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Distinguished Scribe
gb18
Posts: 746
Registered: ‎12-06-2010
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Are E-Books Fairly Priced?

First part of two..........

 

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/129686.html

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Yatta99
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-20-2011
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Re: Are E-Books Fairly Priced?

From the article:

 

"It's true some costs like paper, printing, binding and distribution are lower on a digital title, but their allocated overhead only amounts to about $4 per book. Publishers must still pay author royalties -- typically around 15 percent of the sale price, marketing costs, and the salaries of their editors and a sales staff, marking only a slight difference in expenditure."

 

This is a bogus argument. The books are already in electronic form to print the DT version. There is no extra marketing/sales/overhead that needs to be spent that isn't ALREADY being spent. The eBook form of the book is nearly pure profit. All the needs to be done is to take the already existing electronic form used by the presses and convert it into an eBook form such as ePub. The overhead for this is negligible compared to the claimed costs they keep yammering about.

 

Plus they get the added bonus of having every eBook sold being a 'new' book. There is no second hand eBook store to buy or sell to. Every book sold represents the FULL market price paid for that book (discounting promos like Free Friday, publisher discounts, etc). Let's face it, they're not crying because they aren't making any profit, they're crying because their customers still have money in their pockets.

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,202
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Are E-Books Fairly Priced?


Yatta99 wrote:

From the article:

 

"It's true some costs like paper, printing, binding and distribution are lower on a digital title, but their allocated overhead only amounts to about $4 per book. Publishers must still pay author royalties -- typically around 15 percent of the sale price, marketing costs, and the salaries of their editors and a sales staff, marking only a slight difference in expenditure."

 

This is a bogus argument. The books are already in electronic form to print the DT version. There is no extra marketing/sales/overhead that needs to be spent that isn't ALREADY being spent. The eBook form of the book is nearly pure profit. All the needs to be done is to take the already existing electronic form used by the presses and convert it into an eBook form such as ePub. The overhead for this is negligible compared to the claimed costs they keep yammering about.

 


The catch here is that ebooks are cannibalizing DTB sales.  A book that would sell 100,000 copies in a DTB-only world will still sell 200,000 copies in today's world, it's just spread out over more formats.  You're thinking of the ebook as an add-on, an afterthought, but the publishers are thinking of the ebook as part of the original package, and they include ebook sales in their projections when determining how much money can be spent on marketing/sales/overhead.

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bklvr896
Posts: 4,781
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Are E-Books Fairly Priced?


Yatta99 wrote:

From the article:

 

"It's true some costs like paper, printing, binding and distribution are lower on a digital title, but their allocated overhead only amounts to about $4 per book. Publishers must still pay author royalties -- typically around 15 percent of the sale price, marketing costs, and the salaries of their editors and a sales staff, marking only a slight difference in expenditure."

 

This is a bogus argument. The books are already in electronic form to print the DT version. There is no extra marketing/sales/overhead that needs to be spent that isn't ALREADY being spent. The eBook form of the book is nearly pure profit. All the needs to be done is to take the already existing electronic form used by the presses and convert it into an eBook form such as ePub. The overhead for this is negligible compared to the claimed costs they keep yammering about.

 

Plus they get the added bonus of having every eBook sold being a 'new' book. There is no second hand eBook store to buy or sell to. Every book sold represents the FULL market price paid for that book (discounting promos like Free Friday, publisher discounts, etc). Let's face it, they're not crying because they aren't making any profit, they're crying because their customers still have money in their pockets.

 


The eBook isn't almost all profit, they have to take their share of all of the overhead costs that the publishing company incurs, plus costs associated with eBook distribution that are specific to eBooks, plus as was stated, paying the author. As far as conversion, the printed book electronic copy is set for a printed book, which means line breaks, page breaks, etc are mostly likely hardcoded into the electronic copy.  eBooks need to be set to reflow text depending on the font and font size.  (Oh and they have to include the ability to change the font in the eBook)  If you ever read an e Book that has two lines on a page and then goes to the next page, that's generally the result of not removing all that hard coded page/line information.  One of the reasons PDFs can be so annoying on an e-Reader, PDFs tend to be set to break at a specific page, since the point of the PDF was to have everyone see exactly the same thing when viewing on a PC.

 

Are they making more profit than is reasonable, honestly, since I'm not in the publishing industry and I don't have any inside view, I don't feel that I can make that call.