iBooks prices still way too high

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Tulipone, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Tulipone macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    I was expecting that the price of iBooks would start to drop as ipads sold and publishers would start to realize the potential of the mass market. I'd love to start buying, but not at prices twice they are in shops.

    Any rumours of drops? I assume the embracing of PDFs is acceptance that publishers are just not interested.
  2. PaleoNerd macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2010
    Just use either B&N or Amazon. I use Kindle. iBooks are way too expensive!
  3. spiralynth macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    I find the price differences between Apple and Amazon to be negligible. The dollar or two extra gets me a much higher quality ui in iBooks.
  4. afd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2005
    I agree with OP iBook prices much too high. Even older books are £4.99 or £6.99. These prices are self destructive for publishers and will drive people to the torrents. eBooks should be much cheaper than paper, not more expensive.
  5. Crosbie macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2010
    Brighton, UK
    So true. The only thing to do is vote wih your wallet - only buy books that are reasonably priced.

    From the UK store I got Eoin Colfer's Hitchhikers' book, which was a fraction of the hardback price, in fact a little less than paperback prices, before the paperback is even out, and less than a hard copy could be bought for on Amazon.

    Which is to say, correct pricing for an ebook.
  6. Elise macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    I've bought a few books but I've not spent more than £3.99 and I most certainly won't spend more than £4.99.
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    How much of a UI experience do you need to read a book. Personally - I just want the text to be clear and formatted correctly. Annotating/highlighting is/was nice for the travel books. But a lot of the the bells and whistles, for the most part - for casual/leisure reading are not necessary. After all - a real book doesn't have much of a UI besides the paper and the ink.
  8. harpy macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Yeah, I can't really take these prices seriously. I've downloaded free book from iBooks that I've enjoyed, but their standard price for books is a joke.

    The publishers don't have to print, ship or dispose of unwanted copies. All they have to do is some minor conversion work with software and then at best run some server farms, if that because it's more likely being done by Apple.

    There is no paying for shelf space in book stores or any of the other normal logistical drag that forces book prices to be so high, including employing lots of people to handle all of those logistics.

    Plus, the "long tail" or whatever that is called where they keep less popular books available for customers, which collectively brings in profitable cash, is ideal in a digital marketplace. It doesn't cost much to maintain a file on a server for decades as people purchase the book now and again.

    It's absurd to be paying trade paperback prices ($12.99) for a book like Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell that came out in 2008. I don't see a problem with a book asking for premium prices for its first year, but after that it ought to instantly go into bargain-bin mode.

    Once they bring prices down to around half the price of paperback, say $3-4 then I'll pay attention, otherwise I'll just enjoy catching up on the classics I missed in school.

    Eventually the prices will drop, eventually the book stores will implode, we just have to have patience while the digital market gobbles up the print market.
  9. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I'm selling actual paper books at the moment for some side income (had a few hundred new books I was given by a family member to sell). I'm shocked by the price the sell at on Amazon. RRP for some of these books is around £10, but they sell on Amazon around 2 or 3. So much competition. Postage is often more expensive than the book itself.

    I'm sure the price of iBooks will come down if popularity is low..
  10. spiralynth macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    I don't necessarily need an elaborate interface; I'm just saying I don't mind paying a little extra for the best user experience. There is already a decent standard established by the 3 big players, which, by any stretch, can't be deemed as lacking. Apple however kicks it up a notch (and will continue to do so as we just saw at WWDC). Those little extras amount to a dollar or two in the final analysis, which to me are negligible.

    Find any two books on Amazon, BN or iTunes and you'll find they're comparatively priced -- one to two dollars in difference at most, and often the same price. There are elements of artistry (and function) in iBooks that don't exist in the others. It's the difference between cheese and extra cheese, and I don't mind paying for a little extra cheese, but I don't NEED it.

    Now the fact that ebooks in general need to come down in price is another matter altogether, but I think it's a bit shortsighted to just call out iBooks, particularly as you're getting more for what you pay.
  11. patp Guest

    Apr 10, 2008
    the prices need to come down overall. if the publishers went for lower pricing they would see more volume in sales. sell low, but sell a lot.
  12. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009

    The same can be pretty much said for music too and we have only see price increases there. Physical CDs and iTunes albums have always been similarly-priced which make no sense given your above reasoning. It is dramatically cheaper to sell me a digital version of an album, yet I pay the same price as one I can get in the store.

    So, I guess I am saying...don't hold your breath for a price decrease. :(
  13. mdgolom macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006
    Actually I've seen the prices go UP with the introduction of the iPad. When I used my Sony eReader, the books were $9.99 or less. Once Apple got into the mix all of the companies (Sony, Amazon and B&N) went up.

    As for the prices going down as more are sold, look at the cost of CDs. Everyone said they would be a lot cheaper once they took off, but this hasn't been the case. I've seen breakdowns of where the money goes, and it just doesn't go down.
  14. raymond lin macrumors regular

    May 22, 2010
    I posted this on another thread but it is also relevant here.

    I was at the Hay Book Festival this week and last week and whilst i was sitting down on the bank of a castle enjoying the sun and reading on my iPad a young writer and his friend (Manager or Agent?) sat down next to me and we chatted for a good 45 minutes about the literature business. He was saying how from a new book, say a $20 new hardback, the writer will only take home 10% of that, about $2 from every book. Amazon, Waterstones or any book seller that sell the books will take a huge cut, something like 40%, the publisher will also take another cut, the actual cost of the physical product is a small percentage in comparison of the overall cost of the book. What is more interesting is that he was saying being on the Apple iBook store is now what the new writers trying to do, but he also said that Apple is taking a BIGGER cut than Amazon would for distribution. Basically, in my opinion, if that is true, Apple is taking away in profit any cost saved in printing.

    The writer in the end doesn't get anymore money in his pocket than before.

    The point is that Apple takes a big cut as a distributor for the book, as you can imagine, they literally becomes the only distributor for the digital copy for that country or continent! Which gives them a huge leverage in dictating their percentage cut in sales, and a say in the prices.

    What we need is competition, otherwise the prices will not change.
  15. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    A picture paints a thousand words (as they say)

    Fancy buying this on iTunes?

  16. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    I've purchased some iBooks but I agree with the OP.

    I have a number of samples in my iPad just because the price makes me hesitate otherwise they would all be full purchases already.

    And its not even astronomical prices. Like most respondents here I am taking into account the principle of the matter.
  17. Tulipone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    I kind of agree with most of the comments here, but I think that someone is being greedy.

    If I want a 'coffee table' book, it will be an expensive hardback. If I want a novel i'll generally wait until it comes out as paperback unless it is a book I really want.

    iBooks need to be priced as paperbacks are, if they are not I will continue to buy apps, films and music and ignore the books until I see something worthwhile.

    The analogy with music mentioned above. If I want an album and the pricing is similar, iTunes gets the cash. If I want a track, I buy it online. Voting with wallet.

    Hopefully publishers and Apple care.
  18. Tulipone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    One question. Can you import books from amazon or barnes and noble into iTunes? I suspect I know the answer (no), but it could make the difference.

  19. ShiftyGray macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    I will just finish all the public domain ones first!

    I think I read somewhere the prices are higher for ebooks in part because they use it to finance the costs of the printed books as well.
  20. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I don't know about B&N, but for Amazon, there are ways to strip the DRM. Once you strip the DRM, you can convert it into epub (with B&N, you'll just need to strip the DRM, since I believe they are already in epub format). Then you can drag the DRM-less ebup files to iTunes, and voila! the books are in iTunes.
  21. Tulipone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    Huntingdon UK
    Thank you for your reply, but I am not entirely sure I want to remove a control that was deliberately placed there. I will have a google and see what it entails.

  22. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    The iPad has only been out in the US market for ~60 days, and a week or two (?) in certain overseas markets.

    I don't think publishers are going to react until they have at least a few quarters worth of worldwide sales data under their belt?
  23. Jophster macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2010
    To be honest, I think prices are obscene.

    It costs them LESS to publish them on a digital platform, I really fail to understand their resistance to the market.

    As soon as prices become REASONABLE then I will start buying willy-nilly.

    I also think that you should be able to buy the book in store at say Waterstones (B&N for you lovely Yanks) and then they say, and would you like us to email you the digital version sir?

    Once you have paid to own a copy of the book, that should be it, you own a license to the print.
    As a result, I don't feel resentful pirating eBooks of books I already own!
  24. gwangung macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    I hear from agents, writers and editors that this is not necessarily true.
  25. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    To be honest - you don't seem to know anything about the publishing industry as it exists now nor in the past.

    When and if we move get to a time where print is truly dead and there are only digital copies - then yes, it will be more economical, etc.

    But right now - print is a multimedia platform - which means they are still printing hard copies AND creating digital texts. They still have all the marketing costs for both. They have R&D teams, lawyers, advertising, etc etc that are still all paid. There are new contracts and commissions based on print AND digital rights.

    In short - it's not cheaper for them to publish it electronically. It might be easier and faster. But at current - not cheaper UNLESS you are referring to books that ONLY exists electronically.

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