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Why are kindle books so expensive?


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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 10:55:39 AM PST
Dog Lover says:
That's the ticket! Abject surrender - LOL!

Enjoy your Kindle and all the great books you can find to read on it.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 10:56:16 AM PST
flipoid says:
No one ever said you had to be "happy to pay what's called for." It is a choice--if the book is too expensive for you, don't buy it. But if the publishers find that their ebooks sell at current prices, they are not likely to lower the price.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:29:24 AM PST
Beth Sexton says:
Lou, you might find the Department of Justice filing informative.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/88889123/Justice-Department-s-Antitrust-Lawsuit-Against-Apple-Publishers-over-E-books

If you do not want to read all 36 pages you can skip to page 8.

"25. E-book publishers avoid some of the expenses incurred in producing and distributing print books, including most manufacturing expenses, warehousing expenses, distribution expenses, and costs of dealing with unsold stock."

and page 9.

"30. When Amazon launched its Kindle device, it offered newly released and bestselling e-books to consumers for $9.99. At that time, Publisher Defendants routinely wholesaled those e-books for about that same price, which typically was less than the wholesale price of the hardcover versions of the same titles, reflecting publisher cost savings associated with the electronic format."

***

A brief background.

In response to concerns of traditional booksellers that e-books were eroding the sales of hardback books the publishers used two tactics.

1. In 2009 the publishers tried delaying the release of the e-book version of bestsellers.

For example, Stephen King's Under the Dome was release as a hardback Nov. 9, 2009 but the e-book was not released until Dec. 24, 2009.

2. April 2010 (coinciding with the release of the first iPad) 5 of the 6 largest publishers adopted the Agency Agreement under which they would set the retail price and pay Amazon 30% of the sale price for acting as agent.

March 2011 (coinciding with the release of the iPad2) the 6th publisher joined the Agency Agreement.

April 2011 the Department of Justice filed against the first 5 publishers and Apple.

Most of the publishers have agreed to settle. The final hearing is scheduled for February 8, 2013.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:30:14 AM PST
John D. says:
Lou, I also refuse to pay more than paperback prices for ebooks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:07:04 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
As others have said you can't compare prices on paper books that are not out yet. What usually happens is the price of the Kindle book will go down once the paperback is released. If you want to read a book that is newly released expect to pay more for it. Most books go down in price over time. I usually always wait until the prices lower. I have too many other books to read to buy new releases.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:16:58 PM PST
FRW says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:20:24 PM PST
K. Rowley says:
"A brief background.

In response to concerns of traditional booksellers that e-books were eroding the sales of hardback books the publishers used two tactics."

Your time line sort of left out the reason those tradional booksellers were worried about eroding sales of hardback [and paperback] books.. The Department of Justice filing says;
"30. When Amazon launched its Kindle device, it offered newly released and bestselling e-books to consumers for $9.99." - but that only tells part of the story as Paul Harvey use to say.. there's more to that they don't seem to mention.

Bloomberg Businessweek
Amazon's Hit Man, Larry Kirshbaum was the ultimate book industry insider-until Amazon called
By Brad Stone - Features January 25, 2012
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/amazons-hit-man-01252012.html

[excerpt]
"The rifts opened eight years later, during Amazon's development of the Kindle e-reader. Representatives of Amazon streamed through the offices of New York publishers, urging them to accelerate the pace of digitizing their catalogs ahead of the device's big launch. The book houses cooperated and even obediently kept the successive Kindle prototypes that Amazon showed them a secret from the outside world. Then Bezos got on stage at the W New York (HOT) hotel in Union Square in November 2007, and as part of the unveiling of the Kindle, proclaimed that he would sell New York Times bestsellers for $9.99.

Publishers were shocked, according to interviews with several industry executives. Amid all the collaborative preparations, they say, Amazon hadn't divulged anything about its aggressive pricing plans. The worries escalated as Bezos appeared on talk shows, making promises to consumers to expect sub-$10 prices for popular digital books. Amazon itself was subsidizing the low prices and losing money on most of these titles, but publishers still had reason to be alarmed. Such a low price could set a new expectation in readers' minds about how much books are worth and put enormous pressure on traditional brick-and-mortar booksellers selling print books at considerably higher prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:23:45 PM PST
Captain says:
Thanks for that recap.

"2. April 2010 (coinciding with the release of the first iPad) 5 of the 6 largest publishers adopted the Agency Agreement under which they would set the retail price and pay Amazon 30% of the sale price for acting as agent."

Wherein the entire story is found, and the point at which Amazon could have declined to cooperate. Where are the publishers gonna go?

So while their role in this has been passive, and one of acquiescence, they have responsibility for state of affairs.

So let's not hear any more fanboys ignoring this. I'm an Amazon fanboy but I don't ignore their role in the current situation.

And don't deride the proliferation of complaints about pricing. Learn from it. Think about why it not only continues but is becoming louder. Here's a tip: YOU may not be right.

M

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:28:04 PM PST
Dittie says:
"Wherein the entire story is found, and the point at which Amazon could have declined to cooperate. Where are the publishers gonna go?"

It's not the entire story if you leave out the part about Amazon having actually "declined to cooperate." After they walked, where the publishers were going to go is moot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:28:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 1:30:49 PM PST
Actually Amazon did try to stand up to the publishers who quickly pulled their books from Amazon's catalogs. The customer outcry was deafening so Amazon acquiesced to the Agency Model.

Read up on the whole story and follow your own tip.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:30:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 1:39:41 PM PST
Dog Lover says:
You forgot to mention that Amazon DID refuse to cooperate. Customers screamed at Amazon when books from certain publishers were no longer available here. Amazon surrendered.

The role has NOT been passive.

I will continue to deride the proliferation of complaints for several reasons:

1) It IS proliferation - boring and redundant

2) It is ridiculous, IMMHO, to post complaints on Amazon about pricing of K books when the prices of those books are equal to or better than prices of the same titles anywhere else. This shows complete ignorance on the part of posters and is, again, boring and redundant.

3) The big one. It is just, again - IMMHO, absolutely nonsensical to complain about pricing on public fora or anywhere else. Making statements that you have a personal price threshold? Fine and good. "Blaming" anyone for those prices is what is ridiculous.

My mantra continues: In a free market system, if you don't want to pay the price for a product, don't buy it.

Simple.

The power of the wallet is MUCH stronger than these ridiculous threads.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:39:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 1:41:45 PM PST
The Blade says:
As others have said, Amazon DID decline to cooperate and the publishers in question pulled their books from the Amazon bookshelves - both paper and electronic. The hue and cry from Amazon's customers caused Amazon to back down and accept the publisher terms.

If you're going to dismiss others opinions, calling them fanboys and deriding opinions contrary to yours, at least know what you are talking about. Many of us lived through and discussed the entire situation - as it was happening - and don't need to rely on old articles to understand reality.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:44:15 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
Wow, making assumptions without even knowing the facts. Amazon did try to fight it but the customers complained that they couldn't get the books.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 1:45:29 PM PST
Old Rocker says:
Isn't watching the evolution of a market a wonderful thing?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:48:05 PM PST
Old Rocker says:
And then the other customers whining and complaining that Amazon caved in.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:07:46 PM PST
King Al says:
And these are the same customers who claim that the customer is always right but conveniently ignore that Amazon gave in to its own customers' demands.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:51:04 PM PST
J. Donahue says:
Guess what M...?

You're so far off you can't even see the horizon. You decry the "fanboys" but it's pretty obvious you came here with a pre-supposed agenda.

IMHO

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:30:55 PM PST
Beth Sexton says:
M., I think the reason there are so many price threads is that the price of e-books matters to so many people and new ones find the forum everyday.

I don't think I would classify Amazon's role as passive. Shortly after the implementation of the Agency Agreement they began to display "This price was set by (the publisher)" under the price.

In response to consumer complaints the attorneys general of several states and the DOJ started their investigations. Amazon just focused on making e-readers that would appeal to an even larger segment of consumers and let the government agencies focus on Apple and the publishers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:44:33 PM PST
K. Rowley says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 3:48:11 PM PST
Old Rocker says:
just an FYI on Amazon's publishing. One of their rules is that the ebook version must not be more expensive than the paper version.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:50:08 PM PST
Dog Lover says:
Only after the Agency Agreement Fiasco.

Those publishers should have seen that comin'.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 5:15:21 PM PST
Captain says:
Looks like most folks think you're wrong.

And I SAID I was a fanboy. Been buying and reviewing and commenting here since the 90's.

I get tired of the attempts to suppress opposing viewpoints, which whining that "we had a thread about that!" is. Deal with it, obviously many people feel the same way.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 5:32:28 PM PST
Dog Lover says:
<I get tired of the attempts to suppress opposing viewpoints>

Fair enough. We get tired of hearing those viewpoints over and over and ...

The thing is that nothing we say actually keeps those viewpoints from being posted so - no harm/no foul.

Deal with it.

DL

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 6:02:27 PM PST
Obviously many people feel that the whining about prices is tiresome and repetitive. Deal with it.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 6:27:11 PM PST
Almost all books I want to buy cost more as e-book than as paper book. Not sure how to react. It's just stopping progress. If progress is using electronical devices. (Is it?)
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  66
Total posts:  683
Initial post:  Jan 12, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 21, 2013

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