Originally Posted by nkhm
Because there is no global model in place for book rental.
That's why I think Apple is going to introduce one with the iPad.
Apple has a history of creating new markets to sell their hardware, this is just another one.
You can borrow a book from your local library and have - say - thirty days to read it, but that is borrowing, and is normally free (or rather funded by the taxpayer). You could also photocopy it during that time, but it would be more hassle, and a pain to duplicate.
However, with an eBook, you download as 'rental', hack the DRM and redistribute as you see fit, this will happen and publishers will be in financial crisis within a very short period of time.
And one can use software to screen record movies rented via iTunes, and rip DVD's with Handbrake, and copy songs in iTunes to DVD and give it all away for free too.
Not everyone steals content. And those who can afford a $499 iPad most likely want to sleep soundly at night without a lot of pirated content laying around for the Feds to bust them over. Those who steal content are not the iPads target audience anyway.
If people feel that $14.99 is too much to pay for a new title, then don't pay it - wait for it to come down in price.
Ok, that model works for traditional paper books because it's based upon a physical medium and by allowing the price drop, it moves them out of the store.
However, e-books are duplicate electronic files, there is no physical medium involved, except clogging up the users hard drive eventually. So there isn't really any incentive to lower the price, it actually could have a adverse effect, a sale price could convey that the book isn't very good.
People do not value content now that it is so readily available. People complain about 79 - 99 pence for a music single - which is ridiculously cheap - and yet people complain. And now books are the target.
The 99¢ ala carte model per song on iTunes was brilliant and highly successful, only when Apple allowed variable pricing did the labels realize lost sales, because people associated higher and lower prices as good or bad respectively.
If things become less expensive then less profit is made. Is less profit is made, there is less money for companies to spend on innovation/talent seeking/R&D call it what you will.
Not necessarily, something they teach you in business school is that there is a price curve, sort of like upside down U shape. The more you raise prices and move to the right on the chart, the less sales there are, the more you move to the left the more sales increase. However a product also has to make a profit, therefore a margin line chart is intersected with the price curve chart, where those two points meet is the most overall profit possible, as the company is selling the most devices at the best possible margin the most people are willing to pay for.
Apple can innovate and make a device that does everything under the sun, but if enough people won't pay $20,000 each for it, then all that R&D spent is worthless.
Yes, publishers need to move with the times, and by offering a list price of 50% of the printed product price they have done so, by allowing digital distribution of their products they are moving with the times.
They also are saving a lot with the electronic model and able to pass those savings onto consumers which results in more sales and the same profit levels.
It is not fair that they are further berated by certain people who just want everything to be cheap. I'd imagine that charging half price for the digital version, when the overheads are not halved was seen as a pretty big move.
People naturally want to stretch their hard earned dollars, but they also want to play the game and keep the supply coming.
It is the same content, delivered in a different way, it is no less 'valuable'.
I guessing you mean renting and buying books.
All I have show is the movie rental business on iTunes, same difference for entertainment books, consume and forget.
Now reference or teaching books people may prefer to buy, as they more likely to keep them. However they should have the option to rent in order to justify the high price tag those books incur.