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Discussion Starter #1
I not trying to rehash the "boycott kindlebooks over $9.99" argument and I realize everyone in the line from writing through sales deserves compensation, but do you think that Kindlers (assuming they are avid readers to own one and would have as a group been more likely to buy new books) waiting for books to come down in price, increase the wait time for novels to hit the bestseller list by not buying them at release?  It seems there are quite a few threads here about popular series or authors that would usually be bestsellers immediately that are now taking several weeks or longer (or never) to go down in price.  David Baldacchi, Stephanie Laurens, the Stephanie Plum books, currently the newest Sookie book are a few examples I can think of.

Even paperbacks seem to come down after a certain number of sales for those that still charge the cover price of 7.99 initially, but more and more never do (even though I can go to Target, Wal-Mart, etc. and buy them for a percentage off the cover price right away).

There are enough books out there for Kindle to be read that I generally won't buy a new book until it does come down in price, but I wonder if I am exacerbating the problem or if Amazon/Publishers/Authors, whichever really sets the final price, will realize how they may be affecting overall sales with new release prices. 
 

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I don't think the price drops have anything to do with Kindle sales. It usually is from the NYT Best Seller lists which has nothing to do with it.
 

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I guess that depends on how many Kindlers would normally have bought the hardback as soon as it was released.  I'm not one of them. 

With very rare exception, I will either wait for the paperback or go to the library (that's pre-k).  Even paperbacks are purchased at discount stores like WalMart, or most likely, from Amazon. 

So if most Kindlers are like me, I don't think we are affecting the bestseller lists all that much.
 

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I don't know, I'm just grateful that I'm not paying full cover price for the printed version. I don't have any problems with 9.99 for example. Book 9 of Sookie Stackhouse is 25.95 list for hardback, 14 bucks for Amazons price and just under 13 bucks for Kindle. I'm ok with that. I have kindle for the instant gratification, ability to carry a huge library in a small package and saving the resources of printing and shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ginaf20697 said:
I don't think the price drops have anything to do with Kindle sales. It usually is from the NYT Best Seller lists which has nothing to do with it.
That is the point I was trying to make - if we normally would have bought it and aren't because of the Kindle release price (I think a sale is a sale, DTB or Kindlebook for bestseller numbers) are there enough Kindlebook buyers to make them take longer to reach the Best Seller list, thus increasing the wait time for the price to come down for Kindle.
 

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crebel said:
That is the point I was trying to make - if we normally would have bought it and aren't because of the Kindle release price (I think a sale is a sale, DTB or Kindlebook for bestseller numbers) are there enough Kindlebook buyers to make them take longer to reach the Best Seller list, thus increasing the wait time for the price to come down for Kindle.
Not having a breakdown from Amazon on the actual number of Kindles sold, I am just guessing that there might be some influence on early sales but doubt it is a very large percentage.
 

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Rasputina said:
Why wouldn't Kindle sales count towards sales for the best sellers list? Am I missing something?
I am sure that they do, I believe the question is, are most Kindlers waiting to purchase till after the books makes the best seller's list and the price drops to $9.99? By waiting till the drop, are they contributing to the time it takes.
 

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ok, I did miss something. Thanks for explaining. I'm not big on best seller fiction, I pretty much live in the non fiction section of the bookstore except for select stuff.

 

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It's possible, I'd guess.  But keep in mind, the way I understand it, the NYT list only comes out once a week, and it's based on sales from the week before.  So with the Sookie book only having come out this past Tuesday, the 4th, then if it works that way timing-wise, the soonest it would come out on the list would be next week anyway, right? Or I could be all wrong... :D

It's funny, there are a ton of new releases that come out at $9.99 or less on the day they're released -- seems to be only the ones that are almost certain to be popular, from high-selling authors (even if not NYT best sellers), that start out high and then eventually, maybe, come down.  I'm still waiting on an Anne/Todd McCaffrey book from November to go down. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
intinst said:
Not having a breakdown from Amazon on the actual number of Kindles sold, I am just guessing that there might be some influence on early sales but doubt it is a very large percentage.
I think you are right intinst (btw congrats on 2000 posts!), we can't know the answer without the numbers. It is basically a circle-jerk question I have been asking myself. If there are 3000-4000 members here and 100 don't purchase a new book they normally would have because the Kindle price is "too high" plus some unknown number of Kindlers that aren't members here, could that be a significant enough loss of initial sales to keep a book from climbing to the Bestseller list and triggering the $9.99 price - but if those same folks went ahead and bought at the higher Kindle release price it will reach the BSL faster, likely drop to $9.99 and then they groan about having paid too much!

To complete the circle-jerk then, suppose I decide I will pay the release price regardless (as long as it is the same or less than I would have paid for DTB) and whomever decides the price says "See, they will still pay the higher price for a K-book, no need to release anything lower ever!

Whew! I guess as "just a reader", it is just a matter of whatever I am personally are willing to pay to have a specific book on my Kindle!

intinst said:
I am sure that they do, I believe the question is, are most Kindlers waiting to purchase till after the books makes the best seller's list and the price drops to $9.99? By waiting till the drop, are they contributing to the time it takes.
Thanks for saying it better than I did!
 

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I really don't know. My gut instinct tells me if it has an impact it's minimal right now. I'm not sure how much people have changed their buying habits (price wise) because of the kindle. There are very few books I have ever wanted to buy at the full price, the vast majority of them I can wait on till the price drops or when it comes out in paperback.

Long-term what Amazon is doing is changing the consumers expectation to be that ALL books will be priced at $9.99 or less from the get go. Boycott or no, I see this as a self fulfilling prophesy as more and more consumers expect this to be the norm and if the authors/publishers want to make a sale they're going to have to drop the price.
 

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I just don't think that Kindle owners are that large of a percentage of readers yet.  Plus, I think that a good percentage of those who were previously willing to pony up for a hardback on the release date are also willing to pay more that $9.99 for their latest fave on Kindle.
 

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Bezos said that of books on Kindle, 35% are now Kindle book sales. The jump (from about 10%) corresponded with the release of the kindle 2.

We may not be a big influence in the world in general, but apparently are a significant block of Amazon book sales. That said, if you look at the Kindle top 100 sellers, you'll find most of the free books (25-30 of them, possibly) and a scattering of under $10 books. The majority are the same as the NYT bestsellers and other new releases and go for $9.99 or higher. I'm not sure that the over $10 category doesn't outnumber the under $9.99 group, if you toss out all the free books.

Karen
http://booksontheknob.blogspot.com/
 

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I'd heard this before, but NYT makes it damn near impossible to determine exactly HOW they come up with their best seller list.

From Wikipedia:

The New York Times Best Seller list is one of the best-known bestseller lists for the US. The New York times does not include sales from Internet retailers or box stores such as Walmart or Target. It is not uncommon that a book that appears as number 1, will fall short in actual sales. The New York Times Best seller list only tracks National and Independent book stores.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestseller

Wiki, of course, is not the be all and end all source for accuracy. :) But if NYT isn't including internet retailers in their counts (see later notes below), virtually NO ebooks are being counted and Kindle sales will not affect that list one way or another. NYT is also notorious for manipulating the data to suit their preferences; their Children's Fiction category was started when enough publishers complained about the Harry Potter books taking up three of the top 10 spots on the Hardcover Fiction list for about a year. I'm going to hunt a little longer for any corroborating info on this, but it's certainly interesting stuff.

If Kindle users would previously have bought the hardcover, then yes, it probably takes an extra day or so worth of hardcover sales away from the totals. While we're a growing group, we're still a drop in the bucket as far as retail is concerned, and I don't think we're making that big a difference. YET.

Further notes after additional research:
**A NYT list for Hardcovers from last year does include "listings from online & multimedia entertainment retailers". Continuing to look....
***I've found at least two non-wiki sources saying that Amazon and Barnes & Noble's online DTB sales are counted--given their overall sales figures, it would be insane NOT to include them. However, I cannot find any evidence that NYT is counting ebook sales at this time. So even if we buy a Kindle book prior to it appearing on the NYT list (thus dropping in price), I would assume for now it isn't being counted towards the "bestselling" properties of that book overall.

If anyone else finds differently, please post, I'd love to see it. This appears to be a subject that generates a fair amount of passion among authors and not nearly enough data around it to understand exactly how it works.
 

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VictoriaP said:
I'd heard this before, but NYT makes it damn near impossible to determine exactly HOW they come up with their best seller list.
And what I find funny about this is that they claim the secrecy is necessary to protect their numbers from being gamed and yet they still have to add the cross of bulk buying to certain titles to show that their system was gamed.

Way to be, NY Times. Just give us numbers.
 

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I never bought hardcover books, but am buying kindle books, at close to 9.99, so I am contributing to that list.  I woukd guesas that e-books are still a tiny fraction of books sold and so don't really have an impact on the list (though we'd like to think otherwise).  But waiting for the prices to drop does make sense and, generally, they will.
 
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