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Initial post: Jan 31, 2010 8:48:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010 8:49:36 PM PST
rctnyc says:
Macmillan has pressured Amazon into overpricing the Kindle editions of Macmillan books. I would not pay $15.99 for what is basically an e-file, not a book. Kindle editions are useful, portable and disposable but, as Amazon well knows, e- books are a new technology, and e-books have yet to provide many of the advantages of hard-copy. That's why Amazon sells them for $9.99; buyers are willing to put up with the limitations of e-books to save half the purchase price.

Plus, I don't like corporate blackmailers. No Macmillan books for me, Kindle edition or otherwise (and Macmillan, Amazon can tell you that I buy lots of -- as in, "many, many" -- books).

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 5:38:34 AM PST
Normand says:

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 6:22:47 AM PST
P.Broadnax says:

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 2:57:48 PM PST
Please consider that Macmillan employs thousands of Americans who work really hard to produce informative and entertaining products and materials. Remaining profitable means keeping all of these people employed. A $9.99 eBook cannot be sustained in the longterm--at least not with the current customer demands of the marketplace.

In fact, the physical book itself (i.e. the paper, binding, printing costs, etc) is one of the least expensive aspects of producing a book. The true cost of publishing a book includes intellectual property, author royalties/advances, editing costs, and (as mentioned before) paying employees wages and benefits.

As for "Corporate Blackmailers," it was Amazon that pulled the Macmillan titles--not the other way around. Good books should cost more than sub-par books, and capitalism demands that a producer can and should dictate the price of his or her product in order to cover the production costs--and yes, make a profit.

Amazon is demanding "book socialism" where all books are created equally. If this became the case, what incentive would the publishers have to create good and innovative products (let alone edit them for grammar, spelling, and formatting issues)? There is a reason that self-published books rarely make the best seller lists.

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 8:49:36 PM PST
B. Blanton says:
You publishers keep forgetting that Amazon Kindle products are not REAL books. You can't loan them, sell them, donate them, share them or even burn them! These books are NOT like hard covers. Because of this, they need to be appropriately priced. If I recommend a book I have read on Kindle, my friend has to either purchase the hard cover or the kindle. More profit for the publisher and the author.

I wonder how many more books you are selling on Kindle because Kindle customers can only recommend, not share which is what we do voraciously in our neighborhood, bridge clubs and book club with hard covers. You all are very short sighted. I wonder what your profits would have been during this recession if there had been non 9.99 e-books around to purchase?

Posted on Feb 7, 2010 3:14:02 PM PST
C. C. Davis says:
Other publishers will likely follow Macmillan's lead, but I will never forget who started it all.

I support a boycott

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 8:38:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2010 8:40:20 PM PST
TK says:
Basically, the publishers should stick to the $9.99 or less concept. One the Kindle provides cost benefits to the publishers such as, they do not have to stock a large inventory. How often have you walked in to a book store and you find piles of unsold hard cover books that have to be discounted after the paperback is published. The Kindle is the ultimate in the just in time inventory. if a publisher has 10,000 customers for a book or 10,001 there is a perfect match. Why does Macmillan have to be so greedy? I have been stocking up $9.99 or less books and have not purchased a book until the price comes down to $9.99. If you wait long enough the price will come down. I have waited as long as a year for the price to correct itself. Remember we have the power, hold out for $9.99 or less.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 10:37:26 AM PST
J. Tant says:
Ms. Tassell: Are you the same Elizabeth C. Tassell who works/worked at Allyn & Bacon Publishing in Boston? Because in your message, disclosing the fact that you are in the publishing industry seems to be pretty pertinent.

Anyway, your points:

When it comes to breaking down the overall costs of a publishing effort, I agree that intellectual property, author compensation (although that isn't always as high as I think you're implying....), and advertising and such make up a significant portion of OVERALL costs. It should be made more clear that these costs are other words, not based on the volume of books sold.

On the other hand, variable costs such as physical materials as well as physical distribution make up a rather significant portion of the individual book. This is because fixed costs can take advantage of an economy of scope, wherein they can be spread out over an increased production base.

Your case is therefore somewhat disingenuous. Given the nature of the statistically-zero variable production and distribution costs of the e-book, and considering that the fixed costs you mention are amortized over both the e-book AND physical book production, there is little persuasive reason why an e-book should be costing the same as a physical book. The e-book can certainly be priced lower AND maintain the same profit margin.

Next, you seriously misstate the nature of capitalism. A supplier doesn't get to "dictate" a price. The price is arrived at through market actions wherein demand is predicated based on the price and supplier profitability is predicated on the level of demand. In other words, supply does not create its own demand. Your formulation requires that to be true. The reality is that price is a complex mechanism arrived at by both buyer AND seller. A buyer who does not think a $20 e-book is worth the money is making a valid choice.

Finally, price does not equal quality. I've read a number of stinkers at $15 and a number of great books at $4. While I agree that self-published books rarely make the best seller list, that's a strawman in this discussion. The real point is that the costs you point to are sunk costs and are incurred regardless of the publishing mechanism.

Posted on Feb 25, 2010 4:54:13 AM PST
Does anyone know an email contact for Macmillan for consumers to use? All I can find is one for retailers and wholesalers. Thanks!

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 3:38:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2010 5:47:30 AM PDT
Overlooked is the fact that the Kindle has brought readers back into the marketplace to buy books. I decided some years ago thaI I no longer wanted to accumulate and store books; the only books I keep are a few cookbooks. I quit buying books and began bringing a big stack home from the library weekly. Then I got a Kindle a year ago, and I love reading on it. I am now buying books again, but I'm one of those who will not pay more than 9.99 for a book.

I'd love to know how many sales are made to ebook readers that otherwise would not have bought at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2010 8:05:44 AM PDT
B. Blanton says:
I think you have an excellent point, Elm. I know that I am buying 2-3 times as many books as I used to since I got my Kindle almost two years ago. I continue to honor my public and personal commitment of 9.99 and use the library for best sellers that the publishers withhold from Kindle. Once, I folded and bought a newly published non-fiction hard cover where the Kindle was withheld for 3 months but 14 of my friends from book club read it too.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2011 5:49:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2011 5:58:47 PM PST
Ms. Tassell,

I understand, but I see no reason why the e-book should cost *more* than the printed version. This seems to be a dirty attempt on the part of Macmillan to force consumers to by paper based books.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2011 6:07:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2011 6:07:28 PM PST
Hi Blanton and Elm,

This makes sense. I think it has a basis in psychology. Basically buying a kindle is a substantial down payment towards reading more. In order to feel that you get your money's worth you buy more books (and read them too!).

I've noticed this with myself. I buy and read more now than I did before .

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2011 10:16:50 PM PDT
S. E. Potts says:
Why should an electronic "book" be more expensive than a paperback? E-books have to generate more business, as stated in another post, because of the inability to share. I cannot count the hundreds of paperback books that I have helped circulate to other readers and, therefore, only have one purchased by multiple numbers of people. Can't do that with a Kindle ... you can recommend but you cannot lend. Publishers should look at the Kindle as a new platform to expand their publicity and not gouge people for something they can neither touch, feel, or share. Reading a Kindle is easy, and handy, less bulky overall but it will never replace books completely. Nevertheless, individually, an E-book IS cheaper to publish and sell than a hardback or paperback, regardless of the cost of editing etc. Volume matters.

The reason that self-published books don't make the best seller list is because the publishing monopoly also controls what their advertisers will review and promote.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 12:41:51 PM PDT
Here 's what I have done, If a book is priced over 6.99 I will not buy it whom ever the publisher is with one exception, if the book is self published I will pay a higher price. I find that I'm reading a very broad range of material this way. Macmillan and the rest of them can stick it I WILL DICTATE PRICE.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2012 1:08:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 15, 2012 1:13:33 PM PDT
Oh just for Macmillans sake, I read between 150 to 200 books a year. I do feel sorry for the authors plight, but they are the ones who choose to sigh with the greedy SOB's. Any author that is willing to self publish, we are here to buy your work at a good price. I would much rather see you and Amazon make the money. So I be buying my books elsewhere until
the big dummy's wake up.........! And for Elizabeth C. Tassell, your model is broken, time to readjust to the here and now....!
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Initial post:  Jan 31, 2010
Latest post:  Sep 15, 2012

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