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The Newfangled Gadget: A Love/Hate Thread
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Guccipiggy



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
Actually one of the big problems with ereaders is that the theoretical leader, Amazon's Kindle, hasn't released their numbers.


1.5 million is really a low number compared to the number of mp3 players already being sold before (or cell phones, for that matter).

Lasairfiona wrote:
As for the rest of it, mp3 access and cell phone penetration, that honestly sounds like a semester paper at least. I might start looking into it but we might have better luck with the idea if we look into technical papers on the subject.


I've already looked into it; I have a report in Spanish my team wrote up for me at work and I can send it if you'd like. I'll confess it only looks into the Latin American and European markets but I'm guessing we can all extrapolate from that (plus the fact that Kindle sales can't be that high in Latin American or European markets).
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to see that report. I'll take the practice with my spanish too.

The ereader market is going to be very different from the mp3 or cell market. You can't just read a book like you can play a flash game or listen to a song (or message your friends for that matter). There is more time invested. I also don't think there is going to be the same turnover of the hardware.

Where the market is going to be is the software. Ha! Found the article I was looking for (published a few days before the iPad came out I think):


LA Times wrote:
Amazon.com Inc. is playing hardball with book publishers.

The Seattle online bookseller said Wednesday that it would give authors a 70% cut of the sale of e-books sold for its Kindle readers, net of digital delivery costs -- essentially offering writers a way to bypass traditional book publishers.

In a direct swipe at print publishers, the company asserted that authors would make more money if they published digitally with Amazon.

"Today, authors often receive royalties in the range of 7% to 15% of the list price that publishers set for their physical books," Russ Grandinetti, Amazon's vice president of Kindle content, said in a statement. "We're excited that the new 70% royalty option for the Kindle Digital Text Platform will help us pay authors higher royalties when readers choose their books."

There are strings, of course. Authors must set the price of their books between $2.99 and $9.99 to qualify. If there is a physical version of the book, the Kindle price has to be at least 20% below the print copy.

Although authors are free to sell their books elsewhere, such as Sony's or Barnes & Noble's online bookstores, Amazon must be given the same or lower retail price.

Finally, authors would have to turn over to Amazon a broad set of digital rights to the book, including the ability to turn text to speech and all future features of the Kindle. The offer applies only to digital copies, not printed copies.

Amazon's timing is curious given that Apple Inc. has scheduled a news conference next week to reportedly unveil a tablet device that can be used as an e-reader, among other things. Apple has been making the rounds to publishers, studios and game companies to gin up content that would showcase the device's capabilities, numerous sources said.

Amazon's relationship with publishers has been strained, and Wednesday's move isn't likely to further endear the online retailer to its book vendors.

The source of tension? Amazon's pricing of new releases and bestsellers at $9.99 for download to its wireless Kindle. Publishers fear that the price will undermine its lucrative hardcover market, where books sell for $25 or more.

Three major publishers -- Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins Publishers -- struck back at Amazon last year, announcing they would delay the release of digital copies of select titles for four months after the print versions' debut. (The move is akin to delaying a movie's DVD release until after it has hit movie theaters.)

In this light, publishers see Apple as a potential counterweight to Amazon's massive influence over the book market. Will Apple's terms be any better? We'll find out in a week.


The book market is going to have to change. I don't think it will be that bad though since digital copies of book have a much lower overhead.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm typing this on my Eris and I have also used iPhones and this baby wins, trackball FTW!
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Las, Amazon also just lost a battle with Macmillian that allows them to break the pricing scheme. You can expect other major publishers to follow suit.

I've been mulling over the implications for the ebook market, and they're looking pretty shitty.
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that isn't good.

Quote:
Amazon.com currently buys digital books from publishers for $12 to $13, Aiken said. Since its price for best-sellers is $9.99, Amazon.com is taking a loss on those titles. Thatís left publishers waiting for the retailer to demand lower wholesale prices, he said.


Is this just because they haven't figured out how to produce them efficiently?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe publishers can be that ignorantly short sighted...then again maybe I can Sad
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i really fail to see how they can think charging more for books will result in more books being sold. personally, i considered $9.99 too high for an electronic book anyway (yes, i'm cheap - i wait till things come out in paperback, too) - so i'm even less motivated to get an ereader.

yeah, brilliant marketing decision, publishers!
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps they are reluctant to speed into the era of e-books.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Perhaps they are reluctant to speed into the era of e-books.

Perhaps.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
i really fail to see how they can think charging more for books will result in more books being sold. personally, i considered $9.99 too high for an electronic book anyway (yes, i'm cheap - i wait till things come out in paperback, too) - so i'm even less motivated to get an ereader.

yeah, brilliant marketing decision, publishers!


the only times I haven't done this is when I've been reading a series and the library has a long reserve.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Macmillan hoped to sell more books by bumping up the price. I think they thought the existing market would bear the increase, and the people who are already buying ebooks would keep buying them. They don't really lose anything by trying either - if they don't sell at $14.99, they just slap a "sale" tag on them and mark them down to $9.99 and forget it ever happened.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Perhaps they are reluctant to speed into the era of e-books.

Perhaps.


but e-books should be an advantage to them. no printing costs, no left-over books to dispose of, no embarrassments when something unexpectedly becomes a runaway best-seller, and they only printed 10,000 copies or something.

now, bookstores and printer's unions - those, i could see having a problem.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
but e-books should be an advantage to them. no printing costs, no left-over books to dispose of, no embarrassments when something unexpectedly becomes a runaway best-seller, and they only printed 10,000 copies or something...


no reason for established authors to use a publisher...
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Runaway bestsellers could turn into the most popular items on BitTorrent.
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TIAB



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard somewhere recently that the cost of printing actually accounts for very little of the cost of publishing a book. For the big publishers, the benefits of releasing eBooks is not that they save on printing, but the possibility for greater control over the sale and resale of books. By going with some form of DRM, they can basically ensure that no one purchases a "used" copy again and that they make a percentage of every sale. They can also choose to market the move as "green" but in most cases that's an afterthought.
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