price

Go Read This | 10 Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices — LuzmeLuzme

Fascinating piece on ebook prices in the UK versus ebook prices in the US. Makes you wonder whether it was a good thing for Irish publishers that Irish Kindle readers were offered the chance to switch to Amazon.co.uk rather than Amazon.com for their ebook purchases:

In the UK, there is usually a fierce price war going on between Amazon and some new entrant; currently it is Sainsburys, previously it was Sony and Nook. But there is usually someone trying to buy market share by discounting the price. Previously we had the 20p offer from Sony, now 99p seems more common.

via 10 Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices — LuzmeLuzme.

Go read This | Whats the right price for ebooks? updated : CJR

Interesting piece on price I found via: Book2Book earlier today

The marginal-cost-is-all argument also fails to take into account copyright law, which essentially grants each new work a sort of miniature monopoly. If I write a book about something, you can’t republish it unless I give the okay, or unless it’s 70 years after I kick the bucket and the copyright expires. You can argue about whether copyrights are too long or too restrictive, but we grant them so creators and investors do the creating and investing they otherwise would do much less of if anyone could profit off their work. Just because a product is digital doesn’t mean it’s infinitely abundant—as long as the law is enforced.

via Whats the right price for ebooks? updated : CJR.

Go Read This | Thad McIlroy – Future Of Publishing » Don’t Compare Specs, Compare Content

Excellent post by Thad this, read and think:

As you can see, Apple is missing half of the 10 titles on this week’s ebook bestseller lists (narrowed down to just self-published titles). That has to be troubling to Apple and its publishing partners. Apple and the big trade publishing houses could argue that the sorts of people who buy 99 cent ebooks aren’t iPad/iPhone owners. That would not be a clever argument. I would argue that after launching the iBookstore with great fanfare Apple is acting very much like a company that doesn’t much care about ebooks.

Barnes & Noble faces a different problem. None of the books here sells for over five bucks and yet Amazon manages to discount many of the titles from Barnes & Noble’s list prices, on average over a third off (of course it’s prices are lower still compared with Apple’s).

via Thad McIlroy – Future Of Publishing » Don’t Compare Specs, Compare Content.

Go Read This | In which competition fails to be perfect « Courtney Milan’s Blog

A very fine piece on value, price and economics in ebooks:

Too true. I may have a legal monopoly over books by Courtney, but there are decent economic substitutes for books by Courtney. The problem is that (a) there are a small number of really good economic substitutes and (b) all substitutes are imperfect, with some substitutes being more imperfect than others.

For instance, I have a vast amount of empirical data demonstrating that at least some people would rather pay $7.99 to read my book than spend $0.00 to read Moby Dick for free. This is because Moby Dick is a really, really bad economic substitute for a historical romance. I like to think that even in historical romance, there is no perfect substitute for a book by Courtney. Heck, my books aren’t perfect substitutes for each other. Most people don’t read Unveiled a second time and say, “Well, now I feel just as good as if I’d read Unclaimed, so why bother?”

via In which competition fails to be perfect « Courtney Milan’s Blog.

Go Read This | 5 E-Book Trends That Will Change the Future of Publishing

So many things wrong here. I’ll deal with them one by one.

1) Enhanced EBooks

Imagine video that shows how to fix a leaky faucet or solve complex math problems in statistics; audio that pronounces foreign language words as you read them, and assessment that lets you check what you remember and comprehend what you just read. These interactive features and more are being developed now and will be on the market in a matter of weeks, not months.

Websites that do this pretty much already exist. Howcast has had a version up since 2008, EHow since even earlier. Why would ANYONE buy an ebook version of the web, unless it was truly valuable and niche orientated? I’ve more sympathy with the testing features, but suspect that such a set of tools would be better delivered over a subscription website rather than an ebook.

2) Devices

Because most developers are developing e-reader software that will work on multiple other devices (Kindle also works on the iPad, iPhone, and computers, for example), consumers will care less about the device and more about the user experience of the e-reader software, portability of titles from one device to another, and access to a full catalog of titles.

My fear about this is that as devices go multi-media, reading faces great competition from other media, something I’m fairly sure is detrimental to the medium.

3) Price

This has caused confusion among many consumers who simply think every e-book should be $9.99 or less. But the majority of titles offered on Amazon are priced above $9.99, especially those with unique interactive features. For professional and technical publishers like McGraw-Hill, our e-books cannot stand the low, mass market pricing some consumers think should be applied to every e-book. Our costs are invested in extensive product and editorial development of sophisticated and technical content; the cost of paper, printing, and binding are a fraction of the real expense. And for some very specific and technical subject areas, our markets are much smaller. We simply couldn’t afford to publish the work if it must be priced at the everyday low, low price of $9.99.

This confuses a publishers business model with the market. The Market has changed radically and many people can now publish cheaply. This will impact on existing business models. Believing that because your costs are high the market should pay you more is a recipe for disaster.

4) Contextual Upsell

E-books allow publishers to interact with their customers in new ways. Imagine customers who are trying to learn statistics and get stuck on a particular formula. They ask friends but no one can explain it well. They’re stuck.

They click a help button, which points them to the publisher site where they can download relevant tutorials about specific formulas for $2.99.

I’ve some respect for this kind of thinking, especially if it is deployed properly. I fear many publishers will not get to grips with it though!

5) Publishers Importance

Despite the hype around self-publishing via the web, publishing houses will play an even greater role in an e-book world. Commodity content is everywhere (and largely free), so high-quality vetted, edited content — which takes a staff of experts — will be worth a premium.

The problem with this is that it DOESN’T require a staff of experts. It requires AN EXPERT with access to the web and MAYBE an editor. No publisher need interfere. And increasingly, they probably won’t.

via 5 E-Book Trends That Will Change the Future of Publishing.

Things Publishers Fear: #4 ~ Price

I’ve put the fourth part of my series on modern publishing live over on EoinPurcell.com:

Price is a problem in the real world as well as the digital one. You only need to look to last winter’s price war in the US to see that. Amazon and Walmart kicked each other (and publishers) in the head to prove they had the best price for some key hardcover titles. The price point flavour of the day was $9.99. Then Target joined the fray.

The problem of course is that these price wars and ebook protests are driving a value perception home in consumers minds. On the one hand it reinforces the idea of ebooks being “worth” less than physical books and on the other, the price of physical books is too high, why else would retailers be selling them at such large discounts.