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Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
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Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


flyingtoastr wrote:

keriflur wrote:

Yes, they are different formats, but outside of encouraging the purchase of one format over another, there's absolutely no reason that different formats should have different release dates.

 

I see nothing wrong with releasing HC, PB, and ebook on the same day and allowing people to choose what they want.  From a publisher's perspective, I see a lot of good reasons to window.  But as a reader I just hate it.


Eh. From a business perspective it makes perfect sense - hardcovers have much higher margins than paperbacks. That's why publishers try to keep books in hardcover-only as long as possible (look at the Hunger Games series, where the second and third still aren't available in paperback despite being on the market for more than three years).

 

I personally still prefer hardcovers to paperbacks, mostly because I have an obsession with owning first edition hardcovers for series that I enjoy. If something is a paperback chances are I'll just buy it in ebook.


I prefer to buy it all in ebook.  Hence my hatred of windowing :smileyhappy:.  I just don't have enough space in my house for all the books I buy to be in physical form.  BUT, if I really love a book I'll also buy it in HC, so that I can have the author sign it and/or just to enjoy it on my shelf.  I also love to get first editions and first printings, and have occasionally paid a pretty penny for them - it's so much easier to just buy them when they come out, LOL.

 

If the pubs go to windowing, I've got over 200 books in my TBR "pile" so I can wait for stuff to come out in ebook, but the chances of me going back and buying stuff I like in new HC is less, since by then odds are I won't be able to get a first printing new.  So I'll buy it from the used market and the pubs will lose the HC sale.  For my favorite authors I'll buy in HC and then actually read the HC, so the pubs will lose the additional ebook sale.

 

For books that release in PB only, IMO holding the ebook is just cruel.

Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
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Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case

[ Edited ]

keriflur wrote:
[...] Yes, they are different formats, but outside of encouraging the purchase of one format over another, there's absolutely no reason that different formats should have different release dates. 
I see nothing wrong with releasing HC, PB, and ebook on the same day and allowing people to choose what they want.  From a publisher's perspective, I see a lot of good reasons to window.  But as a reader I just hate it.

I'm hardly a publishing industry pundit, but I have been surprised and a bit disappointed that ebooks seem to be viewed as just another format competing for customer dollars. When viewed from that perspective, I can see why publishers would want to window.  I'd always envisioned ebooks as being an adjunct to paper book sales. Would you be more inclined to buy a pricier HC book if doing so gave you access to the ebook on the same day? Would you be adverse to a HC book that included supplementary material in a more interactive ebook format? 

 

It's common for most things to be sold at progressively lower prices over time. This applies to consumer electronics and feature films. I can pay full rate to catch a movie on opening night, or wait a few months to catch it at the dollar theater. Why not do books the same way? Let customers buy "the book" in HC, PB or ebook for the same price at initial release (presumably the HC price) to see it early on. Limit HC to a specific "limited" run according to how many they think they can sell, but let the customer pay one price to access it in their preferred format. A true best seller would have a longer HC run, with the prices staying higher for longer. At the end of the that run, no more HC books are produced but the prices drop over time. Ultimately, only the ebook remains available, but nothing goes "out of print".

 

To the issue of cost, it lets the publisher sell for what the market will bear for longer, I would think. A new or popular book would sell at "premium" (current HC) for however long the buying public is willing to pay that much for it, regardless of format, then drop to "discount" (current PB) as demand tapers off.


I'm sure there are problems with this approach, but as electronic readers become the norm, I don't think having three competing formats works well. Certainly treating ereaders with a passive-aggressive delayed release makes no sense when more people read electronically than on paper.

 

I'll admit to mostly reading technical books, so the format is less important to me than the content. I have little emotional attachment to "the book". 

 

 

 

 

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keriflur
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Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


bobstro wrote:
Let customers buy "the book" in either HC, PB or ebook for the same price at initial release (presumably the HC price) to see it early on. Limit HC to a specific "limited" run according to how many they think they can sell, but let the customer pay one price to access it in their preferred format. A true best seller would have a longer HC run, with the prices staying higher for longer. At the end of the that run, no more HC books are produced but the prices drop over time. Ultimately, only the ebook remains available, but nothing goes "out of print".

 


This is interesting.  I do think, though, that the HC should cost more than the ebook or PB in this case, as it has a limited run and is therefore a "limited edition" copy.  But if the agency model continues, that complicates things, as how would pubs get the prices to be the same?  If everything was wholesale, they could set the wholesale prices to match (or, say, $25 for HC and $22 for ebook/PB), or if everything was agency they could set those to match (priced more realistically at $16 for HC and $12 for ebook/PB, with YA prices more like $12 for HC and $10 for ebook/PB), but with the mix of models, it's harder to get consistent prices across editions.

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keriflur
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Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


bobstro wrote:

Certainly treating ereaders with a passive-aggressive delayed release makes no sense when more people read electronically than on paper.

 


We're actually not there yet, though YA is quickly approaching the tipping point.  Stats show ebooks are still a smallish fraction of the adult market and children's market.