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Why are electronic books the same price as the hard copy?


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Showing 1-25 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 22, 2012 3:35:08 PM PST
Can someone tell me why it costs as much to buy the electronic version of a book as the real thing? That makes no sense to me but maybe I am missing something.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 3:42:12 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 27, 2012 8:51:34 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 3:57:51 PM PST
Only special, literary grade electrons are used in ebooks, not those lowly electrons that make your lamps work, make microwave ovens go "buzz...", or used to post utterly pointless threads. For quality electrons, you have to pay the equivalent price of paper and ink and glue and stuff.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 3:58:01 PM PST
Right now people are willing to pay the same price so that there is no incentive for publishers to lower the cost of eBooks. Basic supply and demand principals.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 4:00:57 PM PST
Sometimes they cost more.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:07:24 PM PST
DadsDigz says:
I have stopped ordering electronic copies because of this.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 4:08:46 PM PST
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Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:13:33 PM PST
Because it costs money to write, edit, format, publish, distribute, and publicize a book.

And because enough people will pay for it.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:23:27 PM PST
Michelle says:
Because you are not really buying the "book" - you are buying the story.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:26:35 PM PST
Scott Emick says:
It's probably good they don't discount the digital copies. This will slow down the shift from printed to digital.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:26:44 PM PST
BlottoOtto says:
Actually, you can blame Apple for this--they forced/coerced the publishing companies to adopt the "agency" model of distribution. Prior to the agency model, retailers-such as Amazon--could sell the book for whatever the retailer wished, including selling the book at a loss if they so chose. The Apple agency model ment selling ebooks at full retail suggested price (Apple reportedly received a 30% cut/commission). This model of selling led to price fixing allegations, and both the US Dept of Justice & the European Union began an investigation, accusing Apple of antitrust violations. See: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57412369-37/this-is-why-doj-accused-apple-of-fixing-e-book-prices/. The publishers have, largely, agreed to a settlement. That should parlay into reduced book prices soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 4:29:35 PM PST
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Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:36:04 PM PST
T. Travis says:
Greed.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:53:37 PM PST
J. Leek says:
I don't think I've bought a book at hardbook since I have had my original 2nd generation Kindle, about 4 years. The prices do come down after they've been out for awhile. Most of the books I have are free ones also.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 4:56:05 PM PST
Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. I don't mind paying a fair price, it just frustrates me when both versions cost the same and then there are issues in the electronic version (like the page numbers are messed up, words are misspelled, the wrong word was used or parts of sentences are in there twice - all things I've seen). Unless someone shows me the actual breakdown I will never believe that the cost would be the same between the two options. Plus with Nook (don't know about Kindle) you can only lend the book once. Basically at this point I only buy E-books that are less than the physical copy - this keeps me from getting too frustrated ;) Thanks again everyone! Merry Christmas

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 7:33:06 PM PST
L. Parent says:
Aside from publishers saving the price of paper, ink and glue, they are saving the labor costs of printing and binding, the cost of warehouse overhead and of course the cost of distribution to the various retail outlets. They also save the costs on losses when more books are published than will sell. These savings are significant and it's a shame that the publishers can't pass on at least a dollar or two of savings to the consumer who opts for an electronic copy. Publishers have hugely benefited from the popularity of e-readers.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 7:42:32 PM PST
Lexi Lou says:
Publishers will be crying when they are no longer needed as e-books can easily be self published for very little.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 7:46:34 PM PST
If you damage the Hard copy you have to buy a new book. The digital version is saved to your account and can be downloaded again if you change devices or your device is damaged.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 8:16:18 PM PST
KatyKatIL says:
I understand about it costing in the neighborhood as a hard copy, since there are royalties to the author to be paid, and the cost of bringing it to market.
However, there is no actual physical copy to produce, no shipping costs involved and they should cost less.
There might still be some marketing involved, but even that would be less than a hard copy, or paying an author for a book tour.

Yes, someone had to get it ready for e-book, but honestly, in this day and age, it should be a matter of transferring to a different format.
I seriously doubt that anyone these days is setting up metal type by hand for a book to be inked and printed, then bound, then sold.
It is most likely already in an electronic format of some sort.

Some enterprising programmer has probably already made software that can change a book from hard copy format to e-book format. If they
haven't, they should! Even if e-books were being typed and formatted by someone from scratch, there is a ONE TIME labor cost
(and I wish they'd hire me for that job!) to get it ready. They don't always do a good job on them either. Prices should definitely be less
than the hard copy version. Aside from the materials themselves that are not required, it would be better for the publisher too to sell more
e-books at a lesser price than a few at a higher price.

Sort of like the post office making some really stupid marketing decisions over the last 2-3 years, someone at the head of the publishers
unions (if there are such things!) or whatever group which makes standards for publishing better take a reality pill, and realize the direction
things are headed in, and adjust to go along.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 8:32:52 PM PST
Kessa says:
What eBook costs more than the hard copy?

Please post a link to it/them.

Is it a preorder eBook?

Is the paperback out, yet?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 8:58:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2012 9:00:24 PM PST
czechbird says:
Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon
Magic Tree House: Books 1-4 Ebook Collection: Mystery of the Tree House (A Stepping Stone Book Box set)

The Forgotten (John Puller series Book 2)
The Forgotten (John Puller Series)

While I don't mind that much the prices being the same, or a little higher for some ebooks, the fact you cannot share them with your friends, as I do with hard copies, is a deal breaker for me most times.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 9:26:26 PM PST
Kessa says:
They are not more than the hard copies, just more than the paperback books - one doesn't even come in hard copy, just paperback & eBook (and audio).

Why can't you share? You can either put them on your account or lend them your Kindle. So technically, you can share, you just choose not to.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 9:44:57 PM PST
With an ebook you cannot share it. With a hard copy you can share it or even sell it to a second hand book store. Wish they would take that into account in the ebook price.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 9:48:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2012 9:50:56 PM PST
Kessa says:
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Posted on Dec 22, 2012 10:00:53 PM PST
Eric Rich says:
A: Apple
B: Because people pay it
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Gold Box forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  39
Initial post:  Dec 22, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 24, 2012

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