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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I have been looking at getting a Kindle, but I'm the sort that likes to research expensive purchases before making them. ;)

I've checked prices on a lot of books that I would purchase through the Kindle and was disappointed to find that the vast majority of their kindle pricing is the same as the softcover book price.  I'm confused about that -- why is it the same if you're not going to be paying for a physical product? Shouldn't there be a savings of some sort if it's electronic only?

Thanks.
Ray
 

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Hi Ray,

Welcome and glad to have you here.

Pricing 101...there was an article in the New York Times on 6/4/08 that said that Amazon pays the same price to the publisher for an ebook as they do for the hardcover which is usually 50% of the suggested list price. Sounds ridiculous but that's the name of the game for the moment. So...for a book that lists for $26, Amazon will pay $13. If they sell the Kindle edition for $9.99 they are losing money but obviously they hope to sell enough print books to offset that loss.

I don't know if when the paperback comes out if the publisher then adjusts the wholesale price to Amazon (no newspaper articles on that issue). But most people have noticed that Kindle book prices will drop to the paperback price, as you did. So either they are losing MORE money or paying a different price to the publisher.

I know it seems ridiculous because as you said, there is no paper, printing, warehousing, etc. But the fixed costs to produce a book (employees, buildings, utilities and so on) still exist so they can't just give the ebooks away, even though intuitively it would seem that they should be cheaper.

I also think there is a huge convenience factor with Kindle books in terms of ordering and delivery and I am willing to pay for that.

Leslie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the explanation!  It is indeed illogical, but this reminds me a lot of the music industry with their idiosyncrasies in pricing certain things.

Apple really shook things up massively in the music industry when they started selling songs for .99 cents, so I'm hoping we can see another game changer via Amazon (or an Apple of sorts) that can drastically reduce the pricing of electronic editions of books. If Apple and the music folks can still make good money off a 99 cent song, I would think Amazon and the publishers could as well if they found a nice sweet spot like Apple did.

I would think such radical pricing would really levitate Kindle sales as well as sales of electronic books -- enough so that everyone still makes good money and us consumers save money! ;)

Ray
 

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gertiekindle said:
I guess it depends on what types of books you like. I've only paid paperback price once ... 7.99. Mostly I pay $4.49 to $6.39 and a lot of times even less.
I have been able to purchase many books that I have always wanted in my younger years, but didn't have the money or the space to store them at the time. There are so many books out there for the Kindle under $5 that I am finally getting a chance to own them and have a cool space for storage!
 

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I quote from the New York Times:

Amazon sells most Kindle books for $9.99 or less. Publishers say that they generally sell electronic books to Amazon for the same price as physical books, or about 45 percent to 50 percent of the cover price. For a hardcover best seller like Scott McClellan's "What Happened," the former press secretary's account of his years in the Bush White House, that would mean that Amazon appears to be selling the selling the book for about 25 percent below its cost.

The whole article is here:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,77.msg351.html#msg351
 

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Leslie, I in no way wanted to appear to doubt you! It's the blind sourcing of the Times article that I question. I can't imagine any sustainable way for Amazon to sell the most popular Kindle titles at a loss, much less such an appreciable loss.
 

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Teninx said:
Leslie, I in no way wanted to appear to doubt you! It's the blind sourcing of the Times article that I question. I can't imagine any sustainable way for Amazon to sell the most popular Kindle titles at a loss, much less such an appreciable loss.
I guess they figure that for every 1 kindle book they sell (losing $3) they sell 5 or 10 print copies, thereby making up the loss. Obviously they have data we don't have but they must have planned that Kindle books will be a "loss leader" for a year or two until the Kindle catches on. Then what happens?

1. Kindle prices rise so they are no longer selling them at a loss or,
2. Amazon, by force of the number of Kindles and ebooks sold, can negotiate lower prices on ebooks at the wholesale level, thus preserving the $9.99 price (which many owners have said is their personal price point).

You know, I got an MBA (from a school right there in your neck of the woods, Teninx, the Whittemore School!) and the case studies they made us read and analyze were never nearly as interesting as this living case study we are all experiencing.

L
 

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Teninx said:
I picked up an MBA....brochure at UNH once. About as close as I got to a graduate degree :)

OK, maybe Amazon can take a loss on Kindle titles for however long. But....I'm not fully convinced.
Getting an MBA means you spend two years speculating on this sort of stuff. 50% of your classmates are wrong 100% of the time. You just hope you are in the other group. Then you graduate and...you keep speculating. Like I said before, the real world cases that pop up are way more interesting than the ones they make you read (anyone want to know about Kewanee dumpers? Ask me!).

And just as a reminder, I really am a nurse! I just did this business thing because I like going to school...LOL.

L
 

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No doubt they are pushing the $9.99 price point even if it is a loss leader on some books in order to establish themselves in the market.  The more interesting thing will be to see if publishers come down in the wholesale price or if Amazon has to raise the retail price eventually.

BTW, I'd rather not have to deal with the paper package that books have typically been saddled with.  I actually prefer the ebook to the paper copy so doesn't that mean it's worth at least as much?  Granted you can resell the paper copy though with the price you'll get vs. the hassle I'm not sure that is worth much.  I do pretty much refuse to purchase books that are kludged to work only on one brand of reader though so that plummets the value of Amazon Kindle books for me.
 

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tessa said:
leslie

With a RN MBA and a PhD I say you more than like school.
Hahahah, yes, I really did like going to school, that's for sure!

I never went to college, but I did sent 4 kids.

What is your PhD in.

tessa
Nursing. From the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. Class of 1988.

L
 

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So you're a doctor of nursing? That's interesting! Are you a nurse manager or the like? If you liked school why not med school?  Although I will say, I think nurses do a lot more of the real doctoring than the docs.  A good nurse is worth her weight in gold.

Tessa, I think if you put 4 kids through college you should get an MBA by default.  That took mad skills!
 

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ShellyD said:
So you're a doctor of nursing? That's interesting! Are you a nurse manager or the like?
I have had more of an academic and research career, not so much in management and clinical. I'm the editor of two nursing journals and own my own business, which celebrated its 7th anniversary on November 1!

If you liked school why not med school? Although I will say, I think nurses do a lot more of the real doctoring than the docs. A good nurse is worth her weight in gold.
Precisely. I think nurse-work is more interesting than doctor-work.

Tessa, I think if you put 4 kids through college you should get an MBA by default. That took mad skills!
Really!!
 

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That's really awesome.  My eldest is trying to figure out if she wants to do medical research or be an md.  It's tough to be young and have the whole world in front of you!

Medical, nursing, etc.. journals on the Kindle.  That would be great.  I have a good friend who is an md and always has a stack of JAMAs piled high in the living room that he's going to get around to someday.  I bet he'd get a lot more read if he had them on a kindle!

Happy business anniversary!!!! And many more.
 

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Just one more voice in the why are kindle books priced the same as paperbacks.  I have had this same problem in my profession when my clients only order an email version and not a hard copy of the transcripts I provide.  It's hard to make them understand that I put the same amount of work into the product regardless of whether I print it or they print it.  It's my services they are actually paying for. 
 

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drenee said:
Just one more voice in the why are kindle books priced the same as paperbacks. I have had this same problem in my profession when my clients only order an email version and not a hard copy of the transcripts I provide. It's hard to make them understand that I put the same amount of work into the product regardless of whether I print it or they print it. It's my services they are actually paying for.
Yes, very good point.

L
 

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drenee said:
I have had this same problem in my profession when my clients only order an email version and not a hard copy of the transcripts I provide. It's hard to make them understand that I put the same amount of work into the product regardless of whether I print it or they print it. It's my services they are actually paying for.
Do I detect a fellow court reporter? I know exactly what you mean. ;D
 
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