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Thread: Urgh. Amazon really IS taking over the world.

  1. #126
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    While we're mentioning the pricing thing to get people to buy kindles, there's a side-effect that is also mentioned in Nathan's blog and is very noticeable if you look at the informal surveys he's done--it makes people expect an ebook to cost less.
    Yes, that's a major reason that a lot of publishers advocate the agency pricing model - it means that they can control the price and try to keep people's perception of ebook value up. I fear the damage has already been done however. I think it's also been counterproductive to try to peg ebook pricing to the price of the print edition - it's undeniable that when you buy an ebook, you're getting a somewhat lesser product in various ways - so that hasn't helped with the public image.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    Something else that just occurred to me is that with print runs, the more books are printed the cheaper it is to print. So if you think about it, while some massive bestsellers might still bring in a lot of sales in ebook form, it's possible publishers are also not getting that bit of hidden savings. I'm not sure if it's enough to really matter or not (I'm just speculating).
    Yeah, books do get cheaper the more you print, up to a point - then it levels off. Though with bestsellers it's quite usual for there to be a royalty escalator clause in the contract - sell over 50K books, your royalty rate goes up, that sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    I don't remember where, might be in one of those links, but someone did a workup a year or so ago of what an ebook would have to cost in order to just break even for publishers and it was definitely more than most people were saying they thought it should be.
    It is definitely more, though once you get over that bar it's all gravy.

  2. #127
    A WIP Ton Lew Lepsnaci's Avatar
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    Recent measurements on e-book piracy frequency might have some relevance to the discussion. A Financial Times article claims that ebook piracy is more than double the rate of music piracy for women over 35. (Not sure why the statistics focused on women and that range only. Perhaps it is related to the recent drop in sales in certain publishing categories. Also, rates are less than I would have expected). The article gives a download frequency for the top 10 books.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/607a1...#axzz1bRRJWi1o
    Last edited by Ton Lew Lepsnaci; 10-22-2011 at 12:13 AM.
    To tell is human - writing for kids, YA & Y@Heart

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  3. #128
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Thanks, Torgo.
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  4. #129
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ton Lew Lepsnaci View Post
    Recent measurements on e-book piracy frequency might have some relevance to the discussion. A Financial Times article claims that ebook piracy is more than double the rate of music piracy for women over 35. (Not sure why the statistics focused on women and that range only. Perhaps it is related to the recent drop in sales in certain publishing categories. Also, rates are less than I would have expected). The article gives a download frequency for the top 10 books.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/607a1...#axzz1bRRJWi1o
    Ebook piracy is amazingly easy and quick; you can d/l hundreds of books in the time it'd take to d/l an album. So I'd expect that ebook pirates are pirating more books each than music pirates.

    Also worth pointing out that the piracy monitors I've come across basically watch the web and torrents - the highly visible stuff that I suspect is only the tip of the iceberg.

  5. #130
    Lost in mental space. Namatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    it's undeniable that when you buy an ebook, you're getting a somewhat lesser product in various ways
    How so? I can see it in some cases, like an ebook with maps in it. Hard to see the details if you can't magnify the image, but I haven't found any of the other ebooks I've read to be a lesser product than the print. Maybe it's just what I've been reading.

  6. #131
    A WIP Ton Lew Lepsnaci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Ebook piracy is amazingly easy and quick; you can d/l hundreds of books in the time it'd take to d/l an album. So I'd expect that ebook pirates are pirating more books each than music pirates.

    Also worth pointing out that the piracy monitors I've come across basically watch the web and torrents - the highly visible stuff that I suspect is only the tip of the iceberg.
    The situation is not unlike the wild west where you could put a stake in the ground and claim it as yours. Internet/information traffic has the same romantic connotations of total freedom and adventure. It also shares the flip side of that coin. Companies and individuals loose to piracy of software, gaming, video and of course books. People simply mention they have illegal copies of books, even to authors. It seems almost second nature now to download books for free. Tighter regulation may be needed.
    It depends in the end on what society decides is worth saving.
    To tell is human - writing for kids, YA & Y@Heart

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  7. #132
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namatu View Post
    How so? I can see it in some cases, like an ebook with maps in it. Hard to see the details if you can't magnify the image, but I haven't found any of the other ebooks I've read to be a lesser product than the print. Maybe it's just what I've been reading.
    OK - this is just from my perspective but to me there are two big factors:

    1. Most importantly, you don't get the same kind of rights as an ebook buyer. A paperback can be lent or resold or passed on to your grandchildren. An ebook can't. Really, you're buying a license to the content - you don't own anything.
    2. A book is a physical object on which many craftsmen and women have lavished a great deal of care. It's not just the illustrations you miss out on with an ebook - it's the design, typography, and production values.

    Now, I love ebooks, and they have some unique benefits - mainly, convenience. But (1) there is, on its own, a big deal for me, and warrants a discount on the equivalent print edition.

  8. #133
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ton Lew Lepsnaci View Post
    Tighter regulation may be needed.
    It depends in the end on what society decides is worth saving.
    I disagree that tighter regulation is the answer, because short of completely pulling the plug on the internet, there's nothing enforcement can do about it. When you can share books in bulk by email, what's the answer - monitor everybody's email?

    Anyway, that's a derail, and I've rehearsed my views on this too often around here already!

  9. #134
    A WIP Ton Lew Lepsnaci's Avatar
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    I was imprecise in my comment Torgo, I was thinking of the potential for more fundamental changes of the internet, regarding traceability and security. Better organization ("regulation" at the most basic level of the internet) as opposed to government regulation. But it's a derail indeed from this thread and a very big nut to crack in any case.
    To tell is human - writing for kids, YA & Y@Heart

    It is less important to please people who don't like your book than to please people who do, because it is better to have something people love than something they merely don't hate.

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  10. #135
    A WIP Ton Lew Lepsnaci's Avatar
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    Ok, after Torgo's thread derail chastening, back to the main topic.

    Amazon versus publishers... a call for one e-book format that may be of interest

    http://www.teleread.com/paul-biba/ho...-publishers-i/
    To tell is human - writing for kids, YA & Y@Heart

    It is less important to please people who don't like your book than to please people who do, because it is better to have something people love than something they merely don't hate.

    --H. Jones

  11. #136
    Lost in mental space. Namatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    OK - this is just from my perspective but to me there are two big factors:

    1. Most importantly, you don't get the same kind of rights as an ebook buyer. A paperback can be lent or resold or passed on to your grandchildren. An ebook can't. Really, you're buying a license to the content - you don't own anything.
    2. A book is a physical object on which many craftsmen and women have lavished a great deal of care. It's not just the illustrations you miss out on with an ebook - it's the design, typography, and production values.

    Now, I love ebooks, and they have some unique benefits - mainly, convenience. But (1) there is, on its own, a big deal for me, and warrants a discount on the equivalent print edition.
    All good points. I like the Nook's LendMe feature, but it's not available on most books.

  12. #137
    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    http://movies.yahoo.com/news/penny-m...142358395.html

    Sorry if this is mentioned elsewhere, but my brief perusal didn't notice it. Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Actually, no. That's not true. I know exactly how I feel about it. I feel like this is all a plot of Amazon's to dominate the publishing field and put everyone else out of business so they can make more money. Conspiracy theoryish? Maybe, but seriously.

    I'm also curious, if anyone knows, what the publishing world's opinion of this whole Amazon thing is. I don't just mean in terms of putting people out of business, but in terms of professionalism. Are they qualified to be someone's publisher? What level of quality do they have? Are their books stocked in stores as well as on their website?

    Do they really think they can sell enough copies to make up for the offers they're putting out, or is this sort of like selling kindles at a loss to crowd out the competition?

    I'm just looking to see what everyone else's opinions are on this. I'm also curious--if Amazon offered you a deal would you take it?
    Sure, I'll work with Amazon. Once upon a time a writer sent his or her MS to a publishing house. They either bought it or rejected it. If bought, it was published. If rejected, the writer moved on.

    Then the publishers decided to change the business and subcontracted that phase to agents. They either accepted it or rejected it. If accepted a new catch appeared --there was no guarantee a publisher would buy it.

    Now the publishing business is changing again. Depending on one's position in the industry it's either good or bad, but that doesn't matter in the end. Change is inevitable.

  13. #138
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namatu View Post
    All good points. I like the Nook's LendMe feature, but it's not available on most books.
    There was a moment a while back when I got all excited about the Kindle lending feature, because I thought they'd just broken the whole industry. There was a site called Lendle, that essentially hosted catalogues of everyone's Kindle libraries and matched up people who wanted to read books with people who owned them and could lend it to them.

    The endgame of that, it seemed to me, was that you had a hand-cranked BitTorrent for books. Get enough catalogues together and you cover everything anyone could be looking for, which is then shared P2P instantly. And that's exactly what it would have been, except I'd missed the very important point that you can only ever lend a Kindle book once.

    Still, any ebook lending system needs to be very carefully restricted or it will be mercilessly gamed and exploited. Perhaps you should only be able to share ebooks by close physical proximity - via Bluetooth or something. But even then I envisage tube trains and buses turning into ebook swap parties. So it's tricky. I think that's one of the reasons publishers are really not keen on enabling books to be shared in any way.

  14. #139
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder View Post
    Sure, I'll work with Amazon. Once upon a time a writer sent his or her MS to a publishing house. They either bought it or rejected it. If bought, it was published. If rejected, the writer moved on.

    Then the publishers decided to change the business and subcontracted that phase to agents. They either accepted it or rejected it. If accepted a new catch appeared --there was no guarantee a publisher would buy it.

    Now the publishing business is changing again. Depending on one's position in the industry it's either good or bad, but that doesn't matter in the end. Change is inevitable.
    I'm not meaning to sound obtuse, but I don't understand how your argument is one in favor of using Amazon's commercial publishing service.

    I'm also not certain that the fact that an agented manuscript still may not get a publisher is really a negative. I could see an argument for something like having agents as middlemen might mean that some manuscripts are lost that might have a chance otherwise, but just the fact that it can still be rejected doesn't strike me as a particularly negative element of the process. Aside from the fact that it might be a little more stressful emotionally, I mean.
    "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."

    And just because it's still awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc

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  15. #140
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    There was a moment a while back when I got all excited about the Kindle lending feature, because I thought they'd just broken the whole industry. There was a site called Lendle, that essentially hosted catalogues of everyone's Kindle libraries and matched up people who wanted to read books with people who owned them and could lend it to them.

    The endgame of that, it seemed to me, was that you had a hand-cranked BitTorrent for books. Get enough catalogues together and you cover everything anyone could be looking for, which is then shared P2P instantly. And that's exactly what it would have been, except I'd missed the very important point that you can only ever lend a Kindle book once.

    Still, any ebook lending system needs to be very carefully restricted or it will be mercilessly gamed and exploited. Perhaps you should only be able to share ebooks by close physical proximity - via Bluetooth or something. But even then I envisage tube trains and buses turning into ebook swap parties. So it's tricky. I think that's one of the reasons publishers are really not keen on enabling books to be shared in any way.
    Oh good lord. This makes me so sad. See, it's people doing things like this who ruin it for the rest of us who just want to be able to hand this book to a good friend and say "OMG you have to read this!"
    "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."

    And just because it's still awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc

    Take two: 90,008
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  16. #141
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    Oh good lord. This makes me so sad. See, it's people doing things like this who ruin it for the rest of us who just want to be able to hand this book to a good friend and say "OMG you have to read this!"
    I've heard people on this very board who would berate you for depriving the author of sales!

    Amazon were clearly a bit spooked by Lendle - I believe they revoked API access.

  17. #142
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are people who might, but as a reader, I have to say if people came up to me and told me "I borrowed this book from my best friend and loved it!" I'd be okay with that because I love the enthusiasm. I also know that if I borrow a book from someone and I really do love it, I want to buy it and tell more people about it. (WWZ is a good example for me).

    The thing is, a person just lending it to a friend is only going to lend to a few people (unless you're my boyfriend, but he buys multiple copies for lending purposes if he loves something lol). And most lending isn't done for the purpose of getting out of buying something.

    The really stupid thing is that there are libraries. If people really want a free book, they can go to a library and read it for free.
    "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."

    And just because it's still awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc

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  18. #143
    Lost in mental space. Namatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    The really stupid thing is that there are libraries. If people really want a free book, they can go to a library and read it for free.
    This, for me, has been one of the greatest things about the Nook. I got in the habit of buying my books and completely ignored the library, even though I knew better. Now I'm constantly using the library. In fact, I haven't read a non-library book on my Nook for over a month now. In theory, I should be saving money, but since I no longer need to figure out where to store all the books I buy, it hasn't quite worked out that way.

  19. #144
    practical experience, FTW strictlytopsecret's Avatar
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  20. #145
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Deepak Chopra has signed to Amazon . . . much to the surprise of his current publisher!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011...-deepak-chopra

    This comment summed it up for me:

    So, in the end its just about overpaid authors squeezing more from publishing deals and using Amazon to do it. Game changer? I think not....
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  21. #146
    practical experience, FTW Isabella Amaris's Avatar
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    Not that I ever considered Amazon a monopoly... in fact, I think they're just a very creative business (as a business) in their own right...

    But as to their owning the market, the recent partnership between Japan's Rakuten and Kobo should allay such fears ... or increase them... depending on your point of view (ie Kobo's influence might grow more than Amazon's internationally, but not domestically in the US since Amazon has had a bit of a head start in the US)...
    Last edited by Isabella Amaris; 11-09-2011 at 11:36 PM.
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