Reply
Frequent Contributor
Radecliffe
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎01-29-2010
0 Kudos

Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !


 

I was simply replying to the notion that some people seem to have that because the marginal cost of producing an additional e-book approaches zero, publishers/authors are somehow no longer entitled to make ANY money/profit off of the e-book.  That doesn't mean that they're entitled to a particular profit, and we, as consumers, are free to reject their product if we deem it priced too high (whether it be waiting for the paperback or waiting for the e-book price to drop or for the book to become available at the local public library or not reading it at all).  But just as publishers don't have an entitlement to a particular profit level, we, as consumers, don't somehow have a "right" to low prices.  


The law of supply and demand says I have every "right" to low prices.  At least as low as what can be supported by a minimum profit margin and the dictates of public demand.  Unfortunately, it is this latter aspect that tends to be a problem.  Consumers love to complain about unfair prices but unfortunately not enough of them follow through with their complaints to force a shift in the seller's pricing strategy.

 

I guarantee that if Macmillan sales had dropped significantly after this little tiff they had with Amazon and they stayed down for a few months or so they would suddenly discover the profitability of a lower margin, higher volume eBook market. 

Don't Panic
Contributor
EddyAL
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-08-2009
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

Ereaders unite and boycott books that are not equal or less than paper prices. My wife and I have agreed not to buy any eBook over $10. We simply have changed our picks to those ones with lower prices. We each have an eReader. There are plenty of other books that we will enjoy at lower prices. Those authors/publishers who price right will get our business.

Inspired Contributor
GeoffreyF
Posts: 202
Registered: ‎12-15-2009
0 Kudos

Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

[ Edited ]

@allan_vancouver

 

Your analysis is flawed.   It's not about cost.   It's about revenue.   Nobody cares about how many trees die or what it costs to distribute a conventional book.     That's what you are missing.    Also, it costs the same to promote a book no matter whether it is an eBook or a Conventional book.   This is especially true for the mass market stuff ... hey ... it takes mass marketing doesn't it?   eBooks and devices such as the nook where a book can be purchased more impulsively are a factor ... but it's more complex than that.  How do you hear of a particular new author?   Do you think that the buzz just happens?

 

There is great fear that the DRM system will not work.   It is a fear that is actually justified.   The CD Publishing industry has fallen apart.   It's a somewhat different situation for books, but not by a whole lot.  At least musicians can make money on performances but if you don't pay for your book, the writer doesn't get paid.    What the writer gets paid is the same whether you get the eBook or the paper book.   The risk (of DRM being tampered with) is greater though.

 

Calling people dinosaurs, especially when you focus on distribution cost and not revenue is just childish.  There are real issues here for the publishers.

 

Prices are not inflated if the publisher makes money?   For the reader, there is a time investment too.   I am actually no more likely to read a $1.00 book than a $10.00 book.    The question is whether it is worth my time even more than what I pay.  The publishers know that.

 

So, your little screed is fillled with dinosaurs and meteorites but a complete lack of business sense.   For your darwinian metaphor to even make sense, you have to define what the alternative is.  What will replace publishers and authors?  You didn't mention that or show how that mythical thing will evolve.   To continue with your metaphor .. there is a reason why there are no dragons.   They aren't practical and don't make sense.

Inspired Contributor
GeoffreyF
Posts: 202
Registered: ‎12-15-2009

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !


EddyAL wrote:

Ereaders unite and boycott books that are not equal or less than paper prices. My wife and I have agreed not to buy any eBook over $10. We simply have changed our picks to those ones with lower prices. We each have an eReader. There are plenty of other books that we will enjoy at lower prices. Those authors/publishers who price right will get our business.


 

I aint going to boycott squat.   I am going to read what I want to and need to.   Price is only part of the equation ... probably the smaller one.   I would rather pay double for a really great read than screw around with some piece of cheap trash.   The publishers know that and, you know what?  They charge what the market will bare.

 

Your logic is eminently assailable.  For example you would have someone fail to read something that can benefit them because it costs $15.00 instead of $10.00?    That's is really and quite literally stupid.   By your logic, you should be reading comic books.   Cheap knowledge ... yeah that's how to get ahead.

 

 

Distinguished Correspondent
SlaughterS
Posts: 526
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

Comic books a cheap solution ??? How long has it been since you bought one ? :smileyhappy:

 

The music industry paved the way.  Huge troubles with losing money and pirating until they reached a price point sweet spot of 99 cents per title. (gone are the days of spending $15 on an Album for just one good song !). 

 

Ebooks will go to the same route eventually, though I expect more of a sliding scale with new releases and popular novels costing more.  If they don't reach some niche price point then priating will start to soar just as it did for the music industry.

 

P.S.

 

If you go to the self publishing sites like LuLu you can see that Manufacturing costs for a traditional 200 page paper back novel comes to about $4.00 per book.  Since it is self-publishing I am sure that price is inflated, but throw in the marketing expense incured by standard publishers I would be surpised if it is not pretty close to what it costs them as well.

This is the Internet. I'm not going to let my complete lack of actual knowledge stop me from giving my opinion....
Contributor
allan_vancouver
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-15-2009
0 Kudos

Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

Hi GeoffreyF

GeoffreyF wrote,

and allan_vancouver replies.

 

Your analysis is flawed.   It's not about cost.   It's about revenue.  

It's about both. Lower cost to produce increases revenue per book and higher profits once fixed costs are paid for. I want writers and publishers to make more money and have lower costs. eBook versions can do this better than paper books.  When all other factors are considered the cost of creating a literary work (master copy) is the same for e or tree books.  The cost to manufacture, warehouse, transport, display and sell a paper book is higher.  Therefore, authors and publishers can drop the price per ebook, increase total sales, increase total revenue and increase total profit.  It's because they will sell a higher volume if the price is right and it is convenient to make a purchase. I don't suggest they should drop the sales price below production costs and lose money on each book (and the old joke about making up for it with higher volume).

 

Nobody cares about how many trees die or what it costs to distribute a conventional book.

Except the book reader, if the publisher and distributer and retailer pass on all costs to cover expenses and still make a profit.

  

That's what you are missing.   

Missing what? If costs are lower, sales prices can be lower and still make the same or higher revenue and profit.

 

Also, it costs the same to promote a book no matter whether it is an eBook or a Conventional book.   This is especially true for the mass market stuff ... hey ... it takes mass marketing doesn't it?   eBooks and devices such as the nook where a book can be purchased more impulsively are a factor ... but it's more complex than that.  How do you hear of a particular new author?   Do you think that the buzz just happens?

 

Costs and implications of above are equal for e or tree.  But you've given me a new idea: it's easier to "buzz" via the "new media", so eBooks have an promotional and new author advantage because they are in "eBuzz space".

 

There is great fear that the DRM system will not work.   It is a fear that is actually justified.   The CD Publishing industry has fallen apart.   It's a somewhat different situation for books, but not by a whole lot.  At least musicians can make money on performances but if you don't pay for your book, the writer doesn't get paid.    What the writer gets paid is the same whether you get the eBook or the paper book.   The risk (of DRM being tampered with) is greater though.

 

You make a reasonable point, but the Apple iTunes example shows that if you make it very easy and convenient and low cost (but fair, profitable) to purchase an eAnything, easier than the pirates can make it to steal, sales will still happen -- and if the volume goes up, the potential losses can be covered.  Increased volume also offsets possible losses.  CD publishing was so "last century" - good to see it gone.  iTunes publishing (and others) is now and the future.

 

Calling people dinosaurs, especially when you focus on distribution cost and not revenue is just childish.  There are real issues here for the publishers.

 

I am a dinosaur therefore I can call other people dinosaurs. Just kidding.  I just happen to like metaphors and the dinosaurs dying out happens to fit this business scenario.  Also, I've explained how increased sales of eBook copies increases revenue and profit at almost zero cost (except for the Visa transaction for each one); manufacturing and distributing costs eat profits -- if one could reduce or effectively eliminate them, authors and publishers should be able make more revenue and profit.

 

Prices are not inflated if the publisher makes money?  

That depends -- selling a book for $1,000,000 a copy makes lots of money (if even one person is dumb enought to buy one), but I think everyone might call that "inflated" (exaggeration intentional, but emphasises my point).

 

For the reader, there is a time investment too.   I am actually no more likely to read a $1.00 book than a $10.00 book.    The question is whether it is worth my time even more than what I pay.  The publishers know that.

 

I'm a bit different.  I read more now than I did before eBooks became available because of the convenience of purchasing and not having to lug pulp around (I actually don't worry too much about an eBook price because I figure prices will come down in the future).  That doesn't mean a publisher or distributer should charge me more than paper - they should keep prices low and profitable to attract new customers.  Avid readers who are already reading as much as they can may not buy more, or maybe they will.

 

So, your little screed is fillled with dinosaurs and meteorites but a complete lack of business sense.

Perhaps my answers will help fill some gaps - and others can judge for themselves.

 

For your darwinian metaphor to even make sense, you have to define what the alternative is. 

I think I have.  Charge customers less for a product that costs less to produce and make money on increased volume.  This even works if the product is priced right and happens to displace a pulp version.

 

What will replace publishers and authors?  

I don't recall saying they would be replaced; I suggested that they should evolve, change with the times.  Other publishers and authors who don't rip off eBook readers will compete with them and restrict their growth -- some may become extinct (there I go again!).

 

You didn't mention that or show how that mythical thing will evolve. 

I think you invented a mythical thing, not me.

 

To continue with your metaphor .. there is a reason why there are no dragons.   They aren't practical and don't make sense.

 

Dragons aren't in my metaphor. Only real, extinct creatures.  I'm not a fan of dragons or mythical things.


That was fun!

Frequent Contributor
Paul58
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎12-20-2009
0 Kudos

Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

Another factor that doesn't seem to have been mentioned is the risk factor associated with the production of eBooks compared to DTBs.  Say the publisher produced 100,000 Hardbacks and the book turned out to be a flop, only selling 500 copies!  The publisher eats those losses, and don't be so naive to think he isn't recouping them somewhere else (future releases).  Produce one eBook and sell 500 copies or 10,000 copies, it doesn't really matter because the initial cost was in the production of the very first one, all others are electronic reproductions (read as no cost).  So, the actual risk of producing an eBook is next to nothing compared to a DTB.  This should equate to a significant cost saving to the publisher, which in-turn should be passed along to the consumer...

Frequent Contributor
hymie
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: ebook Prices - They Just don't get it !

I use a tiered pricing model myself. When I become aware of a book that I want to read, if it's available in mass-market paperback I'll generally buy a copy. If not, and I'm not too excited about it, I wait for the mass-market paperback to become available. If I'm really eager to read the book, I reserve it at the New York Public Library.

 

DRM is irrelevant when it comes to books. Many people now own scanners, and it only takes one such person to scan a paper copy of the book and post it on the internet. Publishers are sealing their doom the same way the big music companies did, by failing to realize that physical scarcity of media is a thing of the past, and trying to impose artificial scarcity.

Contributor
Bookmark_71
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎02-15-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

My problem with this is pretty simple.  I bought my Nook last Friday because it was advertised and marketed as "most new releases $9.99 or less".  I understand that can vary and a very popular book might charge a bit more to capitalize on the demand.  I posted this example in another thread yesterday because it put a book I wanted to buy completely out of reason.  I had Stephen King's "The Shining" on my eWish List and it was around $9.  That's fine with me, a little more than paperback but it's a classic and I wanted it.  When I got off work and went to make the purchase it was $22.75.  I searched his other books out of curiosity and "Salem's Lot" is $28. 

 

That is so far out of reason that I have to wonder if some of these price increases were based on a faulty formula and they will be brought back down.  I just can't believe they mean to charge $23 & $28 for those two books.

Scribe
03FLHT2
Posts: 695
Registered: ‎02-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

One thing I think they are also forgetting here is, I can't give my copy away. So if my friends want to read it they have to buy it.  With a Pulp version I can give it to anybody and they in turn give it to someone.   I bought the book I should have the right to give it away once I am done with it.   Boo HumBug

Contributor
saukko
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎01-24-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

I've mentioned this in another thread, but what I really dont understand is the upside down pricing on many books.  They ( the publishers or B&N ) want to charge almost as much as list for a new release- fine- good luck- it will either work or it wont. They want to charge only a dollar or two less than paperback costs- again fine- maybe it will work, maybe it wont/

     But when they try to charge more for an ebook than for a print copy ( sometimes several dollars more) its almost like they are insulting our intelligence. Consumers are smart enough to distinguish between a limited license to read a book on branded equipment/software and an actual physical copy. It as if they think that the "convenience" of the DRM ebook is worth a surcharge- I just dont see many customers who wont look at that and decide that if they are going to buy a dead tree copy, they will go somewhere else to do so

Frequent Contributor
DenisePW
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

And where is our reward for being environmentally conscious and saving a tree by buying an ebook?  Instead, we're being surcharged! 

 

 

Frequent Contributor
ReadingBum
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎01-22-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook Prices - They Just don't get it !

 

I'll admit I didn't buy a nook to save trees.  I bought a Nook because ebooks were at a good price, and I'd be able to download immediately instead of having to make a trip down to B&N or waiting for my order to come in the mail.  But now they're charging us a good amount for ebooks, even though they cut down on the cost of paper and the rest of that jazz. I would think ebooks are cheaper to make. So I don't understand why some of the ebooks I want cost as much as a hardcover book....  I can't borrow an ebook to all my friends, and the ones I can lend it to can only have the book for a limited time.  For god sakes I don't even own the book according to them, I'm only paying to liscense it.  But yet somehow they think these higher prices are fair.

 

 

Frequent Contributor
DenisePW
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
0 Kudos

Shame on B&N for this ebook price rape

Shame on B&N for this outrageous price increase!  This is totally unacceptable!  You finally got your ereader product in some semblance of working order, & this is how you reward your customers?  You jack up the prices so beyond the realm of reason?

 

If this is the result of publisher pressure, then B&N should tell us. Otherwise, I will lay the blame at B&N & their greed. 

 

Which reminds me why I really stopped going to B&N & preferred Borders......

 

 

Frequent Contributor
BBBoutique
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
0 Kudos

eBook prices increasing?

I just noticed several ebooks in my wish list have increased fromm 9.99 or less to $14 +.  Are eBook prices about to go up?  Guess I need to start doing some comparison shopping on ebooks because I am not spending that much on an electronic book when I could spend a couple more bucks and have the book on my bookshelf.

Distinguished Correspondent
naylorchic
Posts: 454
Registered: ‎11-19-2009
0 Kudos

Re: eBook prices increasing?

I just posted this very same thing. I'm bummed about it. You might try kobo books. Some of theirs are cheaper, but they don't have the selection that bn has. They are also on Twitter & Facebook & have promo codes a lot.

Frequent Contributor
MLBerry
Posts: 165
Registered: ‎02-17-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook prices increasing?

I just noticed the price increase on the Discworld books.  If e-books are now higher than paperbacks why would you want to pay more?  Is Harper Collins pushing up these prices?

Contributor
saukko
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎01-24-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook prices increasing?

I've noticed this problem with cheaper physical copies more nad more recently. A modest suggestion- when I see this situation I put up a customer review warning for others . If we all notice that it is some publishers in particular ( Harper Collins  for example) maybe its time to start thinking boycott

Inspired Contributor
wynand32
Posts: 77
Registered: ‎10-21-2009

Re: eBook prices increasing?

Why would you need to organize a boycott? Isn't that what you're doing simply by not buying the ebook version? And, if the price is too high, won't the market react appropriately and send the right signal all by itself?

 

I find it fascinating that people take such pricing decisions so personally. If you don't like the price of something, don't buy it. If enough people agree, then the seller will get the point and lower the price accordingly. That's just kind of how the whole "free market" thing works...

Frequent Contributor
ScrappersNook
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎01-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: eBook prices increasing?

There was another thead about this earlier...seems the cost of the ebooks have jumped considerably in the past 12 hours...I myself will NOT be buying ebooks at the inflated prices, not when the library offers them for free, may have to wait to read them, but I wasn't one to jump on the best seller (hard backs) the first day of release, either....so, I'll just be waiting patiently till they either go back down or till my name comes up for the library copy...plus sideloading and checking every single day for free offers.....not going to pay the higher prices....love love love my Nook, but just won't be forced to pay the inflated prices....but, that's just me.