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iPad ad shows book prices from $8 to $15, Steve Jobs at Oscars

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was in attendance at the Oscars Sunday night, and during the telecast the first iPad ad revealed, upon closer look, prices for some titles in the new iBookstore.

The 30-second advertisement, which premiered Sunday night, quickly flashed through a number of the iPad's features. The commercial included numerous glimpses of the iBookstore, where upon closer inspection book prices ranging from $7.99 to $14.99 could be seen.

The commercial showed Sen. Edward Kennedy's "True Compass: A Memoir" for $14.99, the novel "I, Alex Cross" by James Patterson for $12.99, and "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin for $7.99.

For comparison, "True Compass" currently sells for $19.25 for the Amazon Kindle, "I, Alex Cross" costs $9.99, and "Three Cups of Tea" costs $7.19.

The iBookstore, part of the iBooks application available for the iPad, represents Apple's entrance into the e-book market. Since the iPad was announced, publishers have used their price negotiations with Apple to leverage Amazon into accepting higher prices for hardcover bestsellers on the Kindle e-reader. While Kindle bestsellers previously have sold for $9.99, Apple's deal reportedly sets them slightly higher, between $12.99 and $14.99.

Though Amazon initially resisted, the book seller was forced to reluctantly agree to the higher prices, which are expected to debut when the iPad launches. Apple announced last week that the iPad will go on sale April 3, and pre-orders begin March 12.

The new advertisement can be seen at Apple's Web site.



Spotted in-person at the Academy Awards Sunday was Jobs, who donned a tuxedo on the red carpet in Hollywood.

As Disney's largest shareholder and former owner of movie studio Pixar, Jobs had a great deal of interest in last night's proceedings, as the movie "Up" was nominated for a number of awards, including Best Picture. The film took home two Oscars, winning Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. Jobs sold Pixar to Disney in 2006.

When asked why he was in attendance, Jobs reportedly said "I'm here to see 'Up' win."

Jon M. Chu, director of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, who performed at Sunday's show, snapped this picture of himself and Jobs at the event:

post #2 of 35
Considering Steve Jobs is the biggest shareholder in Disney, it would be a shock if he wasn't there...
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Spotted in-person at the Academy Awards Sunday was Jobs, who donned a tuxedo on the red carpet in Hollywood.:

I'm sure the mock turtleneck was underneath the tux.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

I'm sure the mock turtleneck was underneath the tux.

I was wondering what was wrong with that picture!
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post #5 of 35
Jobs should attend ESPN events too.
Glad Up won for best animated movie; it's a good one.
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post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...Jon M. Chu...snapped this picture of himself and Jobs at the event:

It looks like he's holding an Academy book in his right hand, so I'm not sure how he took that picture himself.
post #7 of 35
What you guys don't see is the jeans he's wearing and new balance shoes he's got on.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...The commercial showed Sen. Edward Kennedy's "True Compass: A Memoir" for $14.99, the novel "I, Alex Cross" by James Patterson for $12.99, and "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World One Child at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin for $7.99. ...

So pretty much exactly 25% less than the paper copies. Not good.

It should be roughly half the price based on the economics, the market and the precedent of music. The publishers are being greedy as usual.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

I'm sure the mock turtleneck was underneath the tux.

It's all about the neck not the turtleneck covering it. As long as the neck is covered everything is fine and the tux covers the neck just as well.
post #10 of 35
Does Steve look like a white Tony Dungy?
post #11 of 35
There really is a striking difference between the iPhone/iPad ads and the Mac ads, which is that the iAds actually show the product and what it can do. While I do like many of the Mac ads (and clearly they've been successful), I like the iAds better. And this is another good example of those ads -- it really shows off the product and makes me want to buy it.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Considering Steve Jobs is the biggest shareholder in Disney, it would be a shock if he wasn't there...

UP was only the second animated feature ever nominated for Best Picture , the other was Beauty and the Beast. He had to be there representing Disney/Pixar.
post #13 of 35
The pricing sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

Best sellers should = $9.99.

And pricing should be flexible on all other books from $0 - $9.99.

The only books that should be over $9.99 are large medical books, and maybe textbooks or programming books etc. No novels should be over $10. It's a digital file that downloads in 20 seconds, they get the money--boom. Digital reading of books has a great future if only the publishers could actually see it.
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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The pricing sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

Best sellers should = $9.99.

And pricing should be flexible on all other books from $0 - $9.99.

The only books that should be over $9.99 are large medical books, and maybe textbooks or programming books etc. No novels should be over $10. It's a digital file that downloads in 20 seconds, they get the money--boom. Digital reading of books has a great future if only the publishers could actually see it.


So if you were a writer, you would be fine with them "selling" your books/novels at no cost, basically passing them out for free? Which is what you are saying and many others that feel online books should cost $0.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So pretty much exactly 25% less than the paper copies. Not good.

It should be roughly half the price based on the economics, the market and the precedent of music. The publishers are being greedy as usual.

Why? Because the music industry and the book publishing industry are so alike?

Music files are small compared to books. They are easier to create and release.

Books take serious time and effort to write. My father has 9 published books - each took years to write. Add in the editors, fact-checking, proofs and typesetting... even electronically someone needs to ensure the text flows well.

Also, distribution doesn't drop to zero for e-books. The books have to be stored on expensive SAN's connected to huge internet pipes and you pay for every bit you send. Consumers think - internet transfer is free or nearly free. If you transfer multiple terrabytes in a month - it is anything but free.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post

So if you were a writer, you would be fine with them "selling" your books/novels at no cost, basically passing them out for free? Which is what you are saying and many others that feel online books should cost $0.

You gotta love that sense of entitlement when people think they should get stuff for free just because they deemed it so.
post #17 of 35
[QUOTE=Leithal;1585998]Why? Because the music industry and the book publishing industry are so alike?

The real point is corrupt and abusive publishers. Those majors who became the Mafia when Warner Communications was created to hide the criminal connections took over most media, including Time, fired the CEO and replaced him with a Sicilian "protection" enforcer. (see J. Steven Ross, Garden State Bank, Kinney Corp.).
These crooks give the writer a very small part of the thing that they created!
Now that all costs are basically gone, the publisher should get 10%, as a middle man, and the writers/authors 90%! Logical, fair and as it should have been all along.

$9.99 is the right price from the customers standpoint. Much more for textbooks and technicals due to very small volumes. But still give the author the 90% to cover the time spent creating the book. If Ebook publishers can't make money at a dime a book, with all the books they sell, they should close their high dollar offices and do the business out of their homes-there is no excuse to soak the customers and rape the authors-it's just a data file now! Many publishers don't even bother editing the files-they just talk the author into changing the title to something sexy and put a Vegas chick on a graphic "cover" and send out emails about new releases!
If Apple didn't have to deal with Vinny and Cracko, music and book prices would be fair and profitable for everyone involved. No joke!
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithal View Post

Also, distribution doesn't drop to zero for e-books. The books have to be stored on expensive SAN's connected to huge internet pipes and you pay for every bit you send. Consumers think - internet transfer is free or nearly free. If you transfer multiple terrabytes in a month - it is anything but free.

While I agree with you that not all (e)books should be free, the storing and distribution of ebooks is handled by Apple. So authors and/or publishers don't pay the storage and internet transfer fees.

On the other hand: giving away books for free has successfully been done in the past. It requires different business models, but it can be profitable.
post #19 of 35
[QUOTE=rnp1;1586024]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithal View Post

Why? Because the music industry and the book publishing industry are so alike?

The real point is corrupt and abusive publishers. Those majors who became the Mafia when Warner Communications was created to hide the criminal connections took over most media, including Time, fired the CEO and replaced him with a Sicilian "protection" enforcer. (see J. Steven Ross, Garden State Bank, Kinney Corp.).
These crooks give the writer a very small part of the thing that they created!
Now that all costs are basically gone, the publisher should get 10%, as a middle man, and the writers/authors 90%! Logical, fair and as it should have been all along.

$9.99 is the right price from the customers standpoint. Much more for textbooks and technicals due to very small volumes. But still give the author the 90% to cover the time spent creating the book. If Ebook publishers can't make money at a dime a book, with all the books they sell, they should close their high dollar offices and do the business out of their homes-there is no excuse to soak the customers and rape the authors-it's just a data file now! Many publishers don't even bother editing the files-they just talk the author into changing the title to something sexy and put a Vegas chick on a graphic "cover" and send out emails about new releases!
If Apple didn't have to deal with Vinny and Cracko, music and book prices would be fair and profitable for everyone involved. No joke!

Er, exactly which costs are gone?

Author - yep, need 1 or more of those.
Proof Readers - yep, need 1 or more.
Editors - at least 1.
Legal - someone has to write the contracts.
Fact Checkers - yep.

Printing - no.
Distribution... it costs to store and ship/transmit a file. This was my main point.

Profit... we are talking about life in a capitalist economy right? People want a return on their investment. I know I do.

Generally, it takes far more than "a sexy title" and "a vegas chick" to prepare a good book for publishing.

Should prices be lower than the physical book? Yes. But new hard covers cost $20, $30 or even $40 (even after the large chain Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Indigo discount from MSRP).

I will and do pay good money for good books. Heck, I spend $30 a month for two audiobooks - from Audible... it's value for my money. That's something like 30 hours of listening. A buck an hour for entertainment? Cheap to me.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

It looks like he's holding an Academy book in his right hand, so I'm not sure how he took that picture himself.

Ha! I thought the same. Impossible to take a photo of himself if he's holding a book with the arm he'd need to take a photo.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

It looks like he's holding an Academy book in his right hand, so I'm not sure how he took that picture himself.

Set the timer for 3 seconds and toss the camera in the air at the last second.
post #22 of 35
I hope that pic wasn't taken with an iPhone, lighting and resolution stink.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithal View Post

Why? Because the music industry and the book publishing industry are so alike?

Music files are small compared to books. They are easier to create and release.

Books take serious time and effort to write. My father has 9 published books - each took years to write. Add in the editors, fact-checking, proofs and typesetting... even electronically someone needs to ensure the text flows well.

Also, distribution doesn't drop to zero for e-books. The books have to be stored on expensive SAN's connected to huge internet pipes and you pay for every bit you send. Consumers think - internet transfer is free or nearly free. If you transfer multiple terrabytes in a month - it is anything but free.

I worked in the publishing industry for years so I'm not totally clued out on these issues.

The issue of how much to charge is completely unrelated in my mind to the amount of money the authors and contributors of the book get. They usually get a pittance in either case and the lion's share of the profit goes to the publishers and distributors. In my experience it's a mistake to assume that the publishers have the author's interest at heart or even tangentially.

Also, in most analyses (this one included) the costs are seemingly being counted separately for both the print and electronic editions. This is just not reality. In most case the costs of producing the book are completely costed out (*and much more besides) in the original cost of the paper edition. The electronic edition is in most cases, "gravy." It's wrong to count production costs of the paper edition and then count them all over again for the electronic one.

I know I won't convince you, but the costs of producing and distributing ebook editions, especially of editions that already have an existence in paperback or hardcover (almost all do), are dramatically less than the old way of doing business. For starters, traditionally the publisher only gets 50% of the selling price of a paper book, but will be getting 70% of the eBook edition from Apple. When you factor in the much lower costs of digital distribution and
the fact that all the production costs have really been paid for already in most cases, and it's party time for publishers.
post #24 of 35
Leithal
You ignored my point about who these guys are!!!!
Secondly you ignored how they don't proof read or edit many books-that is up to the author.
Thidly, they use cookie cutter contracts that were written years ago by cheap. sleazy lawyers who knew how to bind the authors and rip them off.
Fourthly, the production costs and transportation costs of real books is enormous.
Fifth, if you are so worried about costs you should have listened to Leo Laport years ago and got a $15 a month Audible subscription and you'd have saved a lot-every audio book is discounted to members.
Stop promoting publishers lies.
A management company can make a living charging 10% from the contracts they procure for their artists, and that is the way it should be.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So pretty much exactly 25% less than the paper copies. Not good.

It should be roughly half the price based on the economics, the market and the precedent of music. The publishers are being greedy as usual.

I wish that Gazoobee and all other "experts" who absolutely know for a fact what a digital book should sell for would keep their uniformed opinion to themselves. As usual the market place will decide what the final prices will be .... but please, until then, do us all a favor and STFU!
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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post

So if you were a writer, you would be fine with them "selling" your books/novels at no cost, basically passing them out for free? Which is what you are saying and many others that feel online books should cost $0.

He never said that anything should be free.

But if one were to only see black and white contrasts, I can understand that his pricing structure looks completely black.

If the truth be told, he described a rainbow. But I'll admit that to some folks, it appeared identical to all other black areas.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

I wish that Gazoobee and all other "experts" who absolutely know for a fact what a digital book should sell for would keep their uniformed opinion to themselves. As usual the market place will decide what the final prices will be .... but please, until then, do us all a favor and STFU!

Because market mechanisms work so well for nonrival goods...
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarein View Post

Because market mechanisms work so well for nonrival goods...

If there is no rival that sounds like a great opportunity to enter the market and undercut the competiton. In regards to eBooks there is already a Kindle app for the iPhone will presumably work on the iPad. If Apple prevents the Kindle app from working on the iPad because it's competitive, then I forsee an antitrust issue, which is why I predict Apple will compete on ther merits of a single store account with iTS and a better reader app. They also need to make a Mac and Windows reader since Kindle has a desktop reader.
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post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If there is no rival that sounds like a great opportunity to enter the market and undercut the competiton. In regards to eBooks there is already a Kindle app for the iPhone which will presumably work on the iPad. If Apple prevents the Kindle app from working on the iPad because it's competitive, then I forsee an antitrust issue, which is why I predict Apple will compete on ther merits of a single store account with iTS and a better reader app. They also need to make a Mac and Windows reader since Kindle has a desktop reader.

All good points as usual!
I will buy books from Apple first because , as you pointed out, the better APP is more like a book and might make reading an eBook almost as enjoyable as the real thing, I think, except for the stereoptic eye/brain advantage in decoding and processing curved page surfaces. But I don't expect we'll see an arched iPad reading surface for another year or so!
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If there is no rival that sounds like a great opportunity to enter the market and undercut the competiton. In regards to eBooks there is already a Kindle app for the iPad will presumably work on the iPad. If Apple prevents the Kindle app from working on the iPad because it's competitive, then I forsee an antitrust issue, which is why I predict Apple will compete on ther merits of a single store account with iTS and a better reader app. They also need to make a Mac and Windows reader since Kindle has a desktop reader.

That's not...what nonrival goods means...
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solarein View Post

That's not...what nonrival goods means...

Mea culpa. LOL In the future I'll try to read and reply while dealing with kids at McDonalds. Obviously my reading comprehension drops significantly.
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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andruby View Post

While I agree with you that not all (e)books should be free, the storing and distribution of ebooks is handled by Apple. So authors and/or publishers don't pay the storage and internet transfer fees.

On the other hand: giving away books for free has successfully been done in the past. It requires different business models, but it can be profitable.

Basing a spurious argument on a massively flawed book and premise is no point at all really. All costs except print/distribution are still there and as ebooks canibalize print
copies all this marginal pricing BS will be shown for the rubbish it is.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So pretty much exactly 25% less than the paper copies. Not good.

It should be roughly half the price based on the economics, the market and the precedent of music. The publishers are being greedy as usual.

Please leave this place, and come back with something other than an utterly amateurish view of business.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithal View Post

Music files are small compared to books. They are easier to create and release.

Books take serious time and effort to write. My father has 9 published books - each took years to write. Add in the editors, fact-checking, proofs and typesetting... even electronically someone needs to ensure the text flows well.

Sorry, but as a musician, I beg to differ. The costs associated with recording a hit song are astronomical. Many albums also take years to write, record, and produce.

The MINIMUM gear needed to record a song includes:

Laptop = $1000
Audio Interface = $300+
Vocal Microphone = $1000
VST Drum program (saves $$$ on drum microphones) $300
VST Effects Plugins = $??? (Varies, depending on effects needed, but a few hundred bucks at least).
Instruments/Amps/Keyboards/etc. = Likely a few thousand dollars.

We're already well over $3000. Probably closer to 5-6k. For a barebones, bedroom studio which, most likely, will NOT produce anything close to the quality of a hit pop song.

All it takes to write a book is a laptop. Or paper and pencil.

Making music is a FAR greater cash outlay. The time required is variable in both cases, and depends more on your artistic ability/circumstances than on the medium, really. Some books take a lifetime, others take a couple days. Same with songs. I have songs I've been working on for 20 years. I've written others in an hour.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So pretty much exactly 25% less than the paper copies. Not good.

It should be roughly half the price based on the economics, the market and the precedent of music. The publishers are being greedy as usual.

The prices ARE based on economics. Econ 101 says that the selling price is based on what the market will pay - and has no direct relationship to cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The pricing sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

Best sellers should = $9.99.

And pricing should be flexible on all other books from $0 - $9.99.

The only books that should be over $9.99 are large medical books, and maybe textbooks or programming books etc. No novels should be over $10. It's a digital file that downloads in 20 seconds, they get the money--boom. Digital reading of books has a great future if only the publishers could actually see it.

Then go write your own books and you can price them wherever you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I worked in the publishing industry for years so I'm not totally clued out on these issues.

The issue of how much to charge is completely unrelated in my mind to the amount of money the authors and contributors of the book get. They usually get a pittance in either case and the lion's share of the profit goes to the publishers and distributors. In my experience it's a mistake to assume that the publishers have the author's interest at heart or even tangentially.

Also, in most analyses (this one included) the costs are seemingly being counted separately for both the print and electronic editions. This is just not reality. In most case the costs of producing the book are completely costed out (*and much more besides) in the original cost of the paper edition. The electronic edition is in most cases, "gravy." It's wrong to count production costs of the paper edition and then count them all over again for the electronic one.

I know I won't convince you, but the costs of producing and distributing ebook editions, especially of editions that already have an existence in paperback or hardcover (almost all do), are dramatically less than the old way of doing business. For starters, traditionally the publisher only gets 50% of the selling price of a paper book, but will be getting 70% of the eBook edition from Apple. When you factor in the much lower costs of digital distribution and
the fact that all the production costs have really been paid for already in most cases, and it's party time for publishers.

If you're really familiar with publishing, then you ought to realize that the selling price has nothing to do with the cost and everything to do with what the market will bear. For example, a 200 page science text isn't that much more expensive to print than a 200 page best seller or a 200 page older book (ignoring the preparation costs which are close to the same for eBooks as for print). Yet the text book sells for $200, the best seller sells for $25, and the older book sells for $6.99 in a book store. Your cost-based analysis doesn't justify that.

An eBook might be worth more or less than a print book. More because it's harder to lose or tear a page and I'm willing to pay extra for the convenience of carrying 100 books with me. OTOH, some people will think it's worth less because they like the feel of the paper books and because they are probably easier to read than eInk or LCD. Apple (and now Amazon) has decided that about 25% less than print is about right.

The market will either agree or disagree - in which case Apple may have to change prices later. But the bottom line is that it's about the market, not about the costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

He never said that anything should be free. .

Yes, he did. He said 'variable pricing from $0 to $9.99'. Last time I checked, $0 was 'free'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitlnoize View Post

Sorry, but as a musician, I beg to differ. The costs associated with recording a hit song are astronomical. Many albums also take years to write, record, and produce.

The MINIMUM gear needed to record a song includes:

Laptop = $1000
Audio Interface = $300+
Vocal Microphone = $1000
VST Drum program (saves $$$ on drum microphones) $300
VST Effects Plugins = $??? (Varies, depending on effects needed, but a few hundred bucks at least).
Instruments/Amps/Keyboards/etc. = Likely a few thousand dollars.

We're already well over $3000. Probably closer to 5-6k. For a barebones, bedroom studio which, most likely, will NOT produce anything close to the quality of a hit pop song.

All it takes to write a book is a laptop. Or paper and pencil.

Making music is a FAR greater cash outlay. The time required is variable in both cases, and depends more on your artistic ability/circumstances than on the medium, really. Some books take a lifetime, others take a couple days. Same with songs. I have songs I've been working on for 20 years. I've written others in an hour.

Once again, it's not really relevant (although your costs are probably pretty close - I have a friend who just recorded an album for $15 K). The selling price is not controlled by the cost - it's controlled by the market. The market has determined that songs are worth something like $0.99 and books are worth something like ten times as much (presumably because most people own more music than books and the music provides a much shorter period of enjoyment). Another example? Let's take a top music band's recording of a new single. They are going to spend millions of dollars on a single song - yet the price is $0.99 -- just the same as your song's price. Even if you divide the cost by the number sold, the ratio comes out very different than your song - yet the selling price is the same.

SELLING PRICE IS NOT DRIVEN BY COST.
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