19 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2011 5:50 PM by Doug_Pardee

    Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.

    RichardM

      I am more than frustrated right now.  I am a very loyal Barnes & Noble customer.  But now I wish I had just bought the Kindle, even though I think the Nook is better.  The more books I look up the more I see that Amazon has the better price - usually by a few dollars.  However, the best example is David Weber's By Schism Rent Asunder.  The book was published in July of 2008.  The series, as of tomorrow will be 2 books passed this book, The physical version is available in paperback.  Amazon has the Kindle version priced at a (fairly) reasonable $7.99.  Barnes & Noble's version is $18.53.  That is outrageous!!!!

       

      I have heard that Amazon will have to raise book prices.  However, I will never buy an eBook that is priced more than the paperback.

       

      It looks like my Nok is bound for eBay - where some other sucker will fall into the Barnes & Noble trap.

        • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
          JoanieGranola

          I have to say that since the whole iPad "thing", I, too, had the opinion that I wouldn not pay more than $9.99 for an ebook (or, the cost of the price of the paperback, whichever was less). However, my husband read a story to me that appeared on Gizmodo this morning - http://gizmodo.com/5482774/how-much-it-actually-costs-to-publish-an-ebook-vs-a-real-book (a link to the NYT story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01ebooks.html?partner=rss&emc=rss), and I have since changed my opinion slightly.

           

          I think that authors should offer ebooks on their individual fan sites - I would much rather give money directly to an author than go through a publisher or third-party seller since those people get a cut (and publishers shouldn't get a cut of a book that's not actually published, IMHO). After reading the article however, I suppose I won't gripe so much about paying $12 for an ebook (we're talking new releases here - if you want to be the first in line, you'll always pay more; it doesn't matter what it is). Would I rather pay less? Absolutely! But given the comparison, it doens't seem totally outrageous to pay $12 for an ebook (as I said - new releases). Having said that, I certainly won't pay more. It's ridiculous to ask customers to pay half the price of a hardcover or especially full price of a hardcover for an electronic copy of a book. The publishers say that you're paying for intellectual property rights - I don't buy it. Once books come out in paperback, the ebooks should be the same price as the paperback.

           

          And I'm still not exactly sure why B&N won't allow coupons or membership cards to be used for ebook purchases - but I think the story gives an explanation in a roundabout way. B&N gives discounts for bestsellers and new releases in hardcover and that money is taken away from what they "get" for hardcovers. So, basically, they're getting almost the same amount of money whether they sell the book in hardcover or ebook format - which is why they don't allow the discounts for ebooks. They wouldn't make any money from their sales.

          • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
            sub_rosa

            Another fine example of B&N irrational pricing.

             

            Sideload from Powells until B&N gets their act together:

             

            http://www.powells.com/biblio/9781429930079?&PID=531

            • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
              ProfReader

              Use www.addall.com  to search for the lowest price. You can have it search for only the compatible file formats for your ereader.

                • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.

                   


                  ProfReader wrote:

                  Use www.addall.com  to search for the lowest price. You can have it search for only the compatible file formats for your ereader.


                   

                  I love addall and use it all the time, but I would note that Kobo Books isn't on there yet (I've emailed addall support requesting that they add it as a source), so folks might want to additionally search kobo as well in the meantime (although I've found that kobo doesn't necessarily have the lowest price for the books I've searched for).  

                   

                • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                  Rav_Bunneh

                  You do know that publishers negotiate different deals with each and every different distributer. Amazon, B&N, Apple Bookstore, and the rest. This is why every company has differing prices.

                   

                  In the eBook market place there is no standard retail price for books to be sold at. You can go into ANY book store and look at a book and know the price. It is printed into the ISBN bar code. With ebooks there is no such thing. 

                   

                  In addition some companies will bite into their profits or take an out right loss on a book. They make it up in other ways of course. 

                   

                  I honestly can't see a day where you can ever expect to see the same price on an ebook regardless of where you shop. I don't know why the publishers insist on treating an ebook differently than actual books in terms of pricing but they do.

                   

                  Now, while some people my just rant on and on about the B&N prices, others just shop around. The benefit I saw in the nook was and is that i can read pdf, epub and pdb formats. it also has expandability in terms of memory. This allows us to do the very best thing a consumer can do to to fight high prices. ....to shop around. 

                   

                  I personally don't plan on paying more than 9.99 for a new book unless I really really want it. I don't plan on playing more than paperback price if there is a paperback out there. And so I'll let my money talk. Companies that want our business will make the best deals with publishers.

                   

                  What I don't and can't see is why people want to sit here on the forums an endlessly grip about it. Take action and just be a smart consumer. B&N gave us all a device that lets us do that and as such I'm thankful.

                  • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                    HungryScribbler

                    Did people REALLY buy a eReader because the books were less expensive for one device than the other? I bought an eReader because it is cheaper to buy the books, yes, but also because of convienence, because an eReader is cool to have, because I hate carrying around a backpack full of books, and the ability to read all the free books that are available online at any time without using my laptop and killing my eyes!

                     

                    If people are going to complain because Amazon has a book that is cheaper than B&N, and immediately want to sell their eReader or have buyer's remorse, imagine all the people who would sell their iPod because iTunes raised prices on the music downloads!

                     

                    If a book is cheaper as a PB, then buy the PB! Obviously this defeats the purpose of having an eReader, but if its price you are concerned with versus portability, then do what it takes to make things more cost effective for you.

                     

                    If cost is REALLY an issue - here: Get David Weber's By Schism Rent Asunder for free: Pasadena Library

                    • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.

                      On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System: by Henry M. Paulson is $14.99 on Nook. It is $9.99 on Kindle.

                      The Nook price is even much higher than the paperback version.

                        • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                          bklvr896

                           


                          JREwing wrote:

                          On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System: by Henry M. Paulson is $14.99 on Nook. It is $9.99 on Kindle.

                          The Nook price is even much higher than the paperback version.


                          The Kindle edition that is $9.99 is a pre-order with a publication date of 2011.  The book on the B&N site that is $14.99 is the 2010 edition and that same 2010 edition is also $14.99 at Amazon.  So it appears that B&N doesn't have the Nookbook 2011 edition available yet for pre-order, but since it is an Agency book, it should be the same price, once B&N has it listed.  B&N doesn't seem to list pre-orders as early as Amazon.

                           

                        • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                          Bellesteacher

                          I noticed priced differences between regular books and ebooks within the B&N store. At times it is more cost effective to not buy an ebook. Found an ebook for 10.99 where as there was a hardbound of same book available for 3.99 Crazy!

                            • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                              Doug_Pardee

                              Bellesteacher wrote:

                               

                              I noticed priced differences between regular books and ebooks within the B&N store. At times it is more cost effective to not buy an ebook. Found an ebook for 10.99 where as there was a hardbound of same book available for 3.99 Crazy!


                              It's not crazy from the publishers' viewpoint. They're in business to make money, and it seems that American consumers are quite willing to pay for the convenience of e-books.

                               

                              For printed books, the publisher has to make a guess as to how many will sell at what price before the books are printed (the price is printed on the cover). For e-books, the publisher can adjust the price depending on how well the e-book is actually selling. As a result, there is no correlation between e-book prices and prices of printed books.

                               

                              • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                                bklvr896

                                 


                                Bellesteacher wrote:

                                I noticed priced differences between regular books and ebooks within the B&N store. At times it is more cost effective to not buy an ebook. Found an ebook for 10.99 where as there was a hardbound of same book available for 3.99 Crazy!


                                 

                                I would also guess that the HC book is on the remainder table somewhere, so it's basically on sale to get rid of inventory, nothing you're ever going to see with an eBook.  Same with digital music vs CDs, sometimes you can pick up a CD in the store for a few dollars that would cost you $10 or so at iTunes or one of the others, because they simply want to get rid of it.

                                 

                                Most likely, there's a paperback of that same book out there at about $7.99, simply because they put the HC on sale to move the inventory doesn't mean they are going to put the other formats on sale also.

                                  • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.

                                    Regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act: What about that ruling that makes it legal to jailbreak an ipad - I have read that removal of DRM falls under that as well.  The wording seems to say that removing DRM is not enough to trigger the DMCA; you would have to actually make a copy of the book (or song/video) and distribute it in order to be in violation of the DMCA. 

                                     

                                    I think at the very least the illegality of removing DRM for personal use is controversial. 

                                      • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                                        Nallia

                                        It is not illegal to jailbreak an iPad or iPhone, to root an Android device, etc.  That ruling came through last year, IIRC.

                                        • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.
                                          Doug_Pardee

                                          julianka wrote:

                                           

                                          Regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act: What about that ruling that makes it legal to jailbreak an ipad - I have read that removal of DRM falls under that as well.


                                          No, it doesn't affect e-books. The exemptions read as follows:

                                          Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.

                                          Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.

                                          An e-book is not a computer program that enables a wireless telephone handset to do anything. It's not covered under the exemption. Notice also that the first exemption is "for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability", and the second is "solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network". Neither exemption is to allow portability, nor to make copies.

                                           

                                          The wording of the DMCA (17 USC 1201) is quite clear that it's not about whether or not you make copies. The basic restriction reads thus:

                                          No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. [That's Title 17 - Copyrights]

                                          There's nothing there about making a copy. You are barred from circumventing the DRM. Of course, in order to remove the DRM you'd have to make a copy without DRM, so it's moot for DRM-removal anyway.

                                           

                                          There is nothing controversial about the legality of removing DRM for personal use. In the US, it's strictly illegal except for the one exemption from the Librarian of Congress:

                                          Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.

                                          Whether DRM-removal for personal use should be illegal is controversial, but whether it is illegal is not.

                                           

                                          That said... to my knowledge, no content producer (whether music, movies, ebooks, or whatever) has ever seen fit to sue a paying customer under the DMCA for removing DRM for personal use. Besides, they're not going to know if you don't publicly share your stripped content and you keep your mouth shut. In addition, the content producer would have to prove who it was that actually removed the DRM.

                                           

                                          That doesn't make it legal, though.

                                           

                                      • Re: Difference in Amazon & B&N Prices Irritating!!!!.

                                        Bellesteacher wrote:

                                        I noticed priced differences between regular books and ebooks within the B&N store. At times it is more cost effective to not buy an ebook. Found an ebook for 10.99 where as there was a hardbound of same book available for 3.99 Crazy!


                                        The question there though is, do you want a big, heavy, dust gathering hard copy taking up space in your house?  I wouldn't, so I wouldn't buy the $3.99 hard copy.  In a case like that what I'd probably do is get it from the library, so I'd only have the big annoying hard copy around for awhile then I could give it back, and it wouldn't cost me a dime.