15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2012 12:47 PM by Sun_Cat

    B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

    BrandieC

      Has anyone else noticed that the prices of eBooks on which B&N sets the price (i.e., those not published by an agency model publisher) have been creeping up over the last couple of weeks?  I check my eBook wishlist daily to see if anything has gone on sale, and my non-agency eBooks have been climbing in price:  sometimes by $0.50 or so but in other cases by several dollars.

       

      I've been trying to figure out why this might be happening, and the best I can come up with is that they are anticipating having to lower prices on the (formerly) agency publisher books after the DOJ settlement, so they are trying to anticipatorily make up for it by raising the prices on those books over which they currently have control.  Whatever the reason, though, it's really frustrating me.  I hate feeling like I'm being "nickel and dimed."

        • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?
          rvingmillers

          I've noticed it as well.  I check my wish list every day to see if there are sales too, and it seems the prices are creeping up.  I couldn't really afford to buy them at the price they were at, and it certainly is going to make it harder to buy them when the prices keep increasing.

          • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

            BrandieC wrote:

            Has anyone else noticed that the prices of eBooks on which B&N sets the price (i.e., those not published by an agency model publisher) have been creeping up over the last couple of weeks?  I check my eBook wishlist daily to see if anything has gone on sale, and my non-agency eBooks have been climbing in price:  sometimes by $0.50 or so but in other cases by several dollars.

             

            I've been trying to figure out why this might be happening, and the best I can come up with is that they are anticipating having to lower prices on the (formerly) agency publisher books after the DOJ settlement, so they are trying to anticipatorily make up for it by raising the prices on those books over which they currently have control.  Whatever the reason, though, it's really frustrating me.  I hate feeling like I'm being "nickel and dimed."


            How much real competition do we really see in the e-book publishing and selling world?  I'm asking because I don't really know.  There, apparently, is no common format standard, but would the same book be available in Amazon's proprietary format, Apple's propietary format, and the EPUB 3 format?  Can my corner book store sell e-books, and make a profit doing so?

             

            If so, then there might be real price competition, just like for most other consumer goods.  If not, then we have a small group of monopolies operating as an oligopoly that can, and will, control prices to their common benefit, kind of like the DOJ suit against Apple alleges. 

             

            In an ideal world, we would have a selection of (at least) dozens of different sources for our e-books, and those sources would be required to compete in a genuine "free market."  In that free market, they would be forced to do the sorts of things other companies must do in order to survive: eliminate waste, improve productivity, make better use of capital assets, develop better marketing strategies, adopt new technologies, etc.  When a small group of players gets together and colludes to thwart the forces of a free market, we require our federal government to step in and take corrective action under the nation's antitrust laws.  It appears that this is exactly what has happened in the DOJ/Apple case.

             

            The process is not, yet, complete.  I wouldn't expect to see any impact on e-book prices resulting from DOJ actions for a period of months, at least.  Who was it who said something about "the wheels of justice grind slowly, but grind exceedingly fine"?

             

            IMO, only competition -- real competition -- will keep e-book prices under control.  Nothing else will work in a capitalist economy.  If our only choice for a source of e-books for our NOOK readers and tablets is B&N, why would we expect to see lower prices?  Just asking. 

             

            Hmm.  Do you suppose this has anything to do with the apparently increasing popularity of N2A and NFA cards? 

              • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?
                Omnigeek

                deesy58 wrote:
                IMO, only competition -- real competition -- will keep e-book prices under control.  Nothing else will work in a capitalist economy.  If our only choice for a source of e-books for our NOOK readers and tablets is B&N, why would we expect to see lower prices?  Just asking. 

                 

                 

                Hmm.  Do you suppose this has anything to do with the apparently increasing popularity of N2A and NFA cards? 


                But B&N isn't your only choice for ebook sources since you can get EPUB books from Books-a-Million, Kobo, Sony and of course so many publisher-direct sources like Phoenix or Baen.  You don't need N2A or NFA cards to access these sources either so I'm not sure why you bring that non-sequitur into play.

                 

                Admit it, you're B&N's Fox Mulder   :smileywink:

                (just kidding of course)

                  • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                    Omnigeek wrote:

                    deesy58 wrote:
                    IMO, only competition -- real competition -- will keep e-book prices under control.  Nothing else will work in a capitalist economy.  If our only choice for a source of e-books for our NOOK readers and tablets is B&N, why would we expect to see lower prices?  Just asking. 

                     

                     

                    Hmm.  Do you suppose this has anything to do with the apparently increasing popularity of N2A and NFA cards? 


                    But B&N isn't your only choice for ebook sources since you can get EPUB books from Books-a-Million, Kobo, Sony and of course so many publisher-direct sources like Phoenix or Baen.  You don't need N2A or NFA cards to access these sources either so I'm not sure why you bring that non-sequitur into play.

                     

                    Admit it, you're B&N's Fox Mulder   :smileywink:

                    (just kidding of course)


                    Well, you conveniently omitted the part of my post where I said: "How much real competition do we really see in the e-book publishing and selling world?  I'm asking because I don't really know."

                     

                    Of course, if your real intent was just trolling, then I guess that would explain it. 

                     

                    You made that sound so easy that I decided to give it a try.  Using Google.com on my NOOK Web browser, I attempted to search on the following terms: "kobo," "kobo ebooks," "sony ebooks" and "books a million."  Imagine my surprise when my NOOK apparently made no effort whatsoever to find any of these search items, simply remaining on the Google home page..

                     

                    Perhaps there is a secret to doing it.  If so, could you share it?  If I can easily, inexpensively and effortlessly purchase e-books from sources other than B&N, and at prices lower than those charged by B&N, then I want to take advantage of it.  I will also want to be able to keep them on my shelves in my library and read them without problems, although that would not be a "deal killer," so to speak..   

                     

                    Hmm.  You're not going to tell me that I have to jump through hoops to get these books, are you?  I'm not going to have to load some sort of software into my PC, then purchase and download the book, then connect my NOOK to my PC and transfer the e-book to the tablet using some sort of "sideloading" process, am I?

                     

                    Oh well, if I can save several dollars on every e-book I purchase, I suppose it would be worth the effort. 

                     

                    Is there anyplace where I can find specific directions for obtaining these books?  If not, would you mind sharing such directions.

                     

                    Thanks!

                     

                    BTW, I never watched "X Files."  Too hokey! 

                      • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?
                        A_Wilson

                        deesy58 wrote:
                        ...Using Google.com on my NOOK Web browser, I attempted to search on the following terms: "kobo," "kobo ebooks," "sony ebooks" and "books a million."  Imagine my surprise when my NOOK apparently made no effort whatsoever to find any of these search items, simply remaining on the Google home page..

                         

                        Hmm.  You're not going to tell me that I have to jump through hoops to get these books, are you?  I'm not going to have to load some sort of software into my PC, then purchase and download the book, then connect my NOOK to my PC and transfer the e-book to the tablet using some sort of "sideloading" process, am I?

                         


                        I have purchased books from many of these sources.  I'm not sure why your Nook browser using Google.com didn't find them (or even attempt) but I have no problem browsing Kobo, Google Play, etc for ebooks from my NC.  I can even purchase them from my NC.  As for getting them on shelves and reading, over half my library is sideloaded and sorted on shelves (just be aware, that if you sideload them onto an SD card instead of the main memory they will drop off the shelves when you reboot, this is a known issue and has been talked about many times).  I have had no problems reading the "others" eBooks, only when it was purchased in a format other than epub (ie. PDF, and that is just because it is not as nice a reading experience).  

                         

                        As for how you get them onto the NC, you obviouly are aware of how that happens, otherwise your description of the sideloading process wouldn't be there.  FWIW, I haven't had to use ADE to sideload.  I have only used that for Library Books. 

                         

                        I will say I will take the ability to sideload books from various vendors vs being totally locked in to a single format from a single vendor.  At least I have the option, If I decide not to take advantage of that option due to a perception of "too many hoops", that is on me not B&N.

                         

                        Hope this helps you in your quest.

                         

                          • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                            A_Wilson wrote:

                            deesy58 wrote:
                            ...Using Google.com on my NOOK Web browser, I attempted to search on the following terms: "kobo," "kobo ebooks," "sony ebooks" and "books a million."  Imagine my surprise when my NOOK apparently made no effort whatsoever to find any of these search items, simply remaining on the Google home page..

                             

                            Hmm.  You're not going to tell me that I have to jump through hoops to get these books, are you?  I'm not going to have to load some sort of software into my PC, then purchase and download the book, then connect my NOOK to my PC and transfer the e-book to the tablet using some sort of "sideloading" process, am I?

                             


                            I have purchased books from many of these sources.  I'm not sure why your Nook browser using Google.com didn't find them (or even attempt) but I have no problem browsing Kobo, Google Play, etc for ebooks from my NC.  I can even purchase them from my NC.  As for getting them on shelves and reading, over half my library is sideloaded and sorted on shelves (just be aware, that if you sideload them onto an SD card instead of the main memory they will drop off the shelves when you reboot, this is a known issue and has been talked about many times).  I have had no problems reading the "others" eBooks, only when it was purchased in a format other than epub (ie. PDF, and that is just because it is not as nice a reading experience).  

                             

                            As for how you get them onto the NC, you obviouly are aware of how that happens, otherwise your description of the sideloading process wouldn't be there.  FWIW, I haven't had to use ADE to sideload.  I have only used that for Library Books. 

                             

                            I will say I will take the ability to sideload books from various vendors vs being totally locked in to a single format from a single vendor.  At least I have the option, If I decide not to take advantage of that option due to a perception of "too many hoops", that is on me not B&N.

                             

                            Hope this helps you in your quest.

                             


                            Thank you for the information.

                             

                            Hmm.  I just tried it again.  Google will provide me no results if I search on these terms.  I was, however, able to enter the Kobo URL into the browser and access the kobo.com Web site's home page.  Once there, however, I can't seem to do anything else.  It makes no difference which link I select (eBOOKS, REGISTER), nothing happens except that the REGISTER link changed color, showing that the page was rendering properly.  

                            I did the same thing for booksamillion.com, and was, once again, able to access the home page.  When I try to select the "Fiction" category, my NOOK browser appears to "hang up" with the progress bar about half-way across the top of the screen and the "processing" wheel turning.  This state appears to remain indefinitely.  It makes the site unusable to me from my NOOK. 

                            Not sure what is going on, here, but it doesn't seem to be very easy to acquire e-books from sources other than B&N.

                             

                            Does purchasing a NOOK Tablet mean that one must also purchase or keep one's PC computer?  It appears so. 

                             

                            BTW, I have version 1.4.2 of the software. 

                    • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                      No, it's not your imagination.  Many of the ebooks I was hoping would go down in price have actually gone up $1 or more.  B&N is not helping their reputation nor their ebook sales by doing this-since they tend to be the highest priced ebooks in the genres I read.  I am glad I finally broke down and bought an ipad, since it looks like I'll be making most of my book purchases through Amazon (whose prices seem much more realistic).

                      • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?
                        bklvr896

                        Perhaps it's simply due to the fact that the prices of everything are going up?  eBooks are not going to be immune to inflation any more than any other product. It certainly costs me more at the grocery store, at the department stores, etc.  Not to mention the cost of fuel, which tends to impact the cost of almost every other product.  

                         

                        I've also noticed the price of MMPB's increasing. If you look at the top 10 selling MMPBs, 5 are at $7.99 and 5 are $8.99-9.99.   They used to be $5.99, when to $6.99 and then stayed at $7.99 for several years.  Now they appear to be creeping up.

                         

                        Not saying that is all that is going on, but you can't ignore that the cost of most consumer products have been steadily increasing.

                          • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                            bklvr896 wrote:

                            Perhaps it's simply due to the fact that the prices of everything are going up?  eBooks are not going to be immune to inflation any more than any other product. It certainly costs me more at the grocery store, at the department stores, etc.  Not to mention the cost of fuel, which tends to impact the cost of almost every other product.  

                             

                            I've also noticed the price of MMPB's increasing. If you look at the top 10 selling MMPBs, 5 are at $7.99 and 5 are $8.99-9.99.   They used to be $5.99, when to $6.99 and then stayed at $7.99 for several years.  Now they appear to be creeping up.

                             

                            Not saying that is all that is going on, but you can't ignore that the cost of most consumer products have been steadily increasing.


                            We need to keep in mind, though, that digital products bear prices that have countered inflation for more than 30 years (40?).  Look at the prices of TVs, computers, cell phones, digital cameras, etc.  Due to the effects of Moore's Law, products made from solid-state electronics have actually been decreasing in price for many years, and this includes most software (how much do you pay for an app for your Apple or Android?). 

                             

                            e-Books should be no different.  If a free market prevails in e-books, prices should be decreasing, not increasing.

                              • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?
                                NookGardener

                                deesy58 wrote:

                                bklvr896 wrote:

                                Perhaps it's simply due to the fact that the prices of everything are going up?  eBooks are not going to be immune to inflation any more than any other product. It certainly costs me more at the grocery store, at the department stores, etc.  Not to mention the cost of fuel, which tends to impact the cost of almost every other product.  

                                 

                                I've also noticed the price of MMPB's increasing. If you look at the top 10 selling MMPBs, 5 are at $7.99 and 5 are $8.99-9.99.   They used to be $5.99, when to $6.99 and then stayed at $7.99 for several years.  Now they appear to be creeping up.

                                 

                                Not saying that is all that is going on, but you can't ignore that the cost of most consumer products have been steadily increasing.


                                We need to keep in mind, though, that digital products bear prices that have countered inflation for more than 30 years (40?).  Look at the prices of TVs, computers, cell phones, digital cameras, etc.  Due to the effects of Moore's Law, products made from solid-state electronics have actually been decreasing in price for many years, and this includes most software (how much do you pay for an app for your Apple or Android?). 

                                 

                                e-Books should be no different.  If a free market prevails in e-books, prices should be decreasing, not increasing.


                                IMO, you are comparing apples and oranges here.  Moore's Law applies to electronic devices/products, but not an ebook isn't an electronic product.  It is just another format for a book (vs DTB, MMPP or audio.) 

                                 

                                When you buy an ebook you are buying the CONTENT (what's in it.)  While you get some costs savings buying new "best sellers" in this ebook format vs hardback, the same doesn't seem to hold true once a book has been released in paperback (or older books being re-released in ebook format.)  Consumers still (understandably) feel since they aren't getting physical product, they should be paying less for these ebooks.  So while I agree with you that the ebook price should decrease a certain amount, tend to agree with bklvr896, the price of paperbooks are going to go up more, and then maybe, just maybe, we will see some price differential between paperbacks and ebook pricing. 

                                  • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                                    NookGardener wrote:

                                    deesy58 wrote:

                                    bklvr896 wrote:

                                    Perhaps it's simply due to the fact that the prices of everything are going up?  eBooks are not going to be immune to inflation any more than any other product. It certainly costs me more at the grocery store, at the department stores, etc.  Not to mention the cost of fuel, which tends to impact the cost of almost every other product.  

                                     

                                    I've also noticed the price of MMPB's increasing. If you look at the top 10 selling MMPBs, 5 are at $7.99 and 5 are $8.99-9.99.   They used to be $5.99, when to $6.99 and then stayed at $7.99 for several years.  Now they appear to be creeping up.

                                     

                                    Not saying that is all that is going on, but you can't ignore that the cost of most consumer products have been steadily increasing.


                                    We need to keep in mind, though, that digital products bear prices that have countered inflation for more than 30 years (40?).  Look at the prices of TVs, computers, cell phones, digital cameras, etc.  Due to the effects of Moore's Law, products made from solid-state electronics have actually been decreasing in price for many years, and this includes most software (how much do you pay for an app for your Apple or Android?). 

                                     

                                    e-Books should be no different.  If a free market prevails in e-books, prices should be decreasing, not increasing.


                                    IMO, you are comparing apples and oranges here.  Moore's Law applies to electronic devices/products, but not an ebook isn't an electronic product.  It is just another format for a book (vs DTB, MMPP or audio.) 

                                     

                                    When you buy an ebook you are buying the CONTENT (what's in it.)  While you get some costs savings buying new "best sellers" in this ebook format vs hardback, the same doesn't seem to hold true once a book has been released in paperback (or older books being re-released in ebook format.)  Consumers still (understandably) feel since they aren't getting physical product, they should be paying less for these ebooks.  So while I agree with you that the ebook price should decrease a certain amount, tend to agree with bklvr896, the price of paperbooks are going to go up more, and then maybe, just maybe, we will see some price differential between paperbacks and ebook pricing. 


                                    It might seem like apples and oranges, but we must keep in mind that, as hardware technology has advanced, so has software technology.  Because of the development of new software tools that are used for the development of other software, the process has become much more efficient, and, therefore, less expensive. 

                                     

                                    After a writer produces a book using any word processor, that book must still be converted to a usable e-book format (or printed as a DTB).  That conversion process is now so simple that you can acquire software (sometimes for free) that will accomplish the conversion for you.  Viola!  Any writer can now publish his/her e-book, selling to you and me for whatever price he/she wishes.  Advances in software have, pretty much, kept up with advances in hardware.

                                     

                                    My comparison to apps for cell phones and tablets is valid.  How much would such apps have cost ten or twenty years ago?  Why can they be sold profitably at such an extremely lower cost now?  Perhaps because they cost so much less to produce? 

                                     

                                    Food for thought.

                                      • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                                        deesy58 wrote:

                                        It might seem like apples and oranges, but we must keep in mind that, as hardware technology has advanced, so has software technology.  Because of the development of new software tools that are used for the development of other software, the process has become much more efficient, and, therefore, less expensive. 

                                         

                                        After a writer produces a book using any word processor, that book must still be converted to a usable e-book format (or printed as a DTB).  That conversion process is now so simple that you can acquire software (sometimes for free) that will accomplish the conversion for you.  Viola!  Any writer can now publish his/her e-book, selling to you and me for whatever price he/she wishes.  Advances in software have, pretty much, kept up with advances in hardware.

                                         

                                        My comparison to apps for cell phones and tablets is valid.  How much would such apps have cost ten or twenty years ago?  Why can they be sold profitably at such an extremely lower cost now?  Perhaps because they cost so much less to produce? 

                                         

                                        Food for thought.


                                         

                                        Tell that one to the publishers who want to whine about its just as much work to produce an ebook as a HC and so they should cost the same lol.  I agree with you, the price should reflect the formatting.  For example...if I go to buy a box of matches, the box of matches costs $1.99, the smaller matchbook costs $0.99....but you expect me to pay $1.99 for a single match because the content is the same, they all contain matches.  Not the same. 

                                         

                                        ETA: Also, you have to remember that when you buy an ebook, you are not purchasing the book.  You are merely purchasing permission to read the content of the book in this format.  So really you're not even getting the match...you're buying a picture of the match.  So, why is everyone so gung ho that it should be priced so closely to the actual book?  You're not even purchasing the book, you don't own it...you bought permission to read it that's it.  But for only $1 you're buying actual physical content, not just permission to read it according to set rules.

                                         

                                          • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                                            steffiebaby140 wrote:

                                            deesy58 wrote:

                                            It might seem like apples and oranges, but we must keep in mind that, as hardware technology has advanced, so has software technology.  Because of the development of new software tools that are used for the development of other software, the process has become much more efficient, and, therefore, less expensive. 

                                             

                                            After a writer produces a book using any word processor, that book must still be converted to a usable e-book format (or printed as a DTB).  That conversion process is now so simple that you can acquire software (sometimes for free) that will accomplish the conversion for you.  Viola!  Any writer can now publish his/her e-book, selling to you and me for whatever price he/she wishes.  Advances in software have, pretty much, kept up with advances in hardware.

                                             

                                            My comparison to apps for cell phones and tablets is valid.  How much would such apps have cost ten or twenty years ago?  Why can they be sold profitably at such an extremely lower cost now?  Perhaps because they cost so much less to produce? 

                                             

                                            Food for thought.


                                             

                                            Tell that one to the publishers who want to whine about its just as much work to produce an ebook as a HC and so they should cost the same lol.  I agree with you, the price should reflect the formatting.  For example...if I go to buy a box of matches, the box of matches costs $1.99, the smaller matchbook costs $0.99....but you expect me to pay $1.99 for a single match because the content is the same, they all contain matches.  Not the same. 

                                             

                                            ETA: Also, you have to remember that when you buy an ebook, you are not purchasing the book.  You are merely purchasing permission to read the content of the book in this format.  So really you're not even getting the match...you're buying a picture of the match.  So, why is everyone so gung ho that it should be priced so closely to the actual book?  You're not even purchasing the book, you don't own it...you bought permission to read it that's it.  But for only $1 you're buying actual physical content, not just permission to read it according to set rules.

                                             


                                            What you really bought was for somebody to light your cigarette.  :smileylol:

                                    • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                                      bklvr896 wrote:

                                      Perhaps it's simply due to the fact that the prices of everything are going up?  eBooks are not going to be immune to inflation any more than any other product. It certainly costs me more at the grocery store, at the department stores, etc.  Not to mention the cost of fuel, which tends to impact the cost of almost every other product.  

                                       

                                      I've also noticed the price of MMPB's increasing. If you look at the top 10 selling MMPBs, 5 are at $7.99 and 5 are $8.99-9.99.   They used to be $5.99, when to $6.99 and then stayed at $7.99 for several years.  Now they appear to be creeping up.

                                       

                                      Not saying that is all that is going on, but you can't ignore that the cost of most consumer products have been steadily increasing.


                                       

                                      That is a very valid point.  Prices for most grocery items have gone up nearly 20 to 30% in the last year, gas is up over $4.00 consistently for months now.  Prices always rise slowly and steadily over time, ebooks are going to be the same as any other product.  But since B&N is the one setting the price for some then you aren't seeing ebooks that cost $19.99 are you?  Search the new JK Rowling book and check out the ebook price on that sucker.  I'd rather B&N increase the price from say $8.99, to $9.49 than start at a price of $20.00.

                                    • Re: B&N eBook Prices Creeping Up?

                                      Another big thank-you to Doug for pointing out those Kobo discount codes at Books on the Knob. I just grabbed the current bestseller Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer for $8.49 using the 45% off code -- regular B&N and Kobo price $14.99, but $9.59 for Kindle and on Google.

                                       

                                      Does anyone know of a website that lets you easily compare ebook prices from all the major retailers?