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All physical book purchases should come with free Kindle ebooks

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Showing 1-25 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 25, 2012 6:07:39 PM PST
Since the majority of the cost is really in all the editing and behind the scenes work to make a book, not the actual printing costs, there's absolutely no reason why Amazon and/or publishers couldn't just provide immediate access to the digital format of a phyical book someone purchased. I mean, look at all the latest Blu-rays that come with digital copies, or access to online 'cloud' versions of their movie (or both). This would be one great way to really separate Amazon from every other book seller out there. I know I would buy every book from Amazon if I got both the physical and digital. In fact, I'd be willing to pay an annual fee for the service (i.e. make it a feature of prime membership!!!). I'm already a prime member. And just think, you could start reading your new book the moment your purchased it on any computer or Kindle device while waiting the 2 days for shipping.

I wouldn't even mind if I only had access to those books while under an active membership, which might be a sticking point with some publishers.

I also think that a great way to start moving this direction would be to add this feature to all books that Amazon publishes themselves. Eventually the demand would get to the point where the other publishers would have to fold.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 7:59:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 8:02:08 PM PST
I think the choice is up to either the publisher or the author.
I don't think Amazon has anything to say in the matter.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 8:04:56 PM PST
Since eBook sales outnumber physical books sales, why would anyone want to give up that revenue? And why would I, as an eBook reader, want to purchase the physical book? I would only have to find some way to get rid of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 8:49:50 PM PST
seedlady says:
it is possible that you have an excellent idea, and in the same way that amazon pays the authors for the books which they loan out in the KOLL, perhaps if you offer to pay for the books, they would let you give out "free with purchase".

i'm quite sure if you brought in a business plan and a bank account with 7 to 10 million dollars, to pay for the first million or so books, they would consider it.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 9:36:26 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 25, 2012 9:48:46 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 9:38:59 PM PST
Amazon does pay authors for participation in KOLL. Just FYI. They get a share of a monthly fund based on number of rentals.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 2:56:25 AM PST
One of the reasons I have an ereader is so I don't have a collection of paper books but I think absolutely everything the OP wants should be free.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 7:25:49 AM PST
All valid points. But I would argue that even though I prefer all of my books to be digital, and usually purchase them so, there are some that make really great bookshelf books. Think cookbooks... it's sometimes a ton easier to open up a book and have it next to you on the counter than have a Kindle on a single page, having to flip through a small page, reactivate the screen every time it times out, etc. There really is a lot less hassle in some ways.

Another poster had a similar discussion a while back while I was researching how popular this idea was, and he/she had a great point. Sometimes the most interesting conversations had are by visitors seeing your book collection and commenting on one or two in particular. As we move to digital only, that will go away. But I would again argue that those who are truly avid readers will have phyiscal copies of their favorite, most interesting books proudly displayed on a shelf somewhere. And if they want to read it while on the road without having to lug it around, they should have a digital copy of that book. YOU ALREADY OWN IT!

Also, fair use permits them to photocopy or scan the entire book themselves and keep a digital copy for their own personal use, so why not just prevent the hassle and just give them the digital copy? And at least this way, it's locked down to a user's Amazon account and can't ever be distributed to another person...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 7:30:33 AM PST
Are they really giving up revenue? If I buy a physical book right now, I'm not going to turn around and buy the digital copy too, especially not if both books are at the same price point. And I'd argue that 90+ percent of readers out there hold the same view. Why would I ever purchase the same thing twice?

But, I'll concede that if more authors/publishers want to bundle their two together, I might be willing to pay a discounted price to purchase both at the same time as an up-sell feature. But again, that's why I think it should be a benefit of Prime membership.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 9:18:14 AM PST
"Are they really giving up revenue? If I buy a physical book right now, I'm not going to turn around and buy the digital copy too, especially not if both books are at the same price point. And I'd argue that 90+ percent of readers out there hold the same view. Why would I ever purchase the same thing twice?"

From a business stand point book sellers are not going to see it that way. It won't increase sales. Buyers who want ebooks will purchase ebooks. Buyers who want paper books will purchase paper books. Some people purchase whichever is cheapest.

It's likely that the paper/ebook combination would be priced the same or higher than the higher priced individual format. Most people are not going to pay more to get a format they don't necessarily want along with one they do. Granted, there are some people who would like to have both.

I could see perhaps if Amazon had a warehouse full of paper books that weren't selling they might give it to you free when you purchase the ebook. But there's really no incentive for them to do it the other way around.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 9:42:57 AM PST
King Al says:
Photocopying or scanning the entire book is generally NOT considered fair use.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 10:03:45 AM PST
Splinker says:
I make more on a two dollar download than on a 10 dollar book purchase.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 2:32:29 PM PST
R. D. Clark says:
Imagine how many of the free paper copies will end up on ebay. Imagine how quickly people will learn that, if they buy paper books, they can get them cheaper buying the freebies that digital purchasers didn't want.

Imagine how publishers, understanding this, would never do it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 2:36:35 PM PST
Very good point. I hadn't thought about selling the unwanted paper book on ebay.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 5:16:01 PM PST
...and then endlessly lend out copies of the ebook to others who will endlessly lend out the book...

The bestselling ebook of 2016 might sell twelve copies.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 6:48:47 PM PST
If there's one industry more prone to worrying about reselling and copyright infringement than book publishers, it's the movie industry, and they now provide cloud access to the latest Blu-rays that you buy. And I'm not exactly talking about the cheap paperback options, I think this should be reserved to the most expensive book options, hard covers, or books that only come as paperbacks.

But perhaps that's why an upsell package option might be the better way to go. Those who wish to buy the cheapest books won't want to pay the extra fee. Or, again, if it's a prime membership, than they must maintain that prime membership in perpetuity to retain access to their digital copy of a hardcover book. A portion of the membership fees could thus be made available to the publishers, which as I'm learning from other posters, is already the case with the Prime lending feature on Kindle devices.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 4:29:23 AM PST
K. Rowley says:
"Imagine how publishers, understanding this, would never do it."

Baen Books did it for awhile - included CDs inside the book cover with several different formats of the book (and several other of their ebooks). But that was back when just a few people had an ereader... I bought one back then, but couldn't use the CD as it was cracked in two.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 4:46:09 AM PST
Kribu says:
Even if publishers and authors for some reason wanted to do this, it may not be possible in many cases - especially for older titles, the paper book publisher may not have the rights to the ebook / the ebook publisher does not have the rights to paper books.

That is not an issue film studios have to deal with, generally.

There are also geo-restrictions to consider - even if the OP imagines this as a US-only venture (from the prime membership comments, it certainly sounds like it's something only people in a handful of countries could take advantage of), there will still be plenty of cases where the publisher of the paper book available on US Amazon will not have the rights to sell ebooks to US customers, etc.

All this means that this cannot be an across-the-board option anyway, even in the unlikely case that all publishers and authors would delightedly give up the option to earn more by selling more copies. (I don't know if the majority of people buy books in duplicate - very likely not. But I'm quite sure that there are plenty of people happily buying e-versions of their favourite books - indeed, many people have been replacing their whole paper book libraries by e-versions of the same books.)

There's absolutely nothing stopping any publisher to offer such bundles now. As said above, Baen has for a while now sometimes bundled CDs with e-versions of the book and other books in the series with the paper books, and I believe some technical/non-fiction publishers have done such things, too. The general lack of such bundles can only mean that publishers aren't seeing any advantage in it and/or their contracts with authors don't allow it.

Either way, Amazon or any other bookseller cannot offer such bundles on their own - well, I suppose they could, but in that case they'd have to pay the publisher the full price for the "extra" version, too (i.e. I imagine if they sold a hardback + ebook combo for the price of one book, they'd still have to pay the publisher for both and treat it as one hardback and one ebook copy of the book being sold, and unless they charged you the combined price of hardback + ebook, this wouldn't really be a profitable business idea for them).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 6:40:03 AM PST
They key phrase is

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 6:41:57 AM PST
Sorry,my comment got cut off.You said Baen did it for a while, which means they are no longer doing it, right?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 7:09:52 AM PST
Amber says:
They are just saying if you want to have both, make it a option. Nothing else. I agree with the discussion if you want to have the book as well as the physical book, make it where it can be a package or something.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2014 10:21:37 AM PST
I know that quick comment was supposed to make sense but for those of us who aren't good in math, please explain how $2 is more than $10 now?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2014 10:30:50 AM PST
Books are already "not a profitable business" for anyone, especially for a writer. This subject isn't even worth talking about because it's so silly. Why don't people just PAY for for the things they want instead of constantly looking for shortcuts? The economy would probably improve.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2014 11:44:12 AM PST
R. Wilde says:
It depends on what percentage he gets from each sale.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2014 12:12:48 PM PST
Jimmy, these posts are old.

The particular post you are responding to is from an author. He is describing his experience with book royalties.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  31
Initial post:  Nov 25, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 17, 2014

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