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Couture TB
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:49 AM
So I love to read and so does DH. We have a nook color and a new Nexus so can do Kindle and Nook. BUT do to the price of most of the ebooks being almost as much as the physical book itself, or in the case of some books more then the physical book we find ourselves deciding to go to the library to get a book, buy the used book instead of buying the eBook. I have no issues paying $.99- $5 for an eBook. But when it is the cost of the book itself or just a few dollars less I just can't bring myself to get the eBook, which you don't even own. You are paying for the ebook to be licensed to you which is why you can't always lend them or if you do can only it to the person once.

When are they going to realize that this costs them customers and encourages people to search for places to download the books for free? The same goes for movies and cds .

What are everyone else's thoughts?

grayarabpony
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:06 AM
I completely agree. The prices of most online books are a rip-off imho.

Superminion
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:12 AM
I agree that the prices stink. But the way I see it, is that I have a toddler and she can't rip out pages 4-367, or throw it in the toilet, or or or... ;) so to me it's worth it in that respect.

I have a lot of books on my 'watch' list and when they go on flash sales or the like, I jump on them then.

Also this (http://www.livingfrugaltips.com/finance-and-tech/17-best-websites-to-download-free-ebooks/) website has a great list of places to find free/cheap bestsellers. I refer to it pretty often and have gotten some great deals!

Alagirl
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:40 AM
the printing of the book is probably the cheapest part though. I would not at all be surprised to hear most are done in China, not costing but a buck for hardcover...

what bothers me more is the idea of the digital book going poof without any fault of your own...that was how I first got to hear about Kindle: th guy was suing Amazon because his copy vanished off his device....

drs
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:43 AM
My local library has on line book rentals for up to 21 days for free. They can be through Kindle or Overdrive or PDF versions, depends on the book.

grayarabpony
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:44 AM
My local library does not yet have that service, unfortunately.

grayarabpony
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:45 AM
what bothers me more is the idea of the digital book going poof without any fault of your own...that was how I first got to hear about Kindle: th guy was suing Amazon because his copy vanished off his device....

The copy will still exist in the Cloud, so you just download it again.

Alagirl
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:45 AM
My local library does not yet have that service, unfortunately.

Lobby for it!

EcstaticLady
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:49 AM
I love my Kindle! The books I don't want to pay for are usually available to 'borrow' for free and I search for free books all the time. I probably have 15 books loaded right now waiting for me...the only problem with that is when I get around to reading them I've forgotten what they're about! :confused:

carolprudm
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:51 AM
Amazon has a list of top 100 free. I believe it is updated weekly. There are also a number of free or cheap book groups on Facebook. The quality varies widely. I download maybe 10 books a week, rarely paying over $3, pretty much only by an author I have read previously.
The delete key is your friend

Wonders12
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:04 AM
I think it depends on how picky (I don't think that's the best word for it) you are about what you read. My dad reads a TON and has over 150 books on his cloud (and has probably read all of them since he doesn't "stock up" more than 2-3 books ahead of time). He told me he doesn't think he's ever paid more than $5 for a book. However, he doesn't read many top new releases. He reads a lot of good-but-not-front-page authors or popular books that are not new so the prices are lower.

I, on the other hand, got my Kindle 2 months ago and already paid $10 for one book and am looking at another book for $25. The first is a very popular book that nearly every business person reads, and the second is a specialized text book type book for my industry. So I'm willing to pay the price to get those specific books.

Do consider that if you have multiple people on the same cloud, you all have access to the same books. So even though I'm an adult, I registered by Kindle under my dad's account (my mom and my sister did the same thing) so now I have access to all 150 books that my dad has.

grayarabpony
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:07 AM
Amazon has a list of top 100 free. I believe it is updated weekly. There are also a number of free or cheap book groups on Facebook. The quality varies widely. I download maybe 10 books a week, rarely paying over $3, pretty much only by an author I have read previously.
The delete key is your friend

Boy you have to go through a lot of stinkers when you download free books....

Ainsley688
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:13 AM
^Oh, boy, do you! I have downloaded some HORRIBLE books! I can't even believe some people read them all the way through, let alone give them reviews! I've also found some REALLY good ones, that I love.

Loopy
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:15 AM
Oh me too! I tried to give a review (twice) for one particular train wreck, but for some reason :rolleyes: my dire warning to others not to waste their time wasn't uploaded/approved or whatever by amazon.

No bad language or anything either ;)

The free book list is updated hourly on amazon.uk. Doesn't change a whole lot though, in that timeframe.
Im a big fan of the free list, I've read some great books on there I wouldn't have picked up as hard copy.

IdahoRider
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:26 AM
Yes, I agree. The price of books through Kindle can be outrageous.
Sheilah

barbarachloejosie
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:31 AM
I agree. Once the novelty wore off (and my amazon bill was shockingly high) I now download from the local library. The other thing I do before I go on a trip is to download the free sample chapters for 5 or 6 books I am interested in and then decide if I'm really willing to pay the $12.95 cost....

carolprudm
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:34 AM
the printing of the book is probably the cheapest part though. I would not at all be surprised to hear most are done in China, not costing but a buck for hardcover...

what bothers me more is the idea of the digital book going poof without any fault of your own...that was how I first got to hear about Kindle: th guy was suing Amazon because his copy vanished off his device....

I know of one instance where people had purchased books by George Orwell. Unfortunately Amazon didn't have the rights to publish them on Kindle. The books did go poof but the purchase price was credited back to the purchasers.

1984 anyone?

Couture TB
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:45 AM
Book companies, movie companies, and the music industry need to realize that as long as they continue to try to charge the same for digital as hard copy they will just have more people on the pirating sites. Now there will always be the ones that will just search for free stuff, but there are tons of people that would buy the digital if they were reasonably priced.

As for the free books, god there are so many horrible ones to wade through!

And with the hard copy that is close to or the same price as the digital I can lend it as much as I want and even sell it if I want.

flowersmom2
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:46 AM
And it's kind of an industry standard, I guess. Baen books used to have a great e-catalog with most of their older books at $6.00 apiece. As of December, their books are now available to through other vendors. But to do that, they had to raise their on site prices. At least they passed some of the profit on, they increased author royalties by 25%.

Alagirl
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:50 AM
I know of one instance where people had purchased books by George Orwell. Unfortunately Amazon didn't have the rights to publish them on Kindle. The books did go poof but the purchase price was credited back to the purchasers.

1984 anyone?

I am sure the case I mentioned had something to do with the refund.

but yes, that is not an easy feeling that your purchase can disappear over night!

Not sure how music downloads work these days, but a few years ago they had restrictions on how many devices you could sync them to...and it was only 3 times or so, if I recall it right...the few songs I did buy I burned on CD right away, to have a hardcopy for later (good thing, too, since I killed about 4 computers since!)

Loopy
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:54 AM
^^^ like Bruce Willis and his disagreement over his digital music collection, and his wanting to be able to leave it to his children in his will.

WoofNWhinny*
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:50 PM
My local library does not yet have that service, unfortunately.

Are there any neighboring towns where you can sign up for a library card that does have the service? Perhaps near where you work? Maybe you can sign up online.

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:59 PM
I think they're too expensive too-it's kept me from getting a Kindle. My daughter has a Nook and it was such a hassle trying to get books on it from the library (wrong format, not available, computer issues, ect) we all just sort of gave up on it. I love to listen to books on my MP3 while I drive and that's too expensive most of the time too-my parents and I combined an account and that helps but not enough, we only use it twice a year when we're traveling.

kateh
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:09 PM
What drives me nuts is that ok, maybe the printing and materials for a physical book only contributes a small percentage of price...but a kindle book that costs the same comes with RULES! Those stupid sharing policies, where some books you can't share with anyone at all?? That's a load of BS.

gaitedincali
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:09 PM
I only get upset when the price of the kindle edition is the same as the hardback!

It's bad enough to be paying paperback prices - are the production costs identical for the kindle vs paperback?- but really, I'll never see paying hardback price for a digital item as anything other than highway robbery.

Pookah
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:17 PM
I agree, and it's one of the reasons I haven't bought a Kindle or similar, despite being a reading addict AND not having room for books to pile up around my apartment. I absolutely think the author and everyone should make money, but several of the books that I looked at last time I was considering cost MORE to download than buy a paper copy - that's just ridiculous.

I'm also annoyed that a lot of my favorite authors and books lately have gone to those "premium paperback" versions - so that while I used to pay on average $7-8 for a book, now they are $13-15! Don't get me wrong, I like those premium books better, but not enough that I want to pay twice as much!

carolprudm
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:43 PM
BTW there is a sticky in Off Course for free Kindle horse books.

HighFlyinBey++
Mar. 31, 2013, 03:01 PM
If you want to make sure that the eBooks you've purchased remain yours, google "convert kindle to pdf"

Calibre comes highly rated: http://calibre-ebook.com/about (CNET Editor's rating: 4.5 stars (Nov, 2009))

I have not used it myself, but I'm thinking of downloading it as I have a large number of eBooks that I don't want to lose before I can read them.

janedoe726
Mar. 31, 2013, 03:27 PM
www.bookbub.com
Great website where you can sign up for daily emails for ebooks under $3. Some pretty good titles too!

One thing I love about having ebooks on my iPad is that if I do happen to get a horrible book (it happens), all I have to do it tap the home screen and choose another one. No getting up and hunting for something else.

Also, I bet the next time I move, I will really appreciate having 100+ books on my iPad/Cloud rather than in boxes!

Bogie
Mar. 31, 2013, 03:48 PM
If your local library does not have an e-lending library, check with the nearest large city. For example, I live outside of Boston but I have an "e-library" account with the Boston public library. it's normally outside of my network but I can download ebooks and audiobooks from them. My mother lives in New York and doesn't use the electronic portion of her library so I use her card to access that library too.

I love the ability to read ebooks. I buy some, but get a lot free from the library.

As for the cost of the books? Authors need to make a living too. I figure I'm buying the content and can choose if I want it digitally or in hard copy. I don't mind paying $7-10 bucks for a digital book. I think of it as the equivalent to a paperback.

starhorse
Mar. 31, 2013, 04:00 PM
I agree that it's frustrating to pay so much -- but I used to work for a publishing company, and it costs a fortune before the book even goes into print. Like someone mentioned, printing the book really is the cheapest part.

Publishing companies are losing TONS of money because of things like amazon, e-bay, etc. where people are now able to very easily resell used books and textbooks. As a result, the first copy of the book has to be that much more expensive, because we tend to sell less than half of what we used to as people resell online for next to nothing, and very very few people give a rat's behind if their book is new.

Textbook companies, in particular, are constantly having to come out with "new editions" just to be able to stay afloat... which means more copy-editing, marketing, royalties, contracts, paper-pushers, legal fees, etc. Without new editions demanding purchasing straight from the publishing company, the online used book market would have taken us down years ago.

There's also a shift in the popularity of digital -- which is fine, except it still costs almost the same as the print copy to get the digital copy published. You still have to pay editors, royalties, copy-editors, marketing, cover design, etc. The materials are a drop in the bucket... so why shouldn't you pay close to the same? Are publishers expected to drop prices because people can steal the product more easily now? That seems unfair to expect of a business. The line of thinking seems to be that publishers should stop expecting to make money off their product because people can easily steal it. It actually kind of blows my mind that we feel entitled to cheap products to the point that if we don't get what we want, we'll just break the law, and whichever company or individual's livelihood is depending on that, well, tough cookies -- my $6.99 would be better spent elsewhere.

danceronice
Mar. 31, 2013, 04:02 PM
And it's kind of an industry standard, I guess. Baen books used to have a great e-catalog with most of their older books at $6.00 apiece. As of December, their books are now available to through other vendors. But to do that, they had to raise their on site prices. At least they passed some of the profit on, they increased author royalties by 25%.

And I can't emphasize enough how generous that royalty level is. (Though with a lot of Baen's authors getting advances, it takes a lot of sales before that kicks in. Though sometimes with ebook-only it's just a percentage of the cover price.)

I appreciate people not wanting to pay a lot for ebooks. OTOH, the lower the price, the lower the author's cut.

Couture TB
Mar. 31, 2013, 05:30 PM
I don't think anyone is saying they want something for nothing. My biggest beef is that with the digital books the publishing company makes it so that I do not own that book. Why should I pay as much for something I can not borrow a friend? If I own it I should be able to do what I want with it.

Alagirl
Mar. 31, 2013, 05:35 PM
I agree that it's frustrating to pay so much -- but I used to work for a publishing company, and it costs a fortune before the book even goes into print. Like someone mentioned, printing the book really is the cheapest part.

Publishing companies are losing TONS of money because of things like amazon, e-bay, etc. where people are now able to very easily resell used books and textbooks. As a result, the first copy of the book has to be that much more expensive, because we tend to sell less than half of what we used to as people resell online for next to nothing, and very very few people give a rat's behind if their book is new.

Textbook companies, in particular, are constantly having to come out with "new editions" just to be able to stay afloat... which means more copy-editing, marketing, royalties, contracts, paper-pushers, legal fees, etc. Without new editions demanding purchasing straight from the publishing company, the online used book market would have taken us down years ago.

There's also a shift in the popularity of digital -- which is fine, except it still costs almost the same as the print copy to get the digital copy published. You still have to pay editors, royalties, copy-editors, marketing, cover design, etc. The materials are a drop in the bucket... so why shouldn't you pay close to the same? Are publishers expected to drop prices because people can steal the product more easily now? That seems unfair to expect of a business. The line of thinking seems to be that publishers should stop expecting to make money off their product because people can easily steal it. It actually kind of blows my mind that we feel entitled to cheap products to the point that if we don't get what we want, we'll just break the law, and whichever company or individual's livelihood is depending on that, well, tough cookies -- my $6.99 would be better spent elsewhere.

well, reselling text books is rather old.
However with ebooks it seems to be rather impossible.

Digital ebooks do have the advantage of being more portable than the hardcopy, which is a huge selling point.

Howevr, as a paperback does not require the same input cost wise as a hardcover, a digital copy should not exceed one in price either.

and of course there is the uncertainty of will it be here tomorrow, when the provider's license runs out! or the sharing aspect. Do I really need to loan my ereader out along with the content?

starhorse
Mar. 31, 2013, 06:29 PM
well, reselling text books is rather old.
However with ebooks it seems to be rather impossible.

Digital ebooks do have the advantage of being more portable than the hardcopy, which is a huge selling point.

Howevr, as a paperback does not require the same input cost wise as a hardcover, a digital copy should not exceed one in price either.

and of course there is the uncertainty of will it be here tomorrow, when the provider's license runs out! or the sharing aspect. Do I really need to loan my ereader out along with the content?

Reselling textbooks is old (like in college bookstores), but having a huge market via amazon.com and ebay is relatively new. It's a new thing for publishers to have to take into consideration with pricing.

And yes, I agree an e-copy should not exceed the cost of the print copy, and there could also (theoretically) be some kind of "license" that goes along with it, so you could lend it or give it to a number of people. But even that complicates things, and it's not just with books. Previously, you bought a CD, lent it to someone, got it back -- still 1 CD. Now, you can lend a CD and they can put the music for free onto their computer.

Same could happen with books. If you gave licenses, you'd be giving out multiple copies of the book once someone bought ONE, which would have to increase the price of the product (think Rosetta Stone -- you can put it on multiple devices, but I am sure that increased product price).

Anyways, I definitely understand the frustrations. We just haven't seemed to find a perfect system yet in the new digital world. One might be a Netflix kind of thing -- you pay for a subscription, and you can download unlimited books to your e-reader.

fjordmom
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:09 PM
As an author and independent publisher who has been in the business for over 20 years, I can no longer sit by without a comment on the price of ebooks and peoples expectations there-of. You get what you pay for.

Rather than restating what others have already done well, I hope that those of you who would truly like to understand the financial equation behind ebook creation and pricing will read these 2 (albeit rather lengthy) posts.

http://futurismic.com/2009/10/02/ebooks-cost-a-lot-of-money-to-make-will-no-one-explain-why-that-has-to-be-so/
and
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-zack/making-ebooks-is-harder-t_b_1610953.html

To summarize - all the costs from author royalty , editorial time, book design through promotion and marketing are the pretty much the same for print or ebook. Production because of the multiple platforms for ebooks is often actually more than for print books, which only require a single format (or at best 2, if your separate hard & soft cover)

Currently the large ebook distributors, especially everyone's favorite source for cheap on-line books in general, are doing a lot of strong-arming of publishers and darn near trying, via their commission structures, to dictate book prices to publishers. This is going on without regard to publishers' input costs or expected ability to recoup those costs from long term sales. As I attend publishing conferences I am meeting many very good niche publishers who are deciding to abandon or not even get into ebooks in the first place after they run the numbers. Hopefully those of you who are currently offended by the price of ebooks won't be offended when your choice of formats shrinks and you have a single price to choose from - take it or leave it. Businesses can not stay afloat if they can't meet their costs.

As for complaints about really poor quality books - that's what you get when the money and time isn't invested to create a quality product. Enjoy your $2.99 special!!!!!

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:12 PM
well frankly I don't care about your problems, I have some of my own. Your product costs too much for me to spend money on it. Chew on that.

Alagirl
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:24 PM
As an author and independent publisher who has been in the business for over 20 years, I can no longer sit by without a comment on the price of ebooks and peoples expectations there-of. You get what you pay for.

Rather than restating what others have already done well, I hope that those of you who would truly like to understand the financial equation behind ebook creation and pricing will read these 2 (albeit rather lengthy) posts.

http://futurismic.com/2009/10/02/ebooks-cost-a-lot-of-money-to-make-will-no-one-explain-why-that-has-to-be-so/
and
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-zack/making-ebooks-is-harder-t_b_1610953.html

To summarize - all the costs from author royalty , editorial time, book design through promotion and marketing are the pretty much the same for print or ebook. Production because of the multiple platforms for ebooks is often actually more than for print books, which only require a single format (or at best 2, if your separate hard & soft cover)

Currently the large ebook distributors, especially everyone's favorite source for cheap on-line books in general, are doing a lot of strong-arming of publishers and darn near trying, via their commission structures, to dictate book prices to publishers. This is going on without regard to publishers' input costs or expected ability to recoup those costs from long term sales. As I attend publishing conferences I am meeting many very good niche publishers who are deciding to abandon or not even get into ebooks in the first place after they run the numbers. Hopefully those of you who are currently offended by the price of ebooks won't be offended when your choice of formats shrinks and you have a single price to choose from - take it or leave it. Businesses can not stay afloat if they can't meet their costs.

As for complaints about really poor quality books - that's what you get when the money and time isn't invested to create a quality product. Enjoy your $2.99 special!!!!!

Considering that nowadays one can convert text documents from one to another format at the click of a button....
your argument is more in line with the music industry. Back in the 80s they tried to strongarm their way into receiving royalties of blank cassette tapes, to 'offset' their loses generated by people taping songs off the radio or their vinyls.
Then eventually they got busted on the CD costs....it costs less than one dollar to make the CD, add all that other stuff....blah blah....

Not to mention the move to charge TV for showing music videos.

Now, the e-publishers bullying the other guys, now that is another point.

and crap has always been published....

Bogie
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:26 PM
From the perspective of an avid reader, I think eBooks are worth the price. It is absolutely fantastic to be able to find a book, download it and start reading it in less than two minutes.

I, for one, am willing to pay for good content.

Some publishers, like Kindle, are enabling sharing. I do agree that it should be easier. Same deal for audio books. When I buy a book from Audible, I want to be able to share that too.

grayarabpony
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:05 PM
Are there any neighboring towns where you can sign up for a library card that does have the service? Perhaps near where you work? Maybe you can sign up online.

None of the libraries in our county have access to ebooks yet. :(

5
Apr. 1, 2013, 06:13 PM
I have a kindle fire but I cryfoul on themnot letting you download or read books from Project Gutenberg.
Spiteful little Amazon programing ninnies!


Can't figure out how to get around that bug in the system.

Serves me right after not following up with what happened with punch cards/tape magnetic tape, and 5.25 inch floppy disks.

Let me just readust the whisker on my crystal so I can hear what the crazies on ham radio are talking about.

gaitedincali
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:25 PM
I have a kindle fire but I cryfoul on themnot letting you download or read books from Project Gutenberg.
Spiteful little Amazon programing ninnies!


Can't figure out how to get around that bug in the system.

Serves me right after not following up with what happened with punch cards/tape magnetic tape, and 5.25 inch floppy disks.

Let me just readust the whisker on my crystal so I can hear what the crazies on ham radio are talking about.

Download kindle format file on project Gutenburg website & send to your special kindle email address. Read and enjoy.

I usually have one day a week where I download a bunch of free books at once and send them to my kindle.

This works with PDF files from hathitrust.org too.

ambar
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:31 PM
Not only that, but a lot of the free Kindle books on Amazon are simply repackaged Project Gutenberg texts. I did have to get Pride and Prejudice directly from the PG site for some reason, but all the other Austen books are available free.

Sannois
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:34 PM
Oh I don't know, I have a kindle that was a hand me down from I Ex 7 months ago, it would have cost me a bunch of money to get all the books I read this winter, Ordering, shipping, or going to a book store. Most were 6.99
I don't buy much so this was not a lot for me.

carolprudm
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:50 PM
As for complaints about really poor quality books - that's what you get when the money and time isn't invested to create a quality product. Enjoy your $2.99 special!!!!!

FWIW I have enjoyed many of the free or $3 specials. In some cases I have Downloaded one book free then paid for more by the same author, an author I may have never considered otherwise.

Sure some of the books out there are not of interest to me, even those with high ratings but the same could be said for my local book store.

I resisted buying one at first but I'm a convert

Couture TB
Apr. 1, 2013, 09:32 PM
FWIW I have enjoyed many of the free or $3 specials. In some cases I have Downloaded one book free then paid for more by the same author, an author I may have never considered otherwise.

Sure some of the books out there are not of interest to me, even those with high ratings but the same could be said for my local book store.

I resisted buying one at first but I'm a convert

I'm laid up right now so reading a lot. I downloaded a bunch of free and $.99 books, and after reading those bought ones from the same author up to $5. One of the best moves I think they make in selling books in a series that is already a couple books in is making the first free or cheap