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Frequent Contributor
geertm
Posts: 1,188
Registered: ‎02-09-2010

Re: Ebook Prices


Alanakat wrote:

I'm confused. I saw an e-book price that costs more than the book in mass market paper back. Why would that be?


 

If the book is sold by one of the agency 5 publishers (in the e-book overview "sold by: publisher name" instead of "sold by: B&N") than B&N is not allowed to discount the e-book, but they are allowed to discount the paperback version of the book. This is often the reason that the e-book version of a book is more expensive than the paperback (or hardback) version.

 

Take a look at this article by Inkmesk, which shows that B&N prices are almost as good as those of Amazon.

http://inkmesh.com/blog/2010/08/21/how-does-amazon-bn-and-sony-stack-up-on-ebook-prices-post-agency-...

 

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Perry_Mason
Posts: 153
Registered: ‎12-21-2009
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Re: Ebook Prices

Overdrive.com is the answer to fighting high publisher prices so long as you can read a book in 14 days.

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M_Boo
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-28-2010
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Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

Just what does it cost to make a paper book??? What is the markup to us? (of course depending on the place we choose to buy them) What does each license cost the "stores" where we choose to buy them?

 

Makes sense to me that the markup should be the same percentage.

 

When is COSTCO going to offer e-books to its members????

Doug_Pardee
Posts: 5,504
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Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

[ Edited ]

M_Boo wrote:

 

Makes sense to me that the markup should be the same percentage.

Makes sense to book buyers, but not to book producers. It's not about how much it costs the producer, it's about how much the buyers will pay. Unless the buyers won't pay enough to cover the costs, in which case the e-book doesn't get produced.

 

The big publishers are multinational conglomerates. They're in business to make as much money as possible, not to be nice guys about pricing.

 

If you don't like the price of an e-book, don't buy it. There are plenty more that don't cost a lot.

 

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Hasaf
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-29-2010
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Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

[ Edited ]

 


M_Boo wrote:

Just what does it cost to make a paper book??? What is the markup to us? (of course depending on the place we choose to buy them) What does each license cost the "stores" where we choose to buy them?

 

Makes sense to me that the markup should be the same percentage.

 

When is COSTCO going to offer e-books to its members????


Several years ago Baen books printed a detailed schedule of the costs associated with a book. It included printing costs, distribution costs, returns cost, author payment, and a plethora of other associated costs.

 

 

That schedule is no longer posted on their webpage. However, this answer to a questoin regarding a short run of a paperback provides some insight to publishing costs.

 

This answer was given to a request to reprint even a few copies of =End Run= which is out of print


The problem is, we can sell maybe a thousand a year while we need to print 15,000 to justify printing at all because a large part of the printing cost is "set-up." Thus if set-up is the same for printing a thousand at, say $4500, while actual printing costs are fifty cents per unit, the actual cost per unit in the first case is a five thousand dollars for a thousand units, or a prohibitive $5 per unit, whereas in the second case the cost is twelve thousand dollars for 15,000 units, or eighty cents per unit.

 

If I sell books for six bucks that cost me five bucks just to manufacture I'll go broke pretty fast. I get maybe two bucks per book to pay for everything except distribution — the bookstore's profit, authors royalty, manufacturing, cover art, rent and electricity.... everything including baby's new shoes.

 

Hope this helps. :smileyhappy:

 

Another article, not presented by a person in th epublishing industury, can be found here, in an online article titled "Book cost analysis -- Cost of physical book publishing."

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s2kreno
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-09-2011
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Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

It's what the market will bear, genius. Unless you're referring to girlie mags, perchance?

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DrDetroit
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-30-2009

Re: Ebook Prices

Amen! I'm fed up with how e-book prices have gone through the roof recently.

 

I tried to buy a couple of books from my wishlist on my nook color. Apparently, the wishlist saves the price of the book at the moment you add it.Some examples:

 

'la bella lingua', was $8.25 when I put it on the list, now it's $11.99. 'The next decade' was $9.99, now $12.99. 'Age of Wonder' was $9.89, now $13.99.

 

Magazine sub rates are also kreeping up. Men's Fitness was .83 cents when I subscribed, now $1.25. That's a 50% increase and I only found out by accident. Cancelled!

 

And you can't even use the membership card on digital books. Great job guys...

 

 

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bklvr896
Posts: 4,781
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Ebook Prices

 


DrDetroit wrote:

Amen! I'm fed up with how e-book prices have gone through the roof recently.

 

I tried to buy a couple of books from my wishlist on my nook color. Apparently, the wishlist saves the price of the book at the moment you add it.Some examples:

 

'la bella lingua', was $8.25 when I put it on the list, now it's $11.99. 'The next decade' was $9.99, now $12.99. 'Age of Wonder' was $9.89, now $13.99.

 

Magazine sub rates are also kreeping up. Men's Fitness was .83 cents when I subscribed, now $1.25. That's a 50% increase and I only found out by accident. Cancelled!

 

And you can't even use the membership card on digital books. Great job guys...

 

 


 

All three of those books are Random house books.  Before March 1, the books were priced by the retailer, which means that BN set the price and could discount it they wanted to. Starting March 1, a lot of Random House books increased in price because Random House adopted the agency model, and the publisher is now setting the price, and they increased the prices on most books.

 

You can't use the member discount on most eBooks because they are published by one of the big 6 publishers, all of whom, now, use the agency model pricing structure, which means the publisher sets the price and sells the book, B&N just acts as the agent for the seller (publisher).  Which means B&N or any other retailer cannot discount the price because the publisher has established the price.  It's why for a lot of books, the price is the same, regardless of where you look.

 

Do we like it, no, not necesarily but it doesn't look like agency model pricing is going anywhere soon, so either don't buy the books or pay the price.  And since eBook sales are ever increasing, it appears that most consumers have no issue with paying the current prices.

 

As for magazines, I would assume the magazine publisher is setting the price, but I don't know that for sure.

 

The other issue of what were seeing is that prices for everything are going up.  Gasoline is going up and up and the price of gasoline pretty much affects everything else.

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DrDetroit
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-30-2009
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Re: Ebook Prices

You're right, and that's why I just checked out 10 books from the library which I otherwise, most likely, would have bought. I've seen prices go up 30-50% over the past few months. Sorry, but I refuse to pay a price that's almost equal to the physical product.
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s2kreno
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Registered: ‎01-09-2011
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Re: Ebook Prices

The one thing the price of gasoline should absolutely NOT affect is the cost of an ebook!

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beeyebickiebuy
Posts: 513
Registered: ‎03-21-2011

Re: Ebook Prices

We can moan and groan all that we want about ebook prices, but the only thing that will reduce them is if everyone, and not just those of you reading this, but EVERYONE stops buying them.  Since that will never happen, we just have to live with it.  We don't have to like it, but constantly complaining about it is pointless.

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Omnigeek
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Registered: ‎01-25-2011
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Re: Ebook Prices

Jerry Pournelle once gave a very good detailed explanation of the costs behind producing a book and how little of the cost of a DTB comes from the actual physical printing process.  We often forget that the discount prices we see for paperbacks or even hardcovers comes because the company already sold enough at full price to recoup their costs for support infrastructure and distribution.

 

On the other hand, I do think the prices I'm seeing for eBooks is rather high -- until I consider how many posts I've seen where 2 or 3 or 4 people are sharing a single account and reading the same book simultaneously.  I like having the same book available on different devices as I may want to read on my Android phone when convenience is factor, my NC at night and soon my N2E in bright daylight but they're all mine and I'm the only one using them.  The ebook then is comparable to carrying a paperback with me everywhere.  When multiple people share an account to read the same book simultaneously ... well, I understand why they do it and why B&N can't distinguish between what they do and what I do but I can also understand why that situation drives publishers to want more money per ebook copy.  After all, my mother/sister/other can't read my paperback at the same time I am!

 

I'm letting market forces inform the publishers.  I just won't buy an ebook for more than the paperback price when it's out in paperback -- and it better be a darn good book for me to want to pay more than half-price (price of a good used paperback) for the electrons over wood pulp.

Currently reading: Destiny of the Republic, The Heritage of Shannara, Lonely Planet: Melbourne & Victoria
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bklvr896
Posts: 4,781
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Ebook Prices


s2kreno wrote:

The one thing the price of gasoline should absolutely NOT affect is the cost of an ebook!


Why wouldn't it?  If you look at it as the cost of fuel, not gasoline, the fuel to heat the building is costing more.  The costs of the editor who travels to see the client (writer) is more.  The cost of travel for book tours is more.   The cost of fuel affects almost everything, not just those things that have to be shipped on a vehicle.

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Megan_B
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ebook Prices

[ Edited ]

You also can't forget that many of the e-books available were probably made from the original DTB 'prints'. No matter how you slice it - each format of a book (and it's price) goes towards the authors pay, editors pay, proofreaders pay.

 

Many publishers are probably using e-books as a godsend, to save their flagging sales from DTB. That's where you will see some of this cost as well - and making DTB obviously takes a lot of fuel (trees, shipping, manufacturing, etc.)

 

Gasoline (or fuel in a general sense) pretty much rules most of what we do every day, even in a digital sense.

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bklvr896
Posts: 4,781
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Ebook Prices


Megan_B wrote:

You also can't forget that many of the e-books available were probably made from the original DTB 'prints'. No matter how you slice it - each format of a book (and it's price) goes towards the authors pay, editors pay, proofreaders pay.

 


This is definitely true.  I find it highly amusing when I see the notation in the eBook about "if you bought this book without a cover..."

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Patrick77
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-05-2011
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Re: Ebook Prices

Charging over 20 bucks for Stephen King books that were published over 30 years ago?  That's absurd.  I can walk into Barnes and Noble and purchase a physical copy for far less.  On the other hand, my book is only $2.99!  (shameless plug.)

The Act Of Laughing  

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FantasyRider
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎05-09-2010
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Re: Ebook Prices


Patrick77 wrote:

Charging over 20 bucks for Stephen King books that were published over 30 years ago?  That's absurd.  I can walk into Barnes and Noble and purchase a physical copy for far less.  On the other hand, my book is only $2.99!  (shameless plug.) 


 

Most of King's NookBooks are $7.99-$9.99.  The pre-order of his latest (11/22/63) is $16.99 for NookBook and $18.62 for the hardcover.  For a big time established author - I'm willing to pay those NookBook prices. 

 

His older titles in paperback are a little cheaper than the NookBook in some cases - but I find the value-added of carrying all of his books on a digital device worth the difference.  Your mileage may vary...

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother." Albert Einstein
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bklvr896
Posts: 4,781
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Ebook Prices

 

Thought I would post this as an example of eBook pricing the other way.

 

This book is $14.50 for the paperback and $0.99 for the eBook. What a bargain.  I just finished this book and it was an interesting read.  It was a little too long, IMHO, but I was interested enough to read it through.  Don't know that I would have paid $14.50 for it, but it was definitely worth $0.99.

 

The End of Marking Time   The End of Marking Time   

 

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CyberSammy
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Ebook Prices

[ Edited ]

I purchase Tech Manuals.. very interesting on the pricing differences.

 

Professional Workflow in SharePoint 2010

 

Barnes and Noble Price - $41.99

Apple iBooks - $32.99

Kindle Edition - $23.84

 

Crazy.. Huge differences here I could understand maybe a dollar or two difference.. but nearly $10 dollars difference and in one case nearly $20 dollars difference? Seriously... My complaint isnt about the cost persay of the e-book but rather the huge difference between the different sellers....

 

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tmr4
Posts: 268
Registered: ‎05-08-2010
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Re: Ebook Prices

Professional Workflow in Sharepoint 2010: Perhaps Amazon discounted it based on its 1.5 star rating.