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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old July 5 2012, 04:00 PM   #1
Shikarnov
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Location: Texas (Connecticut & Ivanovo in years past)
eBook Prices

Hi All,

I figure since folks here are closest to the publishing industry, perhaps you can help me understand something.

The other day, I bought Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night, for my Kindle for $7.99 from Amazon. Then I noticed that the price was the same for the paperback version.

It seems to me that the eBook format drastically reduces production, distribution, and storage costs. Are those costs so negligible as to be not worth passing along? Or is there some other force at work that's keeping eBook prices equal to their physical counterparts.

Thanks for your attention,

Z
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Old July 5 2012, 04:54 PM   #2
Sho
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Re: eBook Prices

Most of a book's price indeed goes to writing and editing it; printing and distribution is rather negligible.

ETA: As for Amazon's strategy specifically, this is the piece to read.
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Old July 5 2012, 06:21 PM   #3
Shikarnov
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Re: eBook Prices

^ That was a very interesting read. Thanks for posting it. "Monopsony"... Learn something new every day.
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Old July 5 2012, 06:31 PM   #4
Sho
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Re: eBook Prices

BTW: It's funky timing that very shortly after Stross published that piece, Tor Books announced it was going to go DRM-free on its entire catalogue.

Another good read: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog...nd-ebooks.html
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Old July 5 2012, 08:52 PM   #5
ATimson
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Re: eBook Prices

Sho wrote: View Post
Most of a book's price indeed goes to writing and editing it; printing and distribution is rather negligible.
Printing and distribution and returns may be negligible, but the significantly increased cut the publisher receives on an Agency title isn't. Suddenly they've gone from receiving 50%-65% of the cover price to receiving 70% of the cover price, while cutting their costs.

For "hardcover/TPB" titles, this is ameliorated by the price cut they usually receive. For "MMPB" titles, the publisher is just pocketing that extra cash.
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Old July 6 2012, 10:47 PM   #6
BrentMc
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Re: eBook Prices

I think the eBooks should be a little cheaper, but the main problems I have with eBooks is that you cannot buy them used, or sell your used eBooks. Furthermore, many publishers do not participate in library e-lending.
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Old July 9 2012, 03:55 AM   #7
veritech
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Re: eBook Prices

I have found that I enjoy reading novels on my Kindle more than in paperback. Unfortunately, I have a large backlog of Trek fiction and I find myself purchasing the books a second time for the Kindle!!
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Old July 9 2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Re: eBook Prices

For what it's worth, here in the UK, print books are not subject to VAT (tax) at 20%, but e-books are, explaining the price variance.
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Old July 13 2012, 10:23 PM   #9
JWolf
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Re: eBook Prices

S&S is undercutting the price of Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn. They are selling the pBook for $6.39 and the eBook for $7.99.

Is S&S trying to kill off eBooks?

http://books.simonandschuster.com/St.../9781451649567
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Old July 14 2012, 12:17 AM   #10
Thrawn
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Re: eBook Prices

I think it's obvious that no one thinks ebooks can be "killed off". Not a chance.

I think a much more reasonable, and likely correct, assumption is that they're trying to slow down the adoption of ebooks because it's a radical shift in their business model that they aren't ready for yet. Which has the benefit of being true, as opposed to patently ridiculous.
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Old July 14 2012, 01:52 PM   #11
Relayer1
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Re: eBook Prices

As I've posted elsewhere, whatever the format, books in the USA are cheap compared to other countries, and offer excellent value per hour of entertainment. I can, however, see that it is unfair is if a premium is added to the most current format - in this case ebooks. You can see this with DVD and Bluray releases of recent films. With no expensive remastering required, manufacturing and distribution costs should be very similar. Shop prices aren't.

Overcharging appears pretty much everywhere - I'll give an example that will also tell you something about my musical tastes. I love the band Rush - I've followed them for over thirty years. I didn't go to their last UK tour and I'm not going to their 2013 tour because they are charging roughly double (£90) what other similar sized bands (i.e. Iron Maiden) charge for similar sized venues.

As a comparison, in a few weeks I am going to see former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson who is playing a one off gig and bringing in a whole foreign orchestra for that one show at a smallish theater venue. Without the ability to spread costs over a run of gigs and fewer tickets for sale than Rush's arena tour, tickets cost £65.

I feel that Rush are wildly overcharging - I have the simple choice of going or not going, and I'm not - it's too much. At least with books you have the option of picking up an even less expensive used copy at a later date. With a gig you miss it and it's gone for ever.

Let's be honest - not many people read more than two books a week, every week, but's let's assume YOU do. If there's a dollar extra for the ebook version we are still only looking at just over $100 per year. Ebook prices aren't that big an big issue imho.
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Old July 14 2012, 02:10 PM   #12
Patrick O'Brien
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Re: eBook Prices

veritech wrote: View Post
I have found that I enjoy reading novels on my Kindle more than in paperback. Unfortunately, I have a large backlog of Trek fiction and I find myself purchasing the books a second time for the Kindle!!
I did that with the first two trek novels I read on my kindle too
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Old July 14 2012, 05:19 PM   #13
Deano2099
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Re: eBook Prices

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
Let's be honest - not many people read more than two books a week, every week, but's let's assume YOU do. If there's a dollar extra for the ebook version we are still only looking at just over $100 per year. Ebook prices aren't that big an big issue imho.
That would be true if, like a Rush gig, there was no alternative to that experience. As you say, you're making a choice to go to or avoid a show based on if you feel you're being ripped off, not on the final figure charged.

Problem is when ebook consumers feel they're being ripped off, a sizeable proportion will resort to piracy. Please note, I'm not justifying piracy, and I don't want an argument about if it's right or wrong, and I know some people will always pirate regardless of price, and I know some people will never pirate regardless of price.

My point is merely that having your customers 'feel' ripped off is a bad idea when all it takes is the smallest amount of know-how and flexible moral standards to not pay for that book at all.
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Old July 14 2012, 10:46 PM   #14
Relayer1
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Re: eBook Prices

^ True, but could this pressure from piracy actually help to keep the publishers from overcharging ? I agree that that could be over-optimistic, but you can but hope that they have learned something from the experiences of the recorded music industry who ignored the situation until it was way too late and then took all the wrong actions...
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