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Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,643
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse


Ya_Ya wrote:

patgolfneb wrote:

 

When you consider that you have purchased a device 79.00 dollars or more, long term publisher and possibly seller savings, do not have property or resale/transfer rights I have to conclude we are being played for suckers. That is the real issue, If the content in a paperback is the same, on sale 7.99-9.99, why should we pay more for e books? 


Because the convenience makes the ebook more valuable to some readers.

 

Because I won't read a mass market paperback, so it has exactly zero worth to me (I just find them uncomfortable to hold) so their price is irrelevant to me.


If the content of the book is worth $11.99, to me, I'll pay it for an ebook.  It's the content that is valuable to me, not the physical container.

 

I, personally, find ebooks more valuable than MMPB.  In my view, I can't see why anyone would pay more for a MMPB than an ebook.

 

 


I don't read MMPs either, unless a book is only available in MMP (I have a handful of those but I hate reading them).  I do read trade PBs, but I'd still pay the upcharge for the ebook because I can keep it forever, whereas the PB will take up space in my house and I'll have to give it away at some point (I only keep the hardcovers).

Wordsmith
TnTexas
Posts: 884
Registered: ‎10-22-2011

Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse

patgolfneb: E book sellers have ridden the wave of cheap devices but we have good reason to be cautious regarding their pricing strategies. Last night I identified over a dozen fiction titles published a year or more priced from 11.99 to 15.99. I cannot fathom why these e books should be priced above paperbacks. I hope buyers reject paying premiums for e books over paperbacks.

 

There's also a little thing called convenience that factors into the equation and like any other part of the equation, its worth is in the eye of the beholder. For me, the convenience factor is worth paying more for the ebook - although I have to say, I haven't seen many books where the ebook cost more than the paperback unless the paperback was a used one. Those that I've paid attention to have been close to the same price.

 

***************************

 

deesy58: I think you are looking at this from the perspective of an author, rather than that of a consumer.  As a consumer, why should I "support" an author?

 

The custom-made piece of furniture is worth the extra money you're going to pay for it if it's made well. The same applies to a well-written book. In other words, the laborer is worth his wages.

 

Besides writers like to eat too. If they can't support themselves writing (most writers can't) they have to work another job - thus leaving less time from writing the books you like to read.

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse

[ Edited ]

TnTexas wrote:

patgolfneb: E book sellers have ridden the wave of cheap devices but we have good reason to be cautious regarding their pricing strategies. Last night I identified over a dozen fiction titles published a year or more priced from 11.99 to 15.99. I cannot fathom why these e books should be priced above paperbacks. I hope buyers reject paying premiums for e books over paperbacks.

 

There's also a little thing called convenience that factors into the equation and like any other part of the equation, its worth is in the eye of the beholder. For me, the convenience factor is worth paying more for the ebook - although I have to say, I haven't seen many books where the ebook cost more than the paperback unless the paperback was a used one. Those that I've paid attention to have been close to the same price.

 

***************************

 

deesy58: I think you are looking at this from the perspective of an author, rather than that of a consumer.  As a consumer, why should I "support" an author?

 

The custom-made piece of furniture is worth the extra money you're going to pay for it if it's made well. The same applies to a well-written book. In other words, the laborer is worth his wages.

 

Besides writers like to eat too. If they can't support themselves writing (most writers can't) they have to work another job - thus leaving less time from writing the books you like to read.


You (and several others) keep looking at this issue as a transaction directly between the author and the reader.  It's not!  At a minimum, there is a publisher between them, and there might also be a retailer.  These entities perform a service and are entitled to a profit.  The issue regarding the retail price of e-books is the perception by consumers that it should not cost as much money to publish an e-book, therefore it should not be priced the same as a physical book -- especially a hardcover.

 

Nobody is disputing that the fixed costs of publishing an e-book are likely just as much as for any other book.  These costs would include editing, advertising and art work.  What is in question is the variable cost of producing an e-book vs. the variable cost of printing (materials, storage, transportation, returns, setup, labor, etc.) involved in the publishing of physical books.

 

Here's an idea: If publishers are artificially jacking up the prices of e-books so that authors can earn as much as they do from physical books, why not grant authors a higher percentage of the retail price of e-books so that they do not suffer losses if their books are published electronically?  If page count is a bad idea, then increase the royalty percentage.  Why should publishers be able to earn higher gross profits on e-books just so that authors can earn the same royalties on e-books as they do on physical books?  IMO, this is nothing more than a smoke screen thrown up by the publishers to obscure the fact that they are earning higher profit margins on e-books than they are on physical books. 

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,643
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse


deesy58 wrote:

Here's an idea: If publishers are artificially jacking up the prices of e-books so that authors can earn as much as they do from physical books, why not grant authors a higher percentage of the retail price of e-books so that they do not suffer losses if their books are published electronically?  


They do earn a higher percentage.  25% of net on agency titles (i.e. 25% of 70% of the sale price of the book - aka 17.5% of the sale price) versus 7.5% of cover on paperbacks, and I *think* 10% of cover on HCs.

 

I just posted this above.  Just sayin'.

DeanGibson
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Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing


RHWright wrote:

While I think overall prices should, and will, come down, I think the eBook–App analogy is a false one.

 

App developers are able to survive (from my perspective as a non-developer) on volume and the further monetizing of the app experience. Whether that's through ads, further in-app purchases and upgrades, or what have you.

 

I think many book readers would be less tolerant of these monetizing aspects in an eBook.


Further, a very large number of software developers are employed full-time in companies (or government) developing software for internal use, and it is this segment of the industry that helps determine high salaries.  Those that are developing the apps being discussed here have (in general) the same skill-set, so mobility between the two groups is fairly high.  Full-time internal developers can take a stint in the marketing world, and vice versa.

 

I don't think the same is true for authors.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but there just isn't the same market for full-time writers.

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TnTexas
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Registered: ‎10-22-2011
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Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing

DeanGibson: I don't think the same is true for authors.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but there just isn't the same market for full-time writers.

 

The closest scenario I can think of are the book series that "authored" by a pen name but are actually written by several authors - like the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. Other than the few companies that focus on that kind of publishing - not really.

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keriflur
Posts: 6,643
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing

There are opportunities for writers to work as copy writers (marketing, PR), technical writers, magazines, newspapers or other journalism-type jobs, editors, manuscript consultants, etc.  None of these jobs pay what software development pays.  As a general rule, people who don't write tend to think good writing is easy (probably because good writing is effortless to read), and the pay reflects that delusion.  Also, a lot of this writing is the soul-sucking kind.  Being a full-time technical writer can actually make it harder to write fiction in the off-hours than having a day job that's not related to writing.

 

it's been my personal experience that writing code/developing apps is not nearly as draining on a mental and emotional level as writing a novel, and apps are less time consuming.  This makes the ability to do a full-time gig and still be productive in personal projects easier for software devs than for novelists.

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
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Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse


keriflur wrote:

deesy58 wrote:

Here's an idea: If publishers are artificially jacking up the prices of e-books so that authors can earn as much as they do from physical books, why not grant authors a higher percentage of the retail price of e-books so that they do not suffer losses if their books are published electronically?  


They do earn a higher percentage.  25% of net on agency titles (i.e. 25% of 70% of the sale price of the book - aka 17.5% of the sale price) versus 7.5% of cover on paperbacks, and I *think* 10% of cover on HCs.

 

I just posted this above.  Just sayin'.


I guess I didn't make myself clear.  Whatever rate is being paid to authors for e-books, it should be increased rather than being used as an excuse to charge higher prices to consumers for e-books. 

 

Just sayin'. 

Bibliophile
5ivedom
Posts: 3,544
Registered: ‎12-03-2011
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Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing

Yes, I'd agree with this:

 

it's been my personal experience that writing code/developing apps is not nearly as draining on a mental and emotional level as writing a novel, and apps are less time consuming.  This makes the ability to do a full-time gig and still be productive in personal projects easier for software devs than for novelists

 

*****

 

Basically, the tools of writing are so straightforward that most of the impetus is on your creative process and actually bringing everything together. Which are much more draining.

 

With software you spend so much time doing things like fixing bugs or solving problems - that the creative part is sprinkled in-between and isn't as consuming.

 

I suspect the really great developers (those that code entire OSes and big applciations by themselves) probably get more exhausted since they spend most of their time on the really deep stuff.

Wordsmith
TnTexas
Posts: 884
Registered: ‎10-22-2011

Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing

keriflur: There are opportunities for writers to work as copy writers (marketing, PR), technical writers, magazines, newspapers or other journalism-type jobs, editors, manuscript consultants, etc.  None of these jobs pay what software development pays.  As a general rule, people who don't write tend to think good writing is easy (probably because good writing is effortless to read), and the pay reflects that delusion.  Also, a lot of this writing is the soul-sucking kind.  Being a full-time technical writer can actually make it harder to write fiction in the off-hours than having a day job that's not related to writing.

 

These kinds of writing are different than novel writing though. They require different kinds of skills. A good technical writer may or may not be a good novelist and vice versa. I realize not all software development is the same and different kinds require different skill sets, but they seem more similar than the kinds of writing required for technical writing and novel writing to me.