Monday, January 9, 2012

42wd Publishing Sometimes Daily News

eBook Pricing and Deals with the Devil


Stack of Coins
The below article briefly talks about a prediction of Barns and Noble and Amazon striking up some sort of deal as Amazon moves more and more into publishing. Will it happen? I can't really say. Off the top of my head I don't see any real benefit to Barnes and Noble. Stranger things have happened though, especially since B&N are struggling with making the Nook profitable.

The article very briefly mentions that some Indie-Bookstores are hesitant about selling Amazon published books. I'm not sure this is an accurate statement; but, if it is, I would give it a closer look and more thought. As long as the deal is good this could be the opportunity to strike up a mutually beneficial relationship between Amazon, who has no brick and mortar bookstores, and Indie-Bookstores. It could provide Amazon with what it needs in physical locations and Indie-Bookstores a more competitively priced book list; of course this is contingent on how Amazon works the deal.

What really got my attention was the part about ebook pricing. The article does some general touching on price point but seems to be using the print model instead of the digital model. There's a significant difference between giving me a leather bound high quality print edition of Moby Dick and an eBook of it. There's a difference between giving me a print edition of a collection of sample websites with pictures and how to build them, in full color.

I agree that a valuable piece of work should cost more but the digital version should never be as much or more than the print edition. eBooks cost less to produce, significantly so, and under current methods you can't give your copy to someone to keep permanently. If I pay $60 for a print book, which I've gladly done [ and more in some cases ], it's my book to do with as I please, within reason. I can keep it or give it away. Why should I pay $60 for the same eBook that comes with limitation, doesn't cost as much to make or sell, and the author still isn't getting a decent share of the profit?

Yes, books and ebooks should have a price point based on the value established by the cost of creation, sales and value established by consumers. That price point should be fair to both the sellers of the book and ebook as well as to the buyers. However, books and ebooks should not be priced the same; overhead for each is radically different.

I could be the best selling author in the world. Ten of my books could be on the top 10 list at the same time, and my print books could be reasonably valued at $100 a book. That being said, my ebooks shouldn't be $100 a book. I hope that as we move into the future of publishing that publisher, and book / ebook sellers keep this in mind - pass the saving on, you'll sell more books and ebooks.

Source: What’s Coming In 2012: Book Publishing

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