Offering e-books with hard copies

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Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Mark17 » 26 Oct 2010, 12:15

I'm not sure if this has been discussed on this board. I got into a debate with a friend today about this subject. Would it be profitable for publishers to start doing this? I don't own an e-reader right now, I love owning the hard copies, but if publishers offered the e-book with the hard copy, I would probably buy one. Is this something publishers have tried? Would it work? Would it be good for writers Why hasn't it happened? To me it seems like a win-win for everyone.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Mira » 26 Oct 2010, 13:32

Mark - I'm not sure exactly what you mean? Do you mean a free hard copy with an e-book, or the reverse? Or a reduced rate for both together?

And yes, I'm not sure, but I think publishers are discussing this. E-book pricing is a big topic - as is delaying the release of e-books to encourage hard cover sales. All very controversial and interesting to talk about.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby J. T. SHEA » 26 Oct 2010, 15:16

Fundamentally a good idea, Mark. Like the bundling of Blu-ray discs and/or digital movie copies with DVDs. Oddly enough, I think Amazon had technical problems bundling ebooks with paper books, but that may be changed now. I recently saw the paperback of ANGELA'S ASHES bundled with the DVD of the movie.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Mark17 » 26 Oct 2010, 15:54

I mean exactly what JTShea said, the way they bundle digital copies with the blue-ray. Like if you were to buy a book full price when it comes out (not like bargain rack at Barnes and Noble) you would be able to get the E-Book either free or a dramatically reduced rate.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Mira » 29 Oct 2010, 08:55

That's interesting........

I think I don't like it. Authors get a much higher royalty on e-books than hardcovers, so I'm tenatively against this. I would be I don't get all the ins and outs of it though....
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby mrob44 » 29 Oct 2010, 12:55

I think bundling a free copy/discounted copy of the ebook with a regular priced physical book is a great idea for the reader. And if you think about it, not really that bad for the author as well. The people that are going to purchase the physical book are not likely to also purchase the full price ebook of the exact same book, so to say that the author is missing out on royalties seems incorrect in my opinion. The person was never going to buy the ebook anyway, only the physical book. Buying both full price would seem terribly uneconomical. But think of the added convenience for a person who much prefers a physical book, but also likes the convenience of an ebook and has a nook/kindle/ipad/smartphone. Lets take Stephen King's Under The Dome for example. It's a huge book, a massive book. I love physical books, and much prefer them to ebooks, but I must say, it sure would have been easier and more convenient to have read UTD on my Nook, and been able to simply slip the slim, lightweight device into my laptop bag when I went to work, or the coffee shop, or where ever, instead of trying to lug around and read the mini-fridge that was UTD. I would have never chosen only the ebook, because I love my physical books, and they are about the only thing I collect, but if the ebook had been bundled free, or, yes, even heavily discounted, with the physical book at purchase,I would have done a good chunk of my reading on the ebook edition. And lets face it, Free is not going to happen, and I understand that. But I think even discounted ebooks as a bundle with the physical book people would go for.

Let the publishers/bookstores figure out the sales figures / royalties with this, but I think its a win for the readers, and if done correctly could be win for the publishers/authors as well.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Mira » 29 Oct 2010, 14:24

I don't know, I continue to have mixed feelings about this. I suspect publishers won't do it, because they may not wish to strengthen the e-book market.

The thing is, I'm not sure those who read e-books will even WANT the hardcover, and vice versa. But I could be wrong about that.....
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Dakota388 » 04 Jan 2011, 22:40

My problem with this is that it doesn't keep someone from buying the book, getting the free ebook, and then returning the hard copy. Maybe if you gave a code that didn't unlock the ebook until after the return policy expires but I don't know how you would do that.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby Nathan Bransford » 12 Jan 2011, 00:01

My understanding about this is that it's something B&N has looked into, but is still something that is really cool in theory but difficult in practice. Obviously movies figured it out with the Blu-ray/digital copy plan, but with e-books there is different infrastructure considerations (an analog/digital mix), pricing issues (what exactly should the combined version cost), and scale issues. While people like the idea, how many people are really going to want both hard copy and digital and pay for it?

I'm guessing we'll see it at some point, but I've always been a bit skeptical that it would catch on in a big way. It may have some interest during the transition from print to e-books, but once e-books really take hold I think people will be less worried about getting a paper copy to go along with their e-book.
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Re: Offering e-books with hard copies

Postby steve » 13 Jan 2011, 09:54

This is a great idea.

Independent record companies are doing this because of the resurgence in sales of vinyl records. Inside a lot of records these days is a coupon with a code where you can go to a website and download the digital album tracks for free.
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