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Author Topic: EBooks Pricing & Issues
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Member # 12622

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This may sound like complaining and if it is, let me start off by saying I really enjoy OSC's books. The price to purchase any of OSC books for the Nook or Kindle is the exact same price as for purchasing a paperback. Am I the only one who has a problem with this? I understand that there may be a price to getting a book formatted digitally, but other books I have purchased digitally have been discounted for the fact that they are digital and do not require printing on paper. Whose pocket are we padding when we pay extra for a book that costs less? I'm hoping it goes to OSC's pocket, but I doubt it. There seems to be no incentive here to purchase the digital version even though the publisher makes more money. Am I right to think this is greed? There are other cheaper options for me to get the books, I could for instance go to half price books and buy a used copy and that benefits no one but HPB. I would prefer if OSC received some royalties for monies I am spending, but why is the publisher in this instance bankrolling the savings on not printing a book. I would prefer to think that perhaps there were extra costs that could justify the same price for EBooks, but the recent debacle with low quality books entering the marketplace seems to indicate otherwise. I suppose after all of this it comes down to a few simple points:
Why are the EBooks the same price as the print versions for OSC's books?
Is OSC getting more royalties because of this, or are the publishers being greedy?

If the publishers are being greedy then I will just go purchase some used books and cut both out of the revenue stream. I am not a large consumer, nor am I powerful but why piss people off unnecessarily so?

I hope I have not pissed anyone off, but I felt it had to be asked.


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Jeff C.
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I really doubt that it's OSC's idea or that he is getting more money.

I do agree it's a little unfair. But then again, you're buying a convenience, so you don't have to lug all those books around. But I think they should be cheaper, because paper can get expensive, especially when you compare it to an ebook, which presumably costs way less to distribute.

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Chris Bridges
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For the most part I think publishers are purposely pricing their ebooks high to protect print sales, as ebooks are a quickly rising percentage of sales but print is still where most of the money is.

Granted, publishers that embraced lower-priced ebooks have done very well with them -- Baen, as a prime example -- but publishing houses tend to turn slowly.

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Member # 7625

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I think internal company politics/maneuvering can cause seemingly weird marketing/pricing decisions, too.

Imagine one vice president whose bonus is based on print sales, and another vp whose bonus is tied to ebooks.

Then imagine that the print vp knows something embarrassing about the CEO.

(Not to imply anything about anybody in real life. But that kind of thing [likely not quite so lurid] seems to happen in corporations.)

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Craig Childs
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Pricing on e-books is ridiculously illogical. & all this industry worry about cannibalizing print sales is equally silly.

Over this summer, on at least five occasions, I purchased used paperback novels for less than $4 (including shipping) from Thriftbooks or Half-Priced Books.

Now, the silly thing is: I would have preferred the convenience of an e-book. And the author/publisher would have preferred me to buy an e-book. Why couldn't we get together? Because, the e-book cost twice as much as the used paperback: $8-$10.

So I went with the more affordable option that I didn't want as much. & author/publisher lost a sale.

From a business standpoint (not a consumer standpoint), the most logical thing is to price ebooks at the exact same price as the most commonly available print version. When the book comes out in hardcover, then the ebook is $17 (or whatever the hardback costs). When the book comes out in paperback, the ebook price drops to $7-$8. When the book becomes commonly available on the secondary market, then the ebook price should drop to comparable level.

Here's the rub: Many consumers prefer the convenience of an ebook, if it's available, but frankly they don't want to pay extra for that convenience. There's a simply psychological reason: consumers know ebooks already cost the publisher less than printed books, so they feel doubly cheated if they have to pay a higher cost.

So, the right idea is to make sure the consumer who wants an ebook can always get it at the price of a comparable print version. What's so hard about this concept?

[ September 16, 2011, 05:05 PM: Message edited by: Craig Childs ]

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Member # 9913

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This is the reason I haven't purchased Dune on my Kindle. I can buy the used paperback for around $3-$4 , and new for $8-$9.

The Kindle edition? $14.99

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