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I'm getting more confused by the minute ...

Posted: December 16th, 2009, 12:25 am
by jjshannon
Hi gang -- I'm trying very hard to wrap my mind around the pricing structure, release dates, etc., of hc vs pb vs ebook. And I'm getting more confused the more I read and research.

I decided to click on over to Amazon to check out Gail Godwin's latest novel which I knew would be coming out early in 2010. So here's what I find:

"Unfinished Desires" is being released January 5th. If I pre-order, I can get the hc for $17.16 (plus shipping cost). The list price is $26.00, so this is a nice savings. Further, this hc edition has a nice touch ... the deckle edge paper that looks so cool (like the paper is handmade). RH is the publisher.

There's no mention of a pb version yet -- that's the norm for now, of course.

The Kindle version is offered as well. The release date is the same as for the hc, with no mention of any savings whatsoever if I pre-order the ebook. The price? $14.30.

So much for standard $9.99 pricing on ebooks, so much for delaying ebook release (or packaging it with the hc version as a nice little perk), so much for ... well, my attempts to understand where any of this is going.

Are any of you noticing strangeness like this on books you'd like to get your hands on?

Sharon (aka jjshannon)

Re: I'm getting more confused by the minute ...

Posted: December 16th, 2009, 10:22 am
by Mira
That's interesting.....maybe they're just delaying e-book releases for big names.

Is that a big name?

Re: I'm getting more confused by the minute ...

Posted: December 16th, 2009, 10:25 am
by shadow
They are probably raising prices on books that are in higher demand... That is not good for us, the readers. Oh well! I never bought an E-book (yet)

Re: I'm getting more confused by the minute ...

Posted: December 16th, 2009, 3:03 pm
by jjshannon
Mira -- she's not knock-your-socks-off well kown, but she's got over a dozen books published and has won lots of prestigious awards. Shadow -- indeed. What's funny is, I had this idea that a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate was good for 5 ebooks, at least for a while. Guess not, unless you buy for cost alone and not for what you really want.

Re: I'm getting more confused by the minute ...

Posted: December 16th, 2009, 4:16 pm
by JFBookman
JJ, I don't think you're the only one confused. It seems like the whole "tradition" if you can call it that, of delaying one edition to maximize profit from another, higher priced edition, is under attack. Furthermore, there seems to be little agreement between publishers, and, as your Amazon research shows, not much agreement between publishers and retailers. Probably the entire ebook phenomenon is so new (at this scale) and the hardcover sales have dropped so significantly this year, it's a wonder there's any "strategy" left at all. It looks like 2010 may bring even more confusion, because a lot of different ereaders are getting ready to hit the market and, inevitably, the whole ebook phenomenon will continue to grow in whatever direction looks the most profitable. Strange times, indeed...

Re: I'm getting more confused by the minute ...

Posted: December 17th, 2009, 7:39 pm
by jnduncan
The new delayed release for ebooks thing that some publishers are going to be doing is only for a limited number of hardcovers. All others will have simultaneous release. For now. As for ebook pricing, I think Amazon is kind of the same way, though I don't know this for sure. Most of their kindle books are at ten bucks, but some will sell for more. Of course, you can find new releases for all kinds of weird prices across the other ebook retailers. The industry is still trying to figure out what works in this regard, and publishers are still battling with amazon over the whole ten dollar price point. They should be selling for 13 to 14 dollars if they're going to make any profit off of them. My guess is that Amazon is taking losses on ebooks in an effort to drive down publisher pricing. in order to set up a higher margin for themselves. Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic about them, but who knows. I'm not really pleased about digital publishings devaluation of the story. I don't really get why something should be cheaper just because it is available with greater ease and convenience and shaves a small percentage off of the publishing cost due to lack of paper.

What I think we're heading toward in the future is a release schedule that has hc's and premium edition ebooks coming out first, followed a few months later by the standard ebook edition, and then the paperback a few months after that. I think the lag time between hc and paperback is likely going to shrink thanks to ebooks, where you'll be seeing the paperback out about six months or so after the hc. I could be wrong of course, as I proclaim no expertise in this area.