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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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I get where the person is coming from, but I ask this.

Is the author of an e-book profiting more than they would with a paper book? If so, I'm okay with it. If I enjoy an author, I feel they should get the largest cut possible of the money I spend on their product. So if Stephen King makes more for selling UR to me in ebook format then he would in paper format, I'm okay with it.

If only amazon.com and the publishers are profiting, then I'm more against higher prices, however I don't see that 9.99 for a book that is only out in hardcover is a bad deal. You're saving 16 dollars by not buying the hard cover.
 

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I disagree with some of the premises in the article, especially that the fixed costs such as editting ans such should only be charged to the printed version...

As for what the author gets, if the electronic rights are anything like the print ones, then the lower the price, the less the author gets (since it is usually a percentage of the cover price).

ETA: to clarify on the lower the price, the less the author gets: that is based on the actualy list/cover price. When Amaxon does discount below the cover price, it does not effect author take.
 

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TM said:
I disagree with some of the premises in the article, especially that the fixed costs such as editing and such should only be charged to the printed version...

As for what the author gets, if the electronic rights are anything like the print ones, then the lower the price, the less the author gets (since it is usually a percentage of the cover price).
I didn't read the whole article, so I missed the part where the author believes that editing costs should only be charged to the printed version, but I have to call bs on that. When I first got my Kindle I e-mailed an author, asking about whether or not her books would be available for the Kindle. She said yes, but they had to be re-edited first. And you can ask Leslie about the costs of editing a text file to make it look good and function properly on the Kindle. That's a completely separate cost because if you simply upload the pdf or doc file of the book it looks like crap.

Crown Publishing made this mistake and uploaded a pdf file of Scott Sigler's Contagious without doing any Kindle-specific editing, and let me tell you, it looks TERRIBLE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. 

I have mixed feelings all the way.  I don't think the article was saying that there is no cost for editing e-books versus print books, etc.  I think that the author was saying it is usually a one-time deal, whereas the costs for most print books requires multiple charges (for ink, paper, etc.).  I could be wrong, though, as I'm not feeling well today, so I'm not necessarily reading as well as I normally do.

I guess I'm still having a hard time with the idea of spending almost as much for an e-book as I would for a print one (I usually tried to buy books either used or in paperback form, so I rarely spent money on a hardback).  I know that I still "have" the book on the Kindle, but I only have it as long as my Kindle is working.  If it breaks, and I cannot or do not buy another one, all of those books are lost.  If I buy a print book, however, I will always have it.  It's just hard for me to bring myself to pay so much for something "intangible," as it were.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Kindle.  I two of the books I have purchased have been $9.99, so I'm not one of the ones who boycotts anything over $5.  It's still just different for me.
 

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Interesting article. I don't mind paying $9.99 for a book that I usually bought in hardcover. That would cost me up to $25.00, so I feel I'm getting a deal. My husband thinks we are saving lots of money, because I can't part with books and he was afraid we were going to need a bigger place to live.  :)
 

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There is a cost associated with editing it for the specific device. That price is still a great deal less then sending the book to the printer, printing the book, transporting the book to the stores, storing extra copies of the book, and then destroying left over copies of the book. Once they pay for the editing, the book can be saved on a server and sent out whenever a copy of it is needed. Given the size of the book, it does not take that much space on the server. So having back up servers in different parts of the country (just to be safe).

Which means that the overall cost for producing an e-book is a great deal less then a DTB.

Interesting article. I don't mind paying $9.99 for a book that I usually bought in hardcover. That would cost me up to $25.00, so I feel I'm getting a deal.
This I fully agree with. I want the book when it comes out (or the week after it comes out so the price drops). I am fine with payng a bit extra to get the book immediatly. If I feel I can wait, I'll wait for the book to drop to a lower price point.
 

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One thing I haven't seen anyone address: What about remainders?

Most books are remaindered (existing stock is sold at a substantial discount to jobbers) within two years after publication. These are the "bargain" books you see in bookstores. E-publishing provides an opportunity to extend the lives of books with minimal additional cost. Many of these books are great, they just didn't sell or have a more limited audience than the publisher predicted when they did their print order. I wonder if publishers who are reluctant to embrace e-publishing would be receptive to the idea of going electronic at the time a book is remaindered. The pricing of those books should match or be lower than a remainder price. Everyone should be happy: the authors, the publishers, Amazon, readers. Over time, the number of e-books would be greatly increased, which should result in more users. If there are more users, more current books will be sold. If more books are sold, competition for a user's time will increase and competition will drive down prices overall.
 

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Mikuto said:
I didn't read the whole article, so I missed the part where the author believes that editing costs should only be charged to the printed version, but I have to call bs on that. When I first got my Kindle I e-mailed an author, asking about whether or not her books would be available for the Kindle. She said yes, but they had to be re-edited first. And you can ask Leslie about the costs of editing a text file to make it look good and function properly on the Kindle. That's a completely separate cost because if you simply upload the pdf or doc file of the book it looks like crap.

Crown Publishing made this mistake and uploaded a pdf file of Scott Sigler's Contagious without doing any Kindle-specific editing, and let me tell you, it looks TERRIBLE.
They did allow of the inclusion of formatting costs (but had them as a small amount as the author seems to think not much is needed)... but seemed to think the other editing costs should not be charged to the elctronic version. I am not talking editing for a specific device, but the genral editting to get it readable...

I think the thing people neglect to look at, and it is important, is profit margin. For a reasonable analysis you need to look at proft margins and number of sales.

For instance, if a hardback is $25.00 and the proft margin is 10%, the publisher makes $2.5 per copy. Now if the ebook is $10 with a profit margin of 20%, then the the publisher makes $2 per book. They need to be able to sell a quarter more copies of the electronic book to match the earnings of the hardback.

The lower the price of an item, the larger a profit margin needed by the publisher, unless they can be assured of a great volumne of sales...
 

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TM said:
I think the thing people neglect to look at, and it is important, is profit margin. For a reasonable analysis you need to look at proft margins and number of sales.

For instance, if a hardback is $25.00 and the proft margin is 10%, the publisher makes $2.5 per copy. Now if the ebook is $10 with a profit margin of 20%, then the the publisher makes $2 per book. They need to be able to sell a quarter more copies of the electronic book to match the earnings of the hardback.

The lower the price of an item, the larger a profit margin needed by the publisher, unless they can be assured of a great volumne of sales...
Yes, but the profit margin on a hardback has to allow for the costs of printing the book, warehousing, etc. Digital books have costs approaching 0 per copy of a book. Profit = revenue - costs.
 

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What Kathy said:

Interesting article. I don't mind paying $9.99 for a book that I usually bought in hardcover. That would cost me up to $25.00, so I feel I'm getting a deal. My husband thinks we are saving lots of money, because I can't part with books and he was afraid we were going to need a bigger place to live.

Totally agree!  I don't like it when the paperback is exactly the same price as the kindle version.  I think the kindle price should be below the paperback price because of the cost savings they have, but it doesn't really bother me that much as long as the kindle version is not higher.  The hardcover/kindle price is what I focus on.  I will refuse to buy a kindle version that is not discounted by at least 25% of the hardcover price... I'll wait it out.
 

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SusanCassidy said:
Yes, but the profit margin on a hardback has to allow for the costs of printing the book, warehousing, etc. Digital books have costs approaching 0 per copy of a book. Profit = revenue - costs.
1) there is now way that digital books have costs approaching zero.

2) yes, there are more costs asociated with printed books, thus their profit margin is usually lower. However, a lower profit margin on on a higher priced product can actually net more profits than a higher margin on a lower priced prodoct, thus rewuiring more sales of the lower priced product to make the same amount of money.
 

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Mikuto said:
If only amazon.com and the publishers are profiting, then I'm more against higher prices.
Do you think that Amazon created the Kindle to make just a little money. If Amazon doesn't hugely profit then why should they ever develop such cools things. These things aren't priced by marginal cost calculations, but by the elasticity of the price/volume.

Steve
 

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I get what you're saying, and I have no argument against the Kindle's price of $359.00.

When it comes to a creative work though, I would rather see the author make the most profit on it rather than the publisher. If I could talk directly to authors and pay them through paypal for their work, rather than having to go through a middle man, I would.

This is just the way I feel. And my feelings have nothing to do with the Kindle or any other device that plays media.
 

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Mikuto said:
I get what you're saying, and I have no argument against the Kindle's price of $359.00.

When it comes to a creative work though, I would rather see the author make the most profit on it rather than the publisher. If I could talk directly to authors and pay them through paypal for their work, rather than having to go through a middle man, I would.

This is just the way I feel. And my feelings have nothing to do with the Kindle or any other device that plays media.
One of the nice thing about Kindle and other e-books is that Authors can self-publish. I don't know how that works but it should mean that they get a larger amount of the profit from the sale of their books. Of course, they have to worry about marketing their books on their own and that is hard to do.
 

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it would be interesting to see what type of royalties the major publishers are offering authors on the ebook version. if the percentage is similiar to what they get on paperbacks, then authors really donlt get much, especially with the lower priced books...

I do know that a couple authors sold their electronic rights to small, electronic only publishing houses where they got a bigger cut from then they would at the regular publishing companies they use for their print versions. of course, this is only for books that have already been published in print version. And since the editting has already been done by the print publisher, the electronic ones only had formatting to worry about...

And yes, authors can self-publish... unfortunately many do not them use a good editor as it can be expensive, and the books sometimes suffer for it. of course, some of the editting done by major publishers also is losy...

 

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Mikuto said:
I get what you're saying, and I have no argument against the Kindle's price of $359.00.

When it comes to a creative work though, I would rather see the author make the most profit on it rather than the publisher.
I would like to see the authors make the money too, but again that's not the way it works. Amazon is trying to maximize their profits. They invented it, and they control it. They have every intention in making money in every aspect of the Kindle experience. If they price books too high, they will sell too few of them. If they price it too low, they may sell more, but still not make up the money lost by the lower price. So the equation is to find the price that yields the highest dollar return, but still keeps the market growing for the future. It's a more complicated equation then it seems.

Steve
 

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Though I'm no economic major I know that money is the greatest motivator. Amazon.com has no reason to sell books or e-books if they cannot make money off of them, so of course they're doing it to get money. I understand that.

I suppose I should have worded my comment better.

In a perfect world, I would like to see the author get the greatest cut for their works, but if the price is jacked up just so the publisher or reseller gets a bigger cut than the author, I don't think that's very fair. I'm mostly talking about percentages here.

Of course the publisher makes money (where is his incentive to publish if he does not?) and of course the reseller makes money, I just wish that if the price was going to be high, that it was high because the original creator of the work was getting the largest cut.

 

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Mikuto said:
Though I'm no economic major I know that money is the greatest motivator. Amazon.com has no reason to sell books or e-books if they cannot make money off of them, so of course they're doing it to get money. I understand that.

I suppose I should have worded my comment better.

In a perfect world, I would like to see the author get the greatest cut for their works, but if the price is jacked up just so the publisher or reseller gets a bigger cut than the author, I don't think that's very fair. I'm mostly talking about percentages here.

Of course the publisher makes money (where is his incentive to publish if he does not?) and of course the reseller makes money, I just wish that if the price was going to be high, that it was high because the original creator of the work was getting the largest cut.
For print books, I really don't mind the publisher getting the bigger cut (as long as they give the author a decent cut) - as they have the most risk. There are also many books that they barely break even on or even lose money on, so it evens out for them.

With electronic books, there is less risk (nd fewer costs) and I think the authors should get a higher percentage than they do on the paper versions.
 

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I've noticed that the participants at kindleboards seem to have a more nuanced view of ebook pricing than many of the folks on the Amazon Kindle forums. I base this on the somewhat vehement posts on the "Boycott anything over $9.99" thread, especially in response to folks who feel that it is OK to spend more if you feel that the title is worth it.
 
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