We might have Apple to thank for eBooks becoming expensive

samcraig

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 22, 2009
16,609
34,802
USA
This isn't a slam against the iPad - but in response to it.

As per the front page of MR - it's is possible (nothing is for certain here) that Apple might make it impossible to keep eBook prices down. That, as a consumer is a fail to me since competition should drive prices down, not up.

One of the great things about eBooks right now (I have a Kindle 2) is that I can get books for less than I can at the store - and delivered immediately. My consumption is higher now for books because I am willing to get books I might not normally "invest in" - even after reading a sample. Especially because of the convenience but also because I save maybe a buck or so per book.

Now clearly NEW eBooks won't be charged more than their hardback cousins - I would hope at the very least - the same price.

Here's hoping that books in paperback and/or books not JUST released maintain their less expensive pricing.

Or perhaps they can work on a model where new releases for the first 60 days are X price and then they drop down.

Raising the prices on eBooks isn't going to do Apple OR Amazon any good this early in the adoption phase. This has shades of Blu-Ray vs HD all over it...
 

Chaos123x

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,693
33
The market will decide the price.

If they are too expensive no one will buy them.
 

bigwayne3000

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2008
137
0
i too agree market will dictate price. and i disagree with the 60 day theory you proposed. i think it should be the other way around. first 60 days you can buy the ebook for cheaper for say 9.99 than 60 days on the price goes up to 14.99
 

sumzero

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2010
70
0
Forest Lake, MN
This isn't a slam against the iPad - but in response to it.

As per the front page of MR - it's is possible (nothing is for certain here) that Apple might make it impossible to keep eBook prices down. That, as a consumer is a fail to me since competition should drive prices down, not up.

One of the great things about eBooks right now (I have a Kindle 2) is that I can get books for less than I can at the store - and delivered immediately. My consumption is higher now for books because I am willing to get books I might not normally "invest in" - even after reading a sample. Especially because of the convenience but also because I save maybe a buck or so per book.

Now clearly NEW eBooks won't be charged more than their hardback cousins - I would hope at the very least - the same price.

Here's hoping that books in paperback and/or books not JUST released maintain their less expensive pricing.

Or perhaps they can work on a model where new releases for the first 60 days are X price and then they drop down.

Raising the prices on eBooks isn't going to do Apple OR Amazon any good this early in the adoption phase. This has shades of Blu-Ray vs HD all over it...
Blu ray did fine with the prices being as high as they were in the beginning, also the prices for the ibooks new "hardcover" releases are expected to be 12.99-14.99
..most new books are around 30 after tax, that is a fair price to everyone involved in the transaction. kindle prices = too low for publishers to make money, and more importantly the authors.
 

mtnDewFTW

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2009
875
66
San Francisco, CA
I don't think that Apple can really raise the prices too high, since their eBook reader in a lot of competition with the Kindle, so if they were to make books too expensive, people wouldn't bother buying the iPad, or the books on the iPad.

Well, this is just my opinion. And I hope Apple will do the right thing.
 

FrankieTDouglas

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2005
1,489
1,956
Blu ray did fine with the prices being as high as they were in the beginning, also the prices for the ibooks new "hardcover" releases are expected to be 12.99-14.99
..most new books are around 30 after tax, that is a fair price to everyone involved in the transaction. kindle prices = too low for publishers to make money, and more importantly the authors.
So, you are arguing... FOR... higher prices?
 

sullivot

macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2010
7
0
I hope Apple doesn't throw a monkey wrench in the portability process. There are a number of sites where you can get good deals on e-books. If they're not compatible with the iPad, or if iTunes purchases are the only ones compatible with it, iPad sales will suffer, as will Apple's public reputation. But Apple hack sites will do good business.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,098
1,369
Well, Apple looks at it as 30% of $14.99 makes them more than 30% of $9.99...
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Original poster
Jun 22, 2009
16,609
34,802
USA
Hardbook best sellers are not $30. They are heavily discounted on Amazon, for example - many times as low as $16-18.

And my reference to blu-ray and HD wasn't just about price (which - by the way - players and software kept many at bay because both were expensive) - but also because there was competing formats and people decided to wait it out vs buying either.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
Why does the book publishing industry seem intent on following the mistakes of the music industry?

Publishers have been fighting e-books like crazy for a few years now. As the Kindle, iPad and other readers poise to make them more mainstream, publishers still act as if stupid gimmicks are going to keep people reading hard copies. Assuming e-books are cheaper to publish than hardcover books with LOTS AND LOTS OF PAPER, we shouldn't have to pay the same amount. We're already paying for a device to read them on.

I also don't like these deals where you have to wait to buy the e-book. Unless dedicated readers are more impatient than me, I don't see many people being phased by this. People who want to read in a digital format will do so. People who want to read on paper will do so.
 

vertigo78

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2008
100
0
the market will drive the prices down considering that ebooks will become a lot easier to pirate once ereaders become more popular
 

Ruahrc

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2009
1,344
0
Why does the book publishing industry seem intent on following the mistakes of the music industry?

Publishers have been fighting e-books like crazy for a few years now. As the Kindle, iPad and other readers poise to make them more mainstream, publishers still act as if stupid gimmicks are going to keep people reading hard copies. Assuming e-books are cheaper to publish than hardcover books with LOTS AND LOTS OF PAPER, we shouldn't have to pay the same amount. We're already paying for a device to read them on.

I also don't like these deals where you have to wait to buy the e-book. Unless dedicated readers are more impatient than me, I don't see many people being phased by this. People who want to read in a digital format will do so. People who want to read on paper will do so.
+1. It seems like e-books will just be there to increase the profits of the publishers, not necessarily pass any savings onto the end user. The problem is, I can see where the convenience of the e-books might start catching on and that will override the potential for discounted prices as people just suck up and pay the increased prices for the e-version.

I never bought anything from the iTunes store, because I can go to the music store or amazon and get the physical CD (with no DRM and lossless quality) for nearly the same price. Seems like the same is happening to e-books.

Ruahrc
 

ScaryRobot

macrumors member
Jan 24, 2010
31
0
Apple isn't setting e-book prices, so Apple can't be raising them. Apple, in fact, offered publishers a much larger share of revenues that Amazon was offering (70% vs. about 30%), which could have enabled publishers to lower prices.

Instead, some publishers appear to have taken advantage of the fact that they can now play Apple and Amazon off of each other to both negotiate a 70% deal with Amazon and force Amazon to back down on specific pricing requirements.

You can't blame the book publishers too much. Unlike music or movies, the margins are usually pretty terrible in publishing and they need what they can get. But I can't help but think if they sold e-books for $5 instead of $15, they'd probably sell more than 3x as many, and end up actually making more money.
 

marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,763
5
Amazon was artificially subsidizing the price of e-books and other books so they could try and corner the market and ultimately make more money off everyone.

All Apple did was take aim at this weak link to get publishers on board. This means more competition for distribution and ultimately will be better for the consumer.
 

RMXO

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2009
873
41
Think of it this way. When you buy a newly released eBook, you are saving $ compared to buying the hardcover version. I honestly don't mind paying $14.99 instead of the $25.99+ hardcover. After a period of time, that same said book will probably be lower in price.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
After reading this thread.....all I can say is, very interesting. However, in a few minutes I will be getting into bed and picking up the hardcover printed version of a book that I got out of the public library for free and I'll be reading a chapter or two in it.....and when I'm finished with the book altogether, that book goes back to the library for another patron to enjoy for free.

I'm not too enthralled by the ebook phenomenon yet because I am not ready to pay for the many fiction titles that I read casually and have no intention of keeping in my home library.
 

RMXO

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2009
873
41
After reading this thread.....all I can say is, very interesting. However, in a few minutes I will be getting into bed and picking up the hardcover printed version of a book that I got out of the public library for free and I'll be reading a chapter or two in it.....and when I'm finished with the book altogether, that book goes back to the library for another patron to enjoy for free.

I'm not too enthralled by the ebook phenomenon yet because I am not ready to pay for the many fiction titles that I read casually and have no intention of keeping in my home library.
That is one way to do things & it's a great idea to help save from ebook purchases. For me. I like building up a collection & can't to buy a book I like when it's first released. Plus, the library near my house never has the newly releases I want. I rather spend time reading that book then searching for it.
 

Chaos123x

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
1,693
33
how could the margins be terrible?

They pay a guy to write a story and a guy to edit it.

No printing cost, no distributing costs, no nothing.


I think if this takes off, good writers should just self publish.
 

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
573
65
how could the margins be terrible?

They pay a guy to write a story and a guy to edit it.

No printing cost, no distributing costs, no nothing.


I think if this takes off, good writers should just self publish.
All writers, really. Once ebooks becomes a good 75% of the market, I expect writers to leave the publishers in droves to cut out the middleman. I don't expect 14.99 to hold after that happens. The only question is if we're going to see the 99c pricewar that we see on the app store once that happens.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
All writers, really. Once ebooks becomes a good 75% of the market, I expect writers to leave the publishers in droves to cut out the middleman. I don't expect 14.99 to hold after that happens. The only question is if we're going to see the 99c pricewar that we see on the app store once that happens.
I think we will see that but with Indie book stores... the big ones will follow suit slowly and not as low... something like $7.99