcover bestseller?

If you live where there are just small local bookstores, you might very well pay list, or close to it. They sell few books and can't get the discounts the big booksellers do. And since they sell far fewer books per square foot, they have to charge more to pay for rent, salaries, etc.
post #23 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Well written summary that should quiet people, but won't.

It won't, because the utility of a real book is worth more than the printing cost. Also, there's no reason to actually pay the full MSRP. The retailers have half the price as a margin to play with, so the price differential is nowhere as large as they say. (See the Harry Potter book releases for example.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Apple and the publishers can go ahead and charge $13-$14 a e-book, however if they included a rental price of half that amount, they would see tremendous amount of activity and Apple's iPad sales would skyrocket.

I don't believe people are going to pay $7 for something that is free at the local library.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, if I check the bestseller lists in the NYT or Time mag... quite a few people do.

Local prices differ quite a bit, too. Where I am, $26 is a decent price for a paperback. The last hardcovers I bought were closer to $50.

As I said, there's no reason to pay MSRP. I have no idea where you are currently situated, but Amazon ships pretty much everywhere.
post #24 of 210
If the publishers wanted to meet us halfway on features, I wouldn't be opposed to higher prices. But even $10 was overpriced if I can't lend it or sell it.

Publishers are intimately aware that cost has nothing to do with price, so trying to make a cost-based argument is disingenuous and insulting.

Until they're willing to talk features, I'm going to buy very few ebooks, even at $10.
And it's not like I'm buying hardcover new releases in the meantime, so it's just money on the table, waiting for people who do want to talk.
post #25 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

Clearly, the book publishing industry is facing the same challenges that are driving the music industry nuts.
1. For years the music industry kept profit from the musician and charged high prices for vinyl, tape, CD, whatever. They want that to continue. But artists are more frequently refusing to give up profits to Sony/BMG, et al and are using their own labels.
2. Now some artists are finding ways to make a profit on their work while bypassing the "traditional" distribution systems.
3. The average (and in this case I mean under 30 years old) music consumer sees no reason to pay for the older, traditional, more expensive system.
4. THEREFORE THINGS ARE CHANGING RAPIDLY.
5. The sooner the book publishing industry starts to deal with the new reality the less money they will lose to a bunch of people who WILL find ways to share books no matter what kind of laws either the music or book publishing industries try to get enacted.

WAKE UP EVERYONE...THIS IS A NEW WORLD...CHANGE!

I know that most people hate the music companies, so a lot of misinformation is out there. But almost no acts ever make money. most lose it. The few big acts must share their income with the new ones just so that the music companies can afford to pay for all of the costs. It's like a pyramid. Only the acts above a small part are profitable, while the large majority are not. I suppose, if we don't want to see new acts all the time, the ones making money could get more. But then people would complain about the dearth of new music.

The same thing is true in publishing. Very few books make any money, and the major authors have to share some of their profits so that new authors can be brought out.
post #26 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

I don't believe people are going to pay $7 for something that is free at the local library.

Many libraries carry audio CDs and video DVDs.

It doesn't seem to have any effect on the local video stores or take-up of services like VOD or Netflix.
post #27 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by artse View Post

Wow, you need to find a new place to buy books. The article said "the average hardcover bestseller is $26". Not paperbacks were $26. List price on the top 10 NYT bestseller list currently runs 23.95 to 29.95. You might try Amazon, the highest price for the same 10 books was $16.19.

So,as I said, who pays $26 for a hardcover bestseller? Makes the math in the article BS as someone said...

Did you notice where he lives?

And the article certainly isn't B.S. I read the Times article, and they don't publish that kind of info for a lark. They are also a major publisher, you may realize, so they know the numbers.
post #28 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by artse View Post

So, who pays $26.00 for a hardcover bestseller?

Exactly. Latest Dan Brown book, $29.95 list. I paid $16. Also, after it was read it was passed around to at least 2 additional people, so instead of the publisher getting $39 dollars for three books, the got just $13.
post #29 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Using the figures the publishers themselves quoted, they make $13.67 profit on a $26.00 ebook. The same $26.00 paper book gets them something like $4.00 profit. So they are making four times the profit per ebook.

First, study some basic economics. PROFIT is what's left over AFTER you pay all of your expenses. Or didn't you figure that out after running your corner lemonade stand?

Second, read for comprehension. $13 of the $26 for the hardback went to the bookseller (i.e. Borders or Barnes & Noble) and NOT to the publisher. Booksellers, in turn, have costs like... oh... a BUILDING, employees, utilities, and so on.

People need to get past the idea that the physical cost of an item is the only one that counts. Often, it's the least of them...
post #30 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by artse View Post

Wow, you need to find a new place to buy books. The article said "the average hardcover bestseller is $26". Not paperbacks were $26. List price on the top 10 NYT bestseller list currently runs 23.95 to 29.95. You might try Amazon, the highest price for the same 10 books was $16.19.

So,as I said, who pays $26 for a hardcover bestseller? Makes the math in the article BS as someone said...

Well, books are more expensive in most of Western Europe - hardcover bestsellers costing 30-35 EUR (approx. $48) are nothing special. Book pricing (for current titles) is fixed here, so finding a different shop makes no difference. Amazon offers free shipping, but has the same prices - as I have three book stores in walking distance from my home, why not support smaller retailers?

I do not quite get your logic... you say the current top ten is between $24 and $30 (as I said), and the resultant question is "who pays $26 for a hardcover bestseller"? Almost everybody buying a top ten book, maybe?
post #31 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

I don't believe people are going to pay $7 for something that is free at the local library.

If that were true, then there wouldn't BE a best sellers list, would there?

Quote:
As I said, there's no reason to pay MSRP. I have no idea where you are currently situated, but Amazon ships pretty much everywhere.

You know where to look to see where he lives.
post #32 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

If the publishers wanted to meet us halfway on features, I wouldn't be opposed to higher prices. But even $10 was overpriced if I can't lend it or sell it.

Publishers are intimately aware that cost has nothing to do with price, so trying to make a cost-based argument is disingenuous and insulting.

Until they're willing to talk features, I'm going to buy very few ebooks, even at $10.
And it's not like I'm buying hardcover new releases in the meantime, so it's just money on the table, waiting for people who do want to talk.

Of course cost has something to do with price. How could you think otherwise?

We see, in some industries, such as the high end audio industry that prices are often much higher than cost would say they should be. But even if they brought those prices down drastically, there would be a point at which they couldn't go lower.

The pricing of books doesn't follow that boutique pricing model. The high list prices are to enable small booksellers to make a profit, and give the big stores a place to discount from. But costs are costs. They are high in the beginning, because much of what went into the book has to get paid off. Then costs come down with trade paperbacks, which are the most popular format. Then later, and sometimes at the same time, the pocket novel size, at the cheapest price comes out.

Publishers want to follow that model. I don't see a problem with it.

Just like now with hardcover, you don't HAVE to buy a book when it first comes out. You can wait for the cheaper edition.
post #33 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannsh View Post

Maybe publishers are trying to kill off the ebook?

Can't speak to this, but I'm a university professor, and I can tell you that publishers have been incredibly resistant to making electronic versions of textbooks available. A big part of this is that e-textbooks could/would significantly damage the economy of entrenched campus bookstores.

Many campus bookstores rely on textbook sales as the majority of their income, so the loss of too many paper copies of textbooks would threaten the survival of campus bookstores, and in turn the loss of staff and student jobs, and many sales representatives and customer service and support jobs as well. This is particularly true of smaller campuses that contract out their bookstore management to companies like Barnes and Noble; they face the same issue as their general bookstores in terms of being too badly undercut by e-book sales.

I personally would love to have electronic versions of the textbooks I use for my classes, as well as other books I use on a regular basis for reference, programming, etc. It would literally revolutionize my work flow; I would use an iPad as an e-reader alongside my MBP and it would save me from having to carry literally thousands of pages of books back and forth with me from my office to my home. Of course, this is assuming some kind of unified DRM system could be had along with a durable mark-up protocol that would allow me to make notes and annotations within the electronic books I would use.

Regardless, part of the issue is that it's simply easier to stick with the established system, because even though they might net more profit by going electronic, the cost and the potential loss of content control seems currently too great for them to follow that path.

For me, that makes something like an iPad or even a Kindle a device of very low utility.
post #34 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, books are more expensive in most of Western Europe - hardcover bestsellers costing 30-35 EUR (approx. $48) are nothing special. Book pricing (for current titles) is fixed here, so finding a different shop makes no difference. Amazon offers free shipping, but has the same prices - as I have three book stores in walking distance from my home, why not support smaller retailers?

I do not quite get your logic... you say the current top ten is between $24 and $30 (as I said), and the resultant question is "who pays $26 for a hardcover bestseller"? Almost everybody buying a top ten book, maybe?

In addition, Amazon was sued by the EU for their free shipping. It's considered to be unfair competition there.
post #35 of 210
In an e-world, what is the point of a publisher?
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post #36 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"At a glance, it appears the e-book is more profitable," the report said. "But publishers point out that e-books still represent a small sliver of total sales, from 3 to 5 percent. If e-book sales start to replace some hardcover sales, the publishers say, they will still have many of the fixed costs associated with print editions, like warehouse space, but they will be spread among fewer print copies."

Publishers are also wary of making e-books too cheap for fear of killing off booksellers like Barnes & Noble.

This is a flawed argument. With e-book sales, no warehouse is needed at all. Publishers could simply reduce the amount of warehouse space they lease as they increased the number of e-books they sold, as with all incremental costs associated with printing traditional books.

Also, the more e-books that are sold, the less the costs will be per book associated with creating those e-books. Since the marginal cost of an e-book is 0, the costs can only go down.

Publisher's have a vested interest in their distributors and retailers. But if the e-book model proves successful, and it WILL be, we're going to see bookstores go the way of music stores and die. (Sorry, it's inevitable.)

E-books are more profitable and the publishers know this. But publishers think that the average consumer is willing to pay more. Don't let them try to tell you otherwise.

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post #37 of 210
Most movies are "unprofitable", too, yet somehow the film studios just keep on making them!

I believe publishers have an unrealistic idea of how much consumers are willing to pay for an e-book, given the new limitations the typical e-book DRM brings with it. And I believe publishers haven't a clue how many people would like to build considerable e-book collections, but only if e-books are discounted significantly relative to print editions, and not if the e-books look terrible or if the e-books are unavailable for the Mac (hint, hint Amazon!)

IMHO If someone buys the hard bound version of a book, the electronic version should be discounted even more to them--and especially so for technical e-books which are currently way, way, way overpriced.
post #38 of 210
If the consumer pays the asking price and piracy does not become a replacment for $9.99 books, then they are correct in their assumptions. If not then they are wrong. They would not be the first industry to balk at letting the consumer define the market place. It's a new world. Learn to change or lose.
post #39 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzb View Post

If the content was unlocked, I could definitely justify paying more for an eBook. In fact, with appropriate backups and supported reading platforms, an electronic copy could last much longer than a print version. Add DRM--and the device lock-in and other nastiness that goes along with it--and the whole thing is a much tougher sell, in my opinion.

tzb

Your right on the DRM nasties, but, Last much longer? Maybe I misunderstand you here, but how can an ebook last longer than 100 years or more. Word processors can't even open an documents formatted in the original MS Word or WordPerfect. How can any one expect digital content to be readable in the same format in 10, 20 30 or more years. Sure cross platform standards may help this, but thats not going to be the case here. DRM and other proprietary code will ensure that a digital copy of a book will not outlast its paper version. Can anyone imagine what value the great library of Alexandria, or the dead sea scrolls would be to us today, if they'd been in digital format. We'd never be able to read them.

Some here have mentioned renting books via ipad. For my two cents I see that as a good idea. People who like the rented book may also buy a paper version or the digital, if they wish, but the above still applies.

As for the statistics in this report. Mmmm? lets see the report was written by the New York Times. Which publishers paid them for this article. Sounds like part of a propaganda war to assist the publishers in getting higher prices for ebooks.
post #40 of 210
whatever the hardcover is the digital should be way cheaper. They say apple grabs 30% - well what about a book store? They probably grab like 50%. Add to that no existant print and inventory fees and you got yourself a free unlimited copies that only need a tiny amount of server space and a lot of bandwidth. $10 bucks is perfect (considering I can't resell this thing like I can a physical book). $15 is pushing it and it would have to be an incredible best seller.
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