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Contributor
Benny_the_Nook
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-28-2009

Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

Am I the only one frustrated with New Releases prices creeping up towards $15 & now slowly moving past that range?  It's ridiculous that the more popular the ereaders become, the more expensive the books are getting.  What happened to the idea of saving money by not using paper, saving on labor, etc.  We the consumers aren't reaping any rewards from the savings.  That's for sure.  Also, why are books 3-4 years old being offered in eBook format for the cost of a new book, but if you buy it in paperback through Marketplace it would only be $1.50.  Very disappointed in the GREED, which keeps me from updating my Nook.  I have the original x 3, because the first two developed fine line cracks under the page turn buttons. All within the first year & under warranty.  Reading too much, I guess. :smileysurprised:

 

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my Nook, Benny the Third, but I'm disgusted with the eBook retailers.  I understand the principle of capitalism, but please....

 

Anyone else feel this way or is this just a dead topic because it's been griped about too many times?

 

Also, be honest with the publication date. Books don't become "New Releases" just because the format changed.  If the book is 10 years old, then say it & price it accordingly.

 

Whew...glad I got that out!

Distinguished Bibliophile
RHWright
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

Your frustration is understandable, but largely misplaced. The increasing prices are mostly due to agency pricing from 6 major publishers. It's their greed and hamfisted attempts to control a shifting marketplace that are, IMO, the biggest factor here.

 

That, and simple economics. If enough people aren't buying eBooks at those prices, believe me, the price would come down.

 

Yes, it's been dissected and discussed here 6 ways to Sunday, but sometimes you just need to vent. No problemo.

Doug_Pardee
Posts: 5,521
Kudos: 4,013
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

[ Edited ]

Yes, it's a dead topic because it's been griped about too many times.

 

But we're getting pretty good at summarizing, so here goes.

 

For non-commodity products, pricing is not based on cost but on supply and demand. If demand goes up, price goes up. As you've noted, demand is going up.

 

All of the 'Big 6' US trade publishers sell e-books on "the Agency Model," in which they take 70% of the sales price (which must be the list price without discounts). Printed books are sold on a wholesale basis, usually at somewhere around 55-60% of the cover price. A $15 e-book brings the publisher about $10. A $28 harcover brings the publisher about $16. From the publisher's point of view, they're selling e-books for $6 less than hardcovers.

 

Paperbacks are a different story. Most current paperbacks need work in order to produce the e-book. The book must be scanned, the text extracted via optical character recognition, a lot of proof-reading and correction needs to be done (but often isn't, to save costs), cover art has to be created or re-licensed, and the e-book produced. Sales volume on e-books of older paperbacks typically runs in the hundreds, often only in the dozens, so those costs get spread across a relatively low number of copies.

 

There's a simple solution: don't buy expensive e-books. If the public would quit paying high prices for e-books, the reduced demand would bring reduced prices. There are many, many, many e-books available for anywhere from free up to $7 or so. But everybody is so dad-burned insistent that they must read book #14 in their favorite series, and that no other book will do, and they pay whatever the publisher says.

 

Me, I haven't yet paid over $10 for an e-book, in over a year-and-a-half of NOOK ownership.

 

Don't like the prices? Just say no.

 

Bibliophile
bklvr896
Posts: 4,804
Registered: ‎12-31-2009

Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?


Benny_the_Nook wrote:

  Also, why are books 3-4 years old being offered in eBook format for the cost of a new book, but if you buy it in paperback through Marketplace it would only be $1.50.  Very disappointed in the GREED, which keeps me from updating my Nook.  

Also, be honest with the publication date. Books don't become "New Releases" just because the format changed.  If the book is 10 years old, then say it & price it accordingly.

 

Whew...glad I got that out!


Just to add, yes you can buy a paperback in the marketplace for less, but that's generally not a new book or it's overstock someone is trying to get rid of.  There's never going to be a "used" eBook nor will there ever be overstock so comparing the price of marketplace books to eBooks is pointless.  (Have you ever seen the HC on the remainders table at the store for $6 and the paperback is $8?)   An paperbacks, just because the book has been out for several years or more, don't go down in price.

 

As for new releases, they do this not just in eBooks.  I've had them do this to me in paperback also, new release, it's on the new release table in the store, but it's actually a reprint of a 10 year old book.  I've been caught by that before, so I'm careful now with a lot of books.

 

Wordsmith
TnTexas
Posts: 884
Registered: ‎10-22-2011
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Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

[ Edited ]

RHWright: Your frustration is understandable, but largely misplaced. The increasing prices are mostly due to agency pricing from 6 major publishers. It's their greed and hamfisted attempts to control a shifting marketplace that are, IMO, the biggest factor here.

 

According to this guy ( http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/03/why-some-e-books-cost-more-than.html ), the publishing companies made more per book under the other pricing structure so I'm not how much greed really played into their decisions. It seems like other facets may have figured in more.

Doug_Pardee
Posts: 5,521
Kudos: 4,013
Registered: ‎03-09-2010
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Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

[ Edited ]

TnTexas wrote:

 

According to this guy ( http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/03/why-some-e-books-cost-more-than.html ), the publishing companies made more per book under the other pricing structure so I'm not how much greed really played into their decisions. It seems like other facets may have figured in more.


The financial concern (to be more charitable than calling it "greed") has generally been considered to be that it was a pretty safe bet that:

  1. Amazon wasn't going to keep selling e-books at a loss forever,
  2. Amazon wasn't going to let up on the $9.99 retail price,
  3. the other e-book retailers would eventually go broke matching Amazon's prices, then
  4. Amazon would demand drastically-reduced wholesale prices from the publishers.

At the time the Agency Model was introduced, Amazon was selling (by analysts estimates) 85-90% of e-books. Walking away from that large a retail outlet is inconceivable. And if Amazon forced other e-book retailers out of business, Amazon's market share would go even higher.

 

The big trade publishers have painted themselves into a cost corner. They're all owned by international conglomerates now, and those conglomerates expect ever-increasing profits. Trade publishing hasn't been a growth industry for a very long time. The publishers have reacted to the demand for higher profits by focusing on selling blockbusters, especially series (which are more addictive than crack).

 

But the big publishers have found themselves in a bidding war for those big-name writers who can be counted on to deliver blockbusters. Last year, Janet Evanovich left St. Martin's (Macmillan) for BBD (Random House) because BBD was willing to pay her (reportedly) $12.5 million in advances for four books — only two of which are from her best-selling Stephanie Plum series — and St. Martin's wasn't.

 

When you've paid the author over $3 million for the rights to publish a book, that makes it pretty hard to sell the resulting book inexpensively. Besides which, if the book were sold inexpensively, the author could get really angry about being short-changed on post-earn-out royalties.

 

There are many smaller publishers who are paying maybe $3000 per book in royalty advances, and they're selling their books (and e-books) much less expensively. But you won't find the Big Name Authors going to a publisher who's going to give them a royalty advance less than 1% of what they're accustomed to.

 

New User
book_lover1993
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-17-2010
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Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

[ Edited ]

I am in computer classes and know for a fact that it costs less than $.50 to transfer a download like that. Companies are just trying to see how much $ they can get out of people before they retaliate.

Smart Blue
Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,605
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?


book_lover1993 wrote:

I am in computer classes and know for a fact that it costs less than $.50 to transfer a download like that. Companies are just trying to see how much $ they can get out of people before they retaliate.


Computer class does not equal book industry expert.  There are a lot of other factors beyond transfer costs that determine price.

New User
BarbaraBillig
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
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Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

I would like to say WHY I priced my new B&N ebook at 99 cents.  My new Nook Book is:"THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe".  It's a fiction novel of suspense.  It's timely.  It has gotten good reviews.  But I'm an unknown author and I thought it was one way to get people to read the book.  There wasn't anything I could do about the paperback price.  The publishers price the books by the pages that are printed.

 

But I could reach out to the E-world.  Hope you are listening.  Please take a look and read an excerpt from the book at:   http://search.barnesandnoble.com/THE-DISQUIET-SURVIVORS-of-The-Nuclear-Catastrophe/Barbara-C-Griffin...

 

Happy reading and let me know your thoughts.  Thanks.  Barbara Billig

 

Author of THE DISQUIET SURVIVORS of The Nuclear Catastrophe
(a fiction novel of suspense).
Follow Barbara on twitter: @BarbaraBillig
Follow Barbara's blog: http://www.thenuclearcatastrophe.blogspot.com
Wordsmith
TnTexas
Posts: 884
Registered: ‎10-22-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Why are the B&N eBooks going up in price instead of down?

keriflur: Computer class does not equal book industry expert.  There are a lot of other factors beyond transfer costs that determine price.

 

Namely advances paid to authors and salaries for editors, copyeditors, PR department, lawyers, etc.