Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

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Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,878
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing


TnTexas wrote:

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.


They are different, but at the same time, a lot of the skills are the same - knowing the grammar rules, how to be clear and concise, being able to pull out and highlight the important points while still including all the relevant details (guiding the reader through the book/document).  Technical writing doesn't require the level of creativity and vision as fiction, but a lot of the skills still translate.

Contributor
Ronnie_Ray_Jenkins
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎11-22-2012
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Re: Ebook Costs and Pricing

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. That was free.

Ronnie Ray Jenkins
Inspired Wordsmith
BFCoughlin
Posts: 653
Registered: ‎03-08-2011

Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse

I support authors because they are giving me a product from which I derive benefit or pleasure (or both.)

 

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012

Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse


BFCoughlin wrote:

I support authors because they are giving me a product from which I derive benefit or pleasure (or both.)

 


I do not "support" authors. I pay a fair price for value received.  If I do not believe that the value justifies the price, then I vote with my wallet and no longer purchase works from that author.  If I like the author's works, but feel that his/her e-book is overpriced, then I try to borrow the book from a library, or I wait to make my purchase until after the price comes down. 

 

Do authors really believe that they are charity cases to be "supported" by the public, and that they are not creative professionals able to earn their rewards with talent and hard work?  How many of the really good authors would subscribe to that view? 

 

Do you "support" Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Pepsi- and Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Burger King, and many, many others?  Would you continue to "support" them if you believed that a competitor provided a greater value for your money?  If so, you are flying in the face of the fundamental tenets of Economics.

 

Publishing is a business, not a charity.  The author is one node in the supply chain of that business. I no longer purchase books written by some of my favorite authors in years past because the quality of their work has slipped dramatically, and I believe that a children's hospital can make better use of my money than a lazy or washed-up author.  You shouldn't be looking at this as though you were somehow contributing to the welfare of an author who might very well be more wealthy than you.  You should consider it to be a simple purchase transaction.  If you pay too much for the value received, shame on you. 

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,878
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse


deesy58 wrote:

BFCoughlin wrote:

I support authors because they are giving me a product from which I derive benefit or pleasure (or both.)

 


I do not "support" authors. I pay a fair price for value received.  If I do not believe that the value justifies the price, then I vote with my wallet and no longer purchase works from that author.  If I like the author's works, but feel that his/her e-book is overpriced, then I try to borrow the book from a library, or I wait to make my purchase until after the price comes down. 

 

Do authors really believe that they are charity cases to be "supported" by the public, and that they are not creative professionals able to earn their rewards with talent and hard work?  How many of the really good authors would subscribe to that view? 

 

Do you "support" Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Pepsi- and Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Burger King, and many, many others?  Would you continue to "support" them if you believed that a competitor provided a greater value for your money?  If so, you are flying in the face of the fundamental tenets of Economics.

 

Publishing is a business, not a charity.  The author is one node in the supply chain of that business. I no longer purchase books written by some of my favorite authors in years past because the quality of their work has slipped dramatically, and I believe that a children's hospital can make better use of my money than a lazy or washed-up author.  You shouldn't be looking at this as though you were somehow contributing to the welfare of an author who might very well be more wealthy than you.  You should consider it to be a simple purchase transaction.  If you pay too much for the value received, shame on you. 


I consider any company, entity, or individual I shop from as a person/place I support.  I suppport local bookstores, local farmers, etc.  I don't consider any of them charities.  I don't support Walmart.  With the businesses you listed, I'd say I support Chevron, but I don't support the others, because I don't buy from them.

 

I consider every purchase I make as a vote with my wallet, so I don't buy things from businesses that I don't want to vote for (i.e. support, keep in business).  If buying grass-fed cows' milk from local farms to support an environmental and ethical practice of farming that I believe in means I pay more for milk, or not shopping at Walmart means I pay a bit more for a whole host of items, I'm okay with that, because I feel good about my purchases.  If I think something is too expensive, I don't buy it, but expensive is a subjective term that relates in part to value received, which is subjective also.

 

Businesses don't stay businesses if we as consumers don't choose to buy from them, so I only buy from businesses that I want to see around in the future, and for me that includes making moral, ethical, and artistic choices in addition to financial ones.

 

If you're buying from businesses that are ethically slimy just to save a few pennies, then shame on you.

flyingtoastr
Posts: 3,053
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Registered: ‎11-11-2009
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Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse


keriflur wrote:

If you're buying from businesses that are ethically slimy just to save a few pennies, then shame on you.


This is the exact reason why everything we buy is being produced in China. For some people, the few pennies saved from shopping at Wally World and Amazon are worth more than a strong and diverse economy from spending locally. And they always tend to be the same people who complain about China takin' 'er jobs every election cycle.

Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
Posts: 4,097
Registered: ‎01-01-2012

The changing world of small-time publishing

[ Edited ]

I'm sorry, where are the NOOKs produced?

 

I'm interested in the changes to the publishing marketplace. I have no claim to be an expert. I do agree with 5ivedom (rare, I know) that there are a lot of similarities between being a small time game publisher and a small time book author. Personally, I don't know how you'd go about making a living doing either in the current marketplace, at least not based on "product" alone.

 

I followed a scifi podcast for a while which often featured new authors. I particularly remember Scott Sigler flogging his Infected series, and the different approaches he was trying beyond just depending on the publisher. It seems you need to be more than just "an author" these days, you have to build a brand. Through ebook giveaways (yes, free), no-cost podcasts and a lot of labor-intensive, non-profit generating efforts, he does seem to have built up his brand to where "Sigler" means something to his buying public. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of his titles at B&N. My understanding is that his works wouldn't be there had he stuck to "traditional" the publishing approach. By building his brand, there was enough public interest to get corporate to bite. Have I got that right?

 

In terms of purchasing product, I prefer Deesy's terminology. I'll buy from whoever gives me value. If I perceive that I'm being taken advantage of, or for granted, I'll stop buying. I do not feel that I "owe" book authors or software publishers a living, even if I did buy a NOOK. 

 

I'd hope anybody trying to "break in" is looking at other ways for me to show support other than just buying overpriced ebooks. Publishers have really annoyed me with their screaming about how important they are. I don't care. $15 for an ebook is too much if the paper book costs less, especially considering that the same publisher doesn't think I have as many rights to how I use that ebook.

 

I was following RPG games for a while (not playing, it's a long story) and was struck by one writer's approach to RPG publishing. Tom Pigeon, publisher of Mythic Roleplaying, assumes his stuff will be pirated. The trick, he explained (and hopefully, I'm roughly paraphrasing) is to use piracy by making sure that there was enough material in each pirated book pointing to his "brand" to help offset the loss. He views pirates as part of his distribution and marketing chain, providing word-of-mouth advertising of their own. He doesn't want his stuff pirated, obviously, and I bought several of his titles myself, but he realizes he can't generate enough DMCA take down notices to fight it, so he's adapting to it. I don't have enough info to say this is working, but it seems a better approach than just howling about the problem.

 

Pointing to one's identity -- probably a website today -- seems to be the key. If an author has a few ads on their website that generate funds, I'll look at those (and maybe buy). If the author has click-thru buttons that generate some extra profit for them when buying online, I'll use those. I've bought a few books on recommendations a few regular posters here have on their Goodreads page. Heck, I might click a tip/donate button on their website if one exists. I'm not a huge fiction fan, but if I really like someone's work, I'd toss 'em $20 now and then. What I'm essentially getting at this that authors need to be identifiable beyond their relationship with a publisher.

 

I don't claim to have any great answers, but it does seem clear to me that the current approach publishers are trying, inserting themselves as the primary driver of the market, is doomed. I just don't see how it can be sustainable. I don't think it's reasonable for a no/low cost distribution model to cost more than one that involves shipping boxes of books back and forth.

 

 

 

flyingtoastr
Posts: 3,053
Topics: 55
Kudos: 2,980
Registered: ‎11-11-2009

Re: The changing world of small-time publishing


bobstro wrote:

I'm sorry, where are the NOOKs produced?

 


They're assembled in China (though there are components from all over the place), because at the prices we as American consumers demand there is nowhere else BN could feasably produce them. Which is exactly what I was saying...

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,878
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The changing world of small-time publishing

[ Edited ]

bobstro wrote:

I followed a scifi podcast for a while which often featured new authors. I particularly remember Scott Sigler flogging his Infected series, and the different approaches he was trying beyond just depending on the publisher. It seems you need to be more than just "an author" these days, you have to build a brand. Through ebook giveaways (yes, free), no-cost podcasts and a lot of labor-intensive, non-profit generating efforts, he does seem to have built up his brand to where "Sigler" means something to his buying public. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of his titles at B&N. My understanding is that his works wouldn't be there had he stuck to "traditional" the publishing approach. By building his brand, there was enough public interest to get corporate to bite. Have I got that right?


 


I've no idea if you've correctly captured what he's claiming, but this sounds like the opposite of what is usually true.  It is much easier to get a book into a bookstore if it's published traditionally than if it's self-pubbed, so if he'd gone trad the books would probably have been in stores while he was doing all that promotional work, not after.

 

Basically there seem to be two philosophies for how to make it in this industry.

 

(1) Write a book with commercial appeal, self-publish, price it low, and market the crap out of it until you sell at least 20k books.  Then contact agents and pubs, tout your success, and get a professional contract for your book.

 

(2) Write a downright great book with either commercial or literary appeal, ideally both.  Contact agents and pubs, let your work speak for itself, and get a professional contract for your book.

 

I see number 1 for folks who enjoy marketing and promotion and number 2 for folks who enjoy writing.  In either case, once the book is sold, the author is going to be doing giveaways, podcasts, interviews, and lots of other marketing efforts.  In either case, because that's the industry currently.

 


bobstro wrote:

 

In terms of purchasing product, I prefer Deesy's terminology. I'll buy from whoever gives me value. If I perceive that I'm being taken advantage of, or for granted, I'll stop buying. I do not feel that I "owe" book authors or software publishers a living, even if I did buy a NOOK.

 


I don't think anyone said anything about owing anyone anything.

 


bobstro wrote:

Pointing to one's identity -- probably a website today -- seems to be the key. If an author has a few ads on their website that generate funds, I'll look at those (and maybe buy). If the author has click-thru buttons that generate some extra profit for them when buying online, I'll use those. I've bought a few books on recommendations a few regular posters here have on their Goodreads page. Heck, I might click a tip/donate button on their website if one exists. I'm not a huge fiction fan, but if I really like someone's work, I'd toss 'em $20 now and then. What I'm essentially getting at this that authors need to be identifiable beyond their relationship with a publisher.

 


If an author has click-thru ads on their website (other than for their own work) I question their professionalism.

 

Authors are expected, by their publishers, to have websites, twitter accounts, blogs, etc.  Heck, I've got a website for my writing and I haven't even started the submissions process yet - it's there so that when I meet people at conferences, etc., they can see that I'm serious about my work.  Having a platform does not mean click ads and the like, and I don't know of any professional author that wants donations - they want you to buy their books.

 

 

ETA

 

There are plenty of consumers and self-pubbed writers who want to see the end of traditional publishing.  But the trend right now for the really successful self-pubbers is to get that traditional contract with the big advance.  These are folks that followed path 1 above, that know how to market their own work and have a known brand and following.  If trad publishers have little to offer, then why are these folks doing this?

Distinguished Bibliophile
patgolfneb
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎09-10-2011

Re: After rapid growth, ebook readers set for collapse

I find it somewhat odd to tie the price I should be willling to pay to support for authors? Do we cheerfully pay more taxes to suport, depending on region, often understaffed, sometimes underpaid teachers, city and state social service workers? 

 

Authors have more freedom to negotiate, organize themselves, self publish etc, than do most of us if they are not receiving a fair share of the revenue  generated from their work. If royalties as a percentage of sale price is outdated, band together and fight for something better. If your writing is at all unique it is not as if it can be outsourced. 

 

The discussion of e book value is undermined by the fact that prices are relatively inflexible. If all writing is of equivalent value this makes sense. I think pricing in e books is fairly arbitrary.  Publishers and retailers are determing price not based on the authors contribution but their cost structure. This is the reason questioning whether e book pricing is out of line is valid. The value of the authors contribution has been removed from the process. I see no reason why I should factor that in when publishers and retailers have not.