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Steve Jobs has made a deal with Rupert Murdoch, which may end the days of cheap e-books from Amazon.  (Source: Reuters)
Enjoy $9.99 bestsellers while you can, following the Macmillan concession, everyone wants more out of Amazon

As we predicted, the recent concession by Amazon.com in terms of electronic book pricing to “big six” publisher Macmillan opened the floodgates leading other top publishers to demand more.  

Amazon.com's electronics books have many downsides -- the potential to lose your book eventually due to compatibility, ownership concerns, and dependency on battery life of the device being used.  They also have significant upsides -- a lot of classic works are available for free, you can transport 1,000s of books in a single bag and it's much easier to locate your books.  However, the biggest advantage of all was pricing.  Whereas hardcover best sellers typically retail for $15 to $25 on Amazon.com, best-sellers have been available in e-book form for the bargain rate of $9.99.

Macmillan recently won in a battle with Amazon to raise those prices.  Amazon has agreed to raise the price of Macmillan 
New York Times bestsellers to $12.99, or in most cases, $14.99.  

Now Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who owns HarperCollins books -- another big six publisher -- is demanding a price bump of his own.  In a conference call Tuesday, he complained, "We don't like the Amazon model of selling everything at $9.99.  They pay us the wholesale price of $14 or whatever we charge.  But I think it really devalues books and it hurts all the retailers of the hard cover books."

Murdoch commented that he was looking to renegotiate News Corp's deal with Amazon and says that Amazon has responded that it is "ready to sit down with us again."

HarperCollins Books publishes such bestselling authors as Michael Crichton and Janet Evanovich.

Besides the Macmillan concession, another factor driving up prices is new competition from Apple.  Apple recently debuted its iPad tablet computer.  While its name has been the bunt of many jokes, curiosity about the new device is high.  Apple looks to use the device to become a major competitor to Amazon and second-place Sony in the electronic books arena.  

Apple already has a deal in place with Murdoch.  He comments, "Apple, in its agreement with us, which is not been disclosed in detail, does allow for a variety of slightly higher prices."

It appears that the final blows are being struck that will ultimately spell the end of cheap e-books.  Will that hurt the format's popularity?  Or will customers stomach the changes?  That remains to be seen in coming months.



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meh
By Levish on 2/3/2010 10:29:57 AM , Rating: 4
Meh, the time of publishers and distributors for ebook stuff could very easily come to a quick end.

There's nothing stopping authors from opening up their own small storefront and selling their own works independently and directly for whatever they want to charge.

Who needs Amazon or Itunes when you can buy the books straight from say Steven King's website for 4.99 (fictional possibility obviously).

You might not be able to get it on release day since small storefronts wouldn't be provisioned the same way but you also don't have to deal with selling through publishing / distribution companies like them unless you want to.




RE: meh
By smackababy on 2/3/2010 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure when an author gets a book published, they no longer have the rights to sell that work. Plus, if it wasn't for publishers, most authors (except the big names) would make very little money.

Publishers dish out funds for writers to live off of while writing their works. Without publishers, writing would decline greatly.


RE: meh
By porkpie on 2/3/2010 11:01:01 AM , Rating: 5
You're half-right. A publisher generally gets rights of first publication for a certain period...but the author doesn't give up all rights entirely.

You're absolutely right about the relationship between publisher investment and author output though. It's the same reason record labels will never die...megabands are usually created more by the label's money than their own talent.


RE: meh
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/3/2010 11:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
Still, even with your example about bands... no great work of art is lost if talent cant carry the day. You underestimate the power of people and the internet to aggregate and sift new content to find the good stuff.

The publishing industry should and will decline in the next 20 years significantly.


RE: meh
By Duwelon on 2/3/2010 7:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
Publishing industry? I don't think so, not if they adapt with changing technology anyway. If you mean physical books, then yeah, probably. However, having a very specific technical reference sitting on your desk at all times is going to be desirable for a very long time.

Anyway, this Mickey article headline is what i've come to expect from him, having an agenda masquarading as a news story. That's right kids, hate Ruport Murdock and everything he does, wink wink *fox sucks* wink wink.

From global warming, evolution and here a not so subtle attempt to shape opinion of someone in the media that doesn't tow the line of the left 100% of the time, it's not surprising who wrote this story. I knew from the second I saw the headline it was Jason Mick who wrote it.


RE: meh
By Griswold on 2/4/2010 7:24:04 AM , Rating: 5
But FauxNews does suck donkeynuts. And Murdoch is the prototype of a powermongering, lobbyist asshat. Those are facts of life. Whether or not DailyMick has an agenda or not doesnt change that.


RE: meh
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/4/2010 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
I still disagree. I didnt say the industry would go away, but decline. A lot of casual/pleasure reading material, created by solo authors, will be able to go straight to a contracted editor, then "published" (made available for e-book download) independently.

And unless you count MS-Word or WordPerfect's "Publish to PDF" button as part of the publishing industry (sarcasm), there is no room for them in this emerging business model.


RE: meh
By DanNeely on 2/3/2010 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 4
It depends on the contract signed. The default contract will typically give the publisher ebook rights but that can be changed if the author and agent insist.

Corey Doctorow posts creative commons licensed versions of all his books online for anyone to download. http://craphound.com/?cat=5

David Drake has kept ebook rights for his Lord of the Isles fantasy series which can be bought via Webscriptions, which has been selling DRM free ebooks for a decade. Their catalog is primarily Baen, but they have deals with a number of smaller SF presses and other authors who own their ebook rights. Except for major titles that aren't available in print yet, webscription books are priced lower than mass market paperbacks. http://www.webscription.net//


RE: meh
By Screwballl on 2/3/2010 11:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
Modern day publishers = RIAA/MPAA/MAFIAA

Just look through any Books-a-Million or other book stores and see less and less people there. The last time I was near one (last weekend), most of the people were in the coffee shop and reading stuff online in the free wifi, only 3 out of the 30+ were reading actual books, the rest of the store was mostly empty.
When I go in there it is usually just to pick up a single issue of a magazine I do not subscribe to, and even then that is only once a year. As the older generation slowly disappear and dies off, and the younger technophile generation becomes much more prevalent, within 1-2 decades, we can see the death of paper based books and magazines.


RE: meh
By MrBlastman on 2/3/2010 2:22:18 PM , Rating: 3
Nothing beats holding a fresh book in your hands reading it. The e-readers might be able to partially simulate the visual sensation, they can not simulate the smell and tacticle feel you get from it. They can not also simulate the reliability and portability of the book.

There is something nice about being able to open up a book and not worry about batteries, nor dropping it or just setting it down in a public place while you run to the restroom or, if on the beach, go out into the sea for a short swim.


RE: meh
By Ammohunt on 2/3/2010 2:48:37 PM , Rating: 1
You have time to open up a book? Between career and family i am lucky to have 5 minutes to myself in the bathroom(where i do most of my reading)


RE: meh
By Spuke on 2/3/2010 4:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nothing beats holding a fresh book in your hands reading it.
I read books because of the content. Never had a connection to them. I'd rather have an ereader. I could have ALL of my magazines and books in one place PLUS download more if I want. Super convenient too. Hell, I could download an audio book in my car during a trip and play it back through the cars speakers. Can't do any of that with a paperback.


RE: meh
By msomeoneelsez on 2/3/2010 7:39:39 PM , Rating: 3
Better than downloading an audio book, TTS is getting quite a bit better, and as it excels, there will be more (and better) voices of your choosing to read any book or magazine you download.

I'm sure someone will even emulate celebrity voices as well. Think "Obama proving himself wrong by reading The Wealth of Nations" to you on your daily commute.

Honestly though, those who think technology won't replace paper books are quite similar to Napoleon nay-saying the steam engine for ships. It may seem absurd or illogical, but sometimes the absurd and illogical are the better solution.


RE: meh
By FishTankX on 2/4/2010 1:14:45 AM , Rating: 2
There is NOTHING like drinking home roasted coffee 48-72 hours after it's been roasted. The sensory experience is divine. This *used* to be the standard way of doing things, back in early america. The advent of freeze dried, packaged coffee, and later, instant, completely fubared people's perceptions of what coffee should taste like.

It doesn't matter how good an experience is, the desire for convenience is a powerful motivating factor, no matter how wonderful the experience it's emulating is.


RE: meh
By Griswold on 2/4/2010 7:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
What a silly comparison. Downloading an e-book (which you likely wont be able to read again in a couple years or decades let alone pass it on to your kids and grandkids if its in a proprietary format) is only faster but no more convenient than ordering a real book online, sent directly to your doorstep.

Argument dismissed.


RE: meh
By elgueroloco on 2/4/2010 6:48:32 PM , Rating: 3
What a silly argument. There is far, far more to the convenience of an e-book than the process of buying it. For one, how about bookshelves/storage space? How much does a good bookcase cost? If you want a nice one, you can easily pay the cost of a Kindle for enough bookshelf to store 100 books. Then you'd have to pay higher prices for those books to fill the shelf. 1 Kindle will hold 1500 books. Most people don't have room for that many books in their house. A kindle can fit in a single desk drawer.

Can you carry your entire library of paper books around with you? No. How about college? Tell me which you find more convenient: carrying 6 large textbooks around in a backpack that weighs 40 lbs, or having them all on a 3-lb netbook that you can also take notes and do all your homework on.

Let's say you're in a technical trade that involves going out to job sites (e.g. electrician or anything involving bldg code). I think it would be really convenient to have technical references all stored in a small, lightweight device rather than carry them all with you in bulky paper form. How about a mechanic? Mechanics do not have room in their garage for 100's of Chilton's manuals, but they could store every one ever made in 1 kindle, which they do have room for. It would also take them far, far less time to look up the manual they need, allowing them to be much more productive.

I could go on and on, but I think I've gotten the point across.

Dismissal dismissed.


RE: meh
By Griswold on 2/4/2010 7:27:52 AM , Rating: 2
Did it never cross your mind that people buy books online too? Think of amazon. They seel a dozen times more real books than e-books. I am one of those buyers. I prefer real books over e-books anyway, because I *know" that I will be able to read it again in 20 or 30 years or somebody else in 50 or more years. Can you say that about your e-books on your little e-book reader? Nope, you cant.

Yes, most bookstores are going the way of the dodo, but books are not. I can only imagine that somebody who doesnt read many books would claim such.


RE: meh
By BioRebel on 2/3/2010 12:39:13 PM , Rating: 3
I kinda like that idea, an independent market that allows authors to sell their books themselves.


RE: meh
By wiz220 on 2/3/2010 12:58:14 PM , Rating: 3
I say keep Amazon in the mix but get rid of the publishers. Amazon could do for independent writers what Ebay did for people running small businesses. Amazon is the store front where millions of people can see your product and you can negotiate your own price with Amazon as opposed to having a publisher set the price for your work.


RE: meh
By CityZen on 2/3/2010 3:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
RE: meh
By DanNeely on 2/3/2010 3:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
You've obviously never seen any of the dreck that wannabe's think is good enough to be published. Publishing companies perform a vitally needed crap filtering service. Unlike songs which can be evaluated in a few minutes to see if they're any good a lot of the garbage that ends up submitted into slush piles have plot problems that aren't apparent until reading a large chunk of the book (incoherent/missing/doesn't have an ending).

There's also the issue of style. If I needed to grab a random book by an unknown author to kill time; better than 90% of my purchases were from either Baen or Tor books. While neither of them has a monopoly on SF authors who write books I enjoy their editors tastes are most closely aligned with my own; meaning I had the best chance of getting a book that turned out to be something I'd like.


BS
By webstorm1 on 2/3/2010 10:36:07 AM , Rating: 4
Publishers are the only one's making any money off of the eBooks and print books for that matter. Only established authors get royalties, the rest get the upfront deal. An ebook costs what, 0 dollars? The initial investment of putting it in the digital format is about it. I think, if Amazon is willing, you could distribute your own books with them for whatever you wanted to charge(cheap of course, but pure profit).




RE: BS
By DanNeely on 2/3/2010 11:04:19 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not certain you can post directly, but I know someone who is self publishing his book in paper and selling a kindle version.


RE: BS
By TheDoc9 on 2/3/2010 11:37:02 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe amazons best move is to become it's own publishing house.


RE: BS
By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2010 2:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
They already do that. If you've written a book, you can sell it as an eBook through Amazon. It's much like a the self publishing that's been around for a long time with paper books (which one can do through Amazon too I think). Of course most of the time, those books are only bought by relatives (at best). They're printed on an as-ordered basis.


RE: BS
By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2010 2:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
One of the books I read recently had a list of names at the publisher's for the help they gave on the project. Had fifteen people.

You're saying those fifteen people worked for free because it was an eBook (no, none of them was a printer)? Likewise the legal and accounting departments of the publisher work for free? How about all the work those folk do for books that don't sell at all? Have the publisher shut down operations after the first failed book or distribute costs of failures onto those that succeed (like ALL other companies do with their products -- Microsoft didn't shut down with the release of BOB, it's losses were paid from the gross profits of the other products)?


RE: BS
By webstorm1 on 2/3/2010 4:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone is paid for thier work. The end result is an ebook. The ebook costs 0 dollars from the inital investment(as I said). Self-publishing means taking on all the tasks that a publisher provides. Charging $15 for 0 cost to produce ebook is greedy, and there's no way for you to apologize for it. If publishers weren't greedy, they would be happy to make the $10 that everyone was happy paying. Selling 100,000 copies at $10 is much better than 50,000 copies at $15. It's pure corporate greed, and when those 15 people lose their jobs because of it, whose fault is it going to be? The greedy folks running the publisher.


RE: BS
By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2010 6:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
Self publishing certainly is a way to have very cheap eBooks. Most self-published books that I know of were, however, worth even less.


nice
By Smilin on 2/3/2010 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 5
Murdoch and Jobs - the dynamic duo of assholes out to make the world a better place.




RE: nice
By krose on 2/3/2010 10:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah it's a better place if they have more money in their pockets. I figured this would happen since I got my wife a Kindle for Christmas. I'm going to tell her to buy as many books as she can while they're still cheap.


RE: nice
By mellomonk on 2/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: nice
By jRaskell on 2/3/2010 12:32:31 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
When it comes to this Steve Jobs has been more friend then foe. He more or less single-handedly got the $.99 price point for music tracks despite the record companies wanting much much more.


It's also important to know thy enemy's motives. Don't think for one second that Jobs had the best interest of the consumer in mind. That has NEVER been one of his motives. He simply knew that 99 cents was a critical price-point for the success of iTunes and thus indirectly the success of iPod.

Apple and Jobs have consistently shown that they care far more about both securing and protecting their market-share and profit margins than about what is best for the consumer (though I wouldn't be surprised if Jobs truly believed he is what's best for the consumer).


RE: nice
By SoCalBoomer on 2/3/2010 3:02:46 PM , Rating: 2
And strangely, he was the one KEEPING DRM on iTunes until well after Amazon started selling DRM-free MP3s from all the major labels. He only got all evangelical about no-DRM after Amazon showed it could do so successfully. . .and he needed to compete.

NBC didn't come back with their tails between their legs. . .they did just fine on their own. They got what they wanted from Apple. Turns out Hulu is doing just fine without iTunes. . .

And as for hardback books - I got my last hardbacks through Amazon (sucked into a loooong series. . .sigh)

And if SteveJ wants content CHEAP, then why is he working with MaMillan to INCREASE prices?

Eeh - know thy history and know thy facts.


RE: nice
By mellomonk on 2/4/2010 10:53:45 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, I'll bite. One, Apple has no choice on the DRM on the movies on iTunes. It is in every contract. And the MPAA is extremely loath to that changing anytime soon. Music went DRM free after the experimental releases of one particular label proved successful on iTunes. Not Amazon.

Two, Steve's open letter to the record industry on DRM was released before Amazon was even in the MP3 business. Amazon was allowed to be DRM free from the beginning. It appeared at the time to be an attempt to break iTunes strangle-hold on digital music. Didn't work.

Three,NBC digital sales went to essentially zero in the short time they were off iTunes. They had some seriously over-inflated ideas of the value of their content and did not get what they wanted apon returning to iTunes save for a bit of variable pricing. There were no other major outlet for their content save for the then new Hulu. Which of course was streaming only. Hulu is awesome for viewers, but a financial disaster. Terrible add rates. As of this writing it is in the process of being revamped into a pay and/or subscription site. They look to have in converted within the year.

Four, Everybody in publishing knows that Macmillan is playing hardball with both Apple and Amazon. Do you think for a second that Steve wants to go up against the Kindle at a $5.00 disadvantage for best sellers? Funny, this past weekend Amazon got in a pissing contest with the same publisher and now is no longer in the $9.99 pricing model. Interesting. Steve had no publishing deals even days before the announcement of the iPad. He made the best deal he could at the time to be sure he had book content from the start 60 days from now.

I have no idea where you developed your views on the subject. Hopefully you read more then Daily Tech. My opinions and views come from over twenty years experience in these very content industries. Now dealing exclusively with digital content.


I guess history does repeat itself.
By Leper Messiah on 2/3/2010 10:55:00 AM , Rating: 5
Major book publishers had an opportunity to learn from the RIAA and the MPAA's mistakes regarding their content being distributed on the internet. They've had over 10 years to watch the shitstorm. And what do they do? Make the /same/ exact mistakes they did.




RE: I guess history does repeat itself.
By omnicronx on 2/3/2010 11:39:50 AM , Rating: 5
I 100% agree, all this is going to do is increase piracy. When are they going to get it, you can't expect to sell digital media for the same price as hard copies. Greedy ********'s is all I have to say..

Worst part is they make the claim that this is for the authors! Lets make one thing straight, ITS NOT. Most authors don't even get paid royalties, its all upfront. Its the publishers and the big players in the industry being greedy!


By BruceLeet on 2/3/2010 2:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
Its the RIAA MPAA who are used to the old days before broadband access to digital content, where they had huge surpluses due to the only medium being physical property such as tape cassette/CD. Now that the surpluses aren't as big as they once were DUE to the RIAA MPAA they have only shot themselves in the foot thinking they could control/influence content flow on the internet.

What they should have done from the beginning is make their music downloadable from the record labels themselves and have contracts in place with internet service providers. Just as you would go and get a ringtone somewhere to enter your number and have it billed to your mobile bill.


By Jaazu on 2/3/2010 11:09:45 AM , Rating: 3
I will have to laugh a bit if this plan to extort an extra $3-$5 out of people buying ebooks kills the tiny momentum that ebooks have finally achieved up to now. I have no problem paying $25 for a physical book with a nice binding to put on my shelf and let other people think I am well read, but to pay anywhere near that for an ebook... I'd be forced to actually read the books and partake in conversations about them.. HA!! I won't do it I tell you, I won't do it....




By geddarkstorm on 2/3/2010 1:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
The funniest part is he says that Amazon pays THEM, the publishers, the full wholesale price, and then just retails it for cheap. He just wants Amazon to stop giving customer's a good deal, but it isn't going to increase his profits, as he's already getting his full wages! See:

quote:
he complained, "We don't like the Amazon model of selling everything at $9.99. They pay us the wholesale price of $14 or whatever we charge. But I think it really devalues books and it hurts all the retailers of the hard cover books."


In short, he just wants to screw over customers so we stop thinking books can be cheap, and switch back to hard copies or something.


By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2010 2:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it's not economics so much as a power play as to who is in control.


Half-truths
By zzatz on 2/3/2010 2:54:16 PM , Rating: 1
This story presents a very misleading picture of what is happening in the publishing world.

Amazon has been selling ebooks below cost in order to drive competitors out of business. If they succeed, do you think prices will stay low? Amazon is fighting Walmart, and using Walmart's own tactics. We've seen what that leads to: lower prices but fewer choices. Suppliers going out of business, people losing jobs.

This article leaves out a key issue for publishers, dynamic pricing. Books on paper come out in hardback at higher prices, and early adopters are willing to pay those prices. After hardback sales decline, the trade paperback comes out at an intermediate price. Eventually, the mass market paperback comes out at the lowest price.

Many people are willing to pay a premium to get products as soon as possible. Look at the prices people are willing to pay for Intel processors or graphics cards. Others will wait for lower prices. I'm happy with my Core2 Duo, and wait for paperbacks.

Macmillan has said that they are interested in dynamic pricing; the price of an ebook should track the price of the paper edition. I won't pay $15 for an ebook, so I'll wait for the $7 edition. That's why the $15 price isn't worth raging about; that's not the final price.

The major publishers aren't there yet, and their track record is poor. But I see signs that this problem will be solved soon, so it's a lesser issue. Amazon's grab for monopoly power, coupled with its willingness to hurt authors and readers in its tactics, is a much more serious problem.

On a side note, most people don't have any idea of publishing costs. From what I've read, printing and shipping of paper books is only 3% to 10% of the total cost. The major publishers have huge economies of scale in printing. Most of the cost is in acquisition, editing, layout, proofreading, and marketing. Most of the cost of a book is the same for paper and ebook versions.

Smaller publishers have higher printing costs, but can skimp on editorial and marketing expenses. So they have a larger difference in cost between electronic and paper editions.

I'm angry about the way publishers have been dragging their feet, stumbling in circles, and otherwise failing to adapt to the digital world. But they may sort it out. But I'm certain that the Walmart business model is bad for authors and readers alike, and will not support Walmart or Amazon's quest to become the next Walmart.




RE: Half-truths
By cmdrdredd on 2/3/2010 5:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from what you said, most of which I agree with. I STILL see Pirate Latitudes on the Sony eBook store, Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com for $9.99.

According to the article this is one Author who is covered by this publisher and should have it's price moved or be unavailable no?


RE: Half-truths
By pepito perez on 2/3/2010 7:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
You are missing the point: Dynamic pricing, as most of the traditional market structures and techniques, do not apply to the digital content. In the real world if I'm not willing to pay 15$ for a hardcover I'll wait for the paperback. In the internet world if I'm not willing to pay 15$ for an ebook I'll take my P2P of choice and download it illegally. MP3s and Divxs prove it: DVDs at 29.99, good winds for the pirate ship to sail. With NetFlix at 9.99 who bothers downloading illegal content? Apparently the publishers didn't learn the lesson.


RE: Half-truths
By zzatz on 2/4/2010 2:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that publishers are driving piracy, but disagree as to which specific policies are doing it. DRM is a serious miscalculation, as it makes the legitimate product less valuable than the infringing version. Distribution is another issue, as publishers (and music, film, and TV producers) are hobbled with regional licenses that don't work in the Internet age. The key is to make purchases easy, and price is part of that, but the least important part. It's amazing how hard it can be to get people to take your money. Make it easy, and people will pay, and some people are willing to pay high prices. I won't, but I'm happy to have those people pay the lion's share of the development of the product.

That's the problem with the Amazon/Walmart model, they cap the price of the premium version, not the low end version. That means that the costs must be spread over more buyers, and only blockbusters and best sellers make money. I like books, TV shows, music, and movies that are quirky and appeal to smaller but significant audiences. That sort of content used to cover its costs with small sales at premium prices, and then later become available at prices I was willing to pay.

Some people are willing to pay higher prices, and those higher prices help drive diversity in the market. People who buy hardbacks make the paperbacks I buy later more affordable; they subsidize my purchases. They also make it more likely that books that appeal to me will be published.

I see no reason why a high initial price which drops over time cannot work for ebooks. It's a model that's good for readers and authors.


By DEredita on 2/3/2010 11:44:41 AM , Rating: 2
I liked Amazon's model. It worked, and the prices made a good argument for buying the eBook version. This saved trees/paper, the e-ink it uses is very easy on the eyes, the Kindle was pricey but not scary expensive, plus you could read it on the subway in NYC without worrying too much about being mugged for it.

Then Apple steps in with the biggest technology joke of the decade. Money hungry CEOs from publishing companies, who missed out on the wave of profits from the iPod/iPhone, flock to Steve Jobs thinking they can make tons of money. The books are now going to be close to the price of the printed editions, you have to read it on an LCD screen (eye strain), the entry level iPad is more than double the price of Amazon's Kindle, and you'll likely be mugged at knife point within 5 minutes of pulling it out on the subway in NYC.

What sucks is that folks who generally read a lot of books would likely not consider the iPad, and stick to their Kindle. But, they are getting screwed on the deal because now many of the publishers see dollar signs now that Apple stepped into the market, and they want to get as much money as they can.

Unless Amazon significantly drops the price of the Kindle, I would say that growth in the eBook arena will slow down significantly. Why would I pay $16 for a book to read on a device I can't pull out everywhere, when for $25, I can buy the physical book and read it anywhere?




By wwwcd on 2/3/2010 12:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
It is time to revive the Pirate Bay!;)


By Oregonian2 on 2/3/2010 2:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
What's funny is that Amazon's model is the same model that Apple uses for songs on iTunes using a single low price.


Tech question
By stlrenegade on 2/3/2010 2:49:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Amazon.com's electronics books have many downsides -- the potential to lose your book eventually due to compatibility, ownership concerns, and dependency on battery life of the device being used. ....<snip>


I understand the compatibility concern (a newer e-reader might have a different e-book file type that it uses), and the ownership concern (from the fiasco with "1984" being deleted from peoples' e-readers), but the last one confuses me. The article makes it sound like if your battery dies, you loose your e-book file? Wouldn't this be similar to an MP3 player, where you have mp3 files and they can stay on your player even after the power is turned off? Maybe I'm reading the sentence incorrectly. Seems to be pretty stupid to buy e-books if they are such a fragile digital object.




RE: Tech question
By fic2 on 2/3/2010 4:24:45 PM , Rating: 3
I think what this is eluding to is something like if you took your e-reader on a trip, but forgot your charger. If the battery ran down you wouldn't be able to read anymore until you got back to the charger. Or say you are reading a book and your e-reader battery runs down you would then be tethered to an outlet until it was recharged. Not that you would actually loose the content.


Who cares?
By frobizzle on 2/3/2010 5:08:44 PM , Rating: 1
I don't have a Kindle or any other E-reader, nor do I intend to ever buy one.

I don't have any Apple products nor do I intend to ever buy one.

This whole thing is a non-issue.




RE: Who cares?
By mforce on 2/3/2010 6:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly, I'll just get the real books and read those , I think it's a much better experience.
If I will someday buy an ereader it will be when its price dropts to below 100 $ , maybe somewhere aroud 50 $ , it's just not worth more than that to me.
As for this model of selling books that Amazon has for the Kindle I really don't like it. Luckily though once things go digital there's plenty of sources for free , high quality , no DRM stuff, if you know what I mean ...


By xmichaelx on 2/3/2010 7:08:11 PM , Rating: 3
$15 for a "book" I don't own? No, thanks.

The library is free. Used books in perfect condition are <$5. Pirate Bay is full of ebooks. This is not a wise move.




Played with zombies...
By wwwcd on 2/3/2010 10:50:28 AM , Rating: 2
Prophecy for @StiFFe Jobs und Rupert MurdoCh: They are of step by death?!?




Book Prices
By pityme on 2/3/2010 11:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
I hope the publishing model moves to subscription based. Imagine having a $5.00/month and download anything book related. I believe this is the correct model of the future.




By sapiens74 on 2/3/2010 1:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'll find a way to read all the free public domain books, or Write my own!!




Michael Crichton
By fic2 on 2/3/2010 4:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Michael Crichton will be writing anymore bestsellers since he died in Nov 4, 2008.

I enjoyed most of his books.




Get used to paying for things.
By reader1 on 2/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Get used to paying for things.
By Jaazu on 2/3/2010 11:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
There was an internet before google contrary to most of the public's beliefs. Even when Altavista and Yahoo were just tiny little indexes there were thousands of FTP servers and web sites that were "unindexed" that still existed and were easily accessible. Removing a site from a search engine index will not spell the end of anything.


RE: Get used to paying for things.
By sdsdv10 on 2/3/2010 11:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The content providers have all the power.


I'm sorry, but I believe you are incorrect. The consumer has all the power as we have all the money the publisher wants. Before we plunk down our cash/credit/whatever all the publisher has is words on a page/screen and a shit load of expenses. Vote with you wallet, it's the most powerful voice you have.


RE: Get used to paying for things.
By mellomonk on 2/3/2010 11:55:51 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe. But most consumers are sheep and the content providers have been pretty good at herding for a long long time.


RE: Get used to paying for things.
By cmdrdredd on 2/3/2010 5:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think I've ever once bought a book the day, week, or even month of release. Exception for Harry Potter.

To be fair here, I don't care if it's $15 instead of $10. I still only buy a handfull of books a year, like less than 5 maybe. So it's not like I'm suddenly going to be spending thousands or even hundreds more on my ebooks. It's not like movies where I buy many and can watch them multiple times. I read a book once, enjoy it or not, then I'm done. Same with magazines or Newspapers. For me it's read once and toss (or keep) and that's that. So honestly I don't see the big deal. The real problem is that none of the publishers have offered their published works to the consumer and have relied on Amazon, Sony and others to distribute the ebook version. Now Apple steps in and I know exactly what happened. Apple contacted publishers trying to sign them exclusively, that's right Apple wanted to monopolize everything. "Sell on the iPad store and not Amazon and we'll charge more for your books and we'll all make more money." So what happens? They approach Amazon and strong arm them "take down our works or you will charge your customers the same as Apple is charging! We want more money!" So Amazon has no choice if they want to continue their business.

Have no fear, Amazon is HUGE. This won't affect the Kindle, it isn't dieing or going anywhere. eInk is infinately better for reading for long periods of time than any LCD screen, superior battery life, and better price point for the device. Plus, it's more convenient in size. I'm not worried, and neither should you be. In the end you'll see bookstores disappear. Waldenbooks and Borders around my area are already gone.


By cmdrdredd on 2/3/2010 5:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and when Steve Jobs finally dies from cancer...what then? Apple is dead, period. Jobs is Apple and if it doesn't have his face on it at the keynote telling all the sheep how "magical" it is and how "$799 is a steal!!! BUY 4!" then it won't do well. Actually, I don't think the iPad will do well anyway.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














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