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Inspired Correspondent
Phigment
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎02-04-2010
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

 


Jason_Corner wrote:

Not that its a huge cost on a per book basis, but eBooks do require some cost to Barnes and Noble to sell and maintain.  There is computer software and hardware to maintain and the employees to maintain them. 


 

I'm not sure I fully agree with you Jason. I've been getting my books from baen (I read Sci-fi) and baen being a publishing house has been selling thier books as ebooks for about 10 years now at a cost of $5.00 each. And they're also paying thier authors well also (I read it in one of thier blogs). I can't possibly imagine that a publishing house would sell anything for 10 years without making a profit. The only real expense I see the retailers having is the bill for 3G, which would be in thier benefit, since the moment they get you using it, the odds are you're using it to browse and possibly buy a new book so that would be part of thier cost-of-doing-business.

 

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illmunkeys
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎12-21-2009
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

 


Phigment wrote:

 

I've been getting my books from baen (I read Sci-fi) and baen being a publishing house has been selling thier books as ebooks for about 10 years now at a cost of $5.00 each. 


 

I forgot to add Baen to my "you're buying convenience" smack-down.... and I try to pimp them every chance I get.

 

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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

I'm an agnistic on the price of ebooks, but there are some problems with the OPs post that bear examining.

 

Both of the support links point to an analysis of the cost of producing physical books.  Then some suppositions are made about how that applies to ebooks.

 

Here's a link to a cost breakdown for ebooks.  The link was contributed by  JoanieGranola from another thread on the difference between Amazon and B&N pricing but it is appropos to this conversation.

 

The bottom line I took away from this article is that it seems doubtful that ebooks will ever be priced at the level of paperback books and the $9.99 price-point expectation created by Amazon is probably unrealistic unless something in the cost breakdown is way off or changes.

 

 

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illmunkeys
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Registered: ‎12-21-2009
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

eBooks should be priced lower than their paperback equivalents.  Why?  When the book gets to paperback, the publisher has yet another cost to print and ship and edit.  However, formatting, editing, etc is only a one time cost for an eBook (if the publishing and hardware industry could get their heads out of their asses and agree on a standard).  The more books sold, this cost becomes smaller and smaller per book.  By the time the copyright is expired (way too many years later) the publisher's cost per eBook sold would become damn near negligible.

 

Once again, one only has to point to Baen to prove that it is completely possible to have eBooks available at cheaper rates than the actual dead-tree version itself.  They've been doing it for a long, long time.

 

However, the 12.99 price point for brand-spanking new releases still seems about right to me.  I would once again wait for most books to drop in price (or hope my library picks up the eBook version), but publishers may be able to squeeze that $3 out of me on some of my favorite authors.

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lizzyizzy
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Registered: ‎12-07-2009
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

NY Times Math of publishing meets the e-book.

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Phigment
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Registered: ‎02-04-2010
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

[ Edited ]

 


illmunkeys wrote:

 

However, the 12.99 price point for brand-spanking new releases still seems about right to me.  I would once again wait for most books to drop in price (or hope my library picks up the eBook version), but publishers may be able to squeeze that $3 out of me on some of my favorite authors.


 

Awwww crap, illmunkey, I think I might be forced to agree with your last paragraph. Releasing a hardcover book, and ebook would likely drive up the price (not cost) of the ebook, since you're then paying for the privelege of getting to read it month(s) before a softcover comes out.

 

 

Then there better/should be a dramatic price drop on the ebook once the softcover comes out to be either the same as the actual cost of the softcover or less.

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Jason_Corner
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Registered: ‎02-24-2010
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

 


Phigment wrote:

 

I'm not sure I fully agree with you Jason. I've been getting my books from baen (I read Sci-fi) and baen being a publishing house has been selling thier books as ebooks for about 10 years now at a cost of $5.00 each. And they're also paying thier authors well also (I read it in one of thier blogs). I can't possibly imagine that a publishing house would sell anything for 10 years without making a profit. The only real expense I see the retailers having is the bill for 3G, which would be in thier benefit, since the moment they get you using it, the odds are you're using it to browse and possibly buy a new book so that would be part of thier cost-of-doing-business.

 


 

I'm not saying its a huge cost, but the OP was not including any cost in maintaining the electronic storefront and servers required to have a million books ready for download.  Baen does not have the infrastructure costs that Barnes and Noble or Apple has in maintaining their servers. 

 

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bleaker
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Registered: ‎02-18-2010
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Re: Why $9.99 is the perfect price point & Publishers are gouging customers

All good points... and I might be more sympathetic to publishers than I was before... but the elephant in the room is DRM. DRM turns buyers into tenants. DRM will always make eBooks worth significantly less than dead tree books. B&N's adoption of ePub alleviates some of the problems, but not all. Think about all the things eBooks forbid you from doing because of DR: copying, lending for more than two weeks, sale, use on devices not supporting that format, use with software that doesn't support that format, etc. Products with DRM are inherently defective versions of those without it.