Irony: Book About Recording Industry's Mishandling Of Digital Priced Higher As Ebook Than Physical Book

from the that's-saying-something dept

A few weeks back, we noted that book publishers apparently simply did not learn from the mistakes of the recording industry -- specifically pointing to DRM and (more importantly) the fact that they've started pricing ebooks higher than physical books. Now, in a moment of supreme irony, Copycense (who has been highlighting various ebooks priced over corresponding physical books) is noting that Steve Knopper's excellent book Appetite for Self-Destruction (subtitled "The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age") is one of those books. Indeed, Amazon shows the ebook priced at $17.99, while the paperback is $11.53 from Amazon (and available new from others at $7.50 or used at $4.42).

If you go to the ebook page itself, Amazon clearly states, "This price was set by the publisher" (a clear response to complaints about the rapidly rising price of ebooks lately). It kinda makes you wonder if the decision makers at Simon and Schuster even read the book they're pricing? They might want to crack open a used copy of the paperback (it's cheaper) to learn why not understanding digital, and therefore thinking you can price digital things super high, is not the smartest move...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    What you people don't understand is that there are massive production and logistical costs associated with these e-books. You can't just magically generate new copies of those things at will. And what about transport? You think you can make these e-books just instantly appear anywhere in the globe?

    What planet do you come from?

    /Sarcasm Goddammit!

     

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  2.  
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    James Carmichael (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    Grammar nazi

    "understsanding" last sentence.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    The sad truth is that millions if not billions of electronic copies of this book are going to be taking up space in their electronic warehouse for years now, only to be thrown in an electronic landfill. The internet of the future is going to be a polluted trash dump.

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, but someday far in the future we learn to recycle electronic garbage, those electronic landfills will be the new resource mines.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    That's just a lie put forth by the digital hippies to get you to recycle your electronic waste. The landfills of the internet are technically infinite, so we should never have the issue with overpolluted tubes!

     

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  6.  
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    Don, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re:

    And Windows Recycle Bin will need to get replaced with a Landfill icon taking up two-thirds the desktop.

     

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  7.  
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    A Dan (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Grammar nazi

    Technically, that would be spelling, not grammar. :)

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Howard, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Overall a good read. The cast of characters get "Russian novelesque" toward the middle though. There is a great chapter on the boy bands (Back Street Boys et al)

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Being Technically Technical, those landfills would be a static number of bits, and you can only affect the state of them, not the amount.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No. The recycle bin is proof that Microsoft cares about the environment. While other operating systems implement only a primitive trash bin, Microsoft was careful to make sure that every discarded bit could be reused in the future.

    You see, in other, inferior, OS's, discarded bits are put into a trash can, awaiting disposal. When time comes, the "trash" is burned in large incinerators. This is, obviously, a colossal waste of resources, not to mention, highly pollutant.

    Microsoft solves these environmental issues by making sure that every bit that is discarded into the recycle bin is recycled, giving it a new life as a piece of e-paper (for e-books or word documents, for example) or as materials for that game you are enjoying (yes, that house your tank just demolished was made of recycled e-bricks, courtesy of Microsoft).

    Microsoft is also one of the only major players in the web browser field that does not support animal cruelty, unlike other browsers that are known to exploit animals such as lynxes, fire foxes or ice weasels.

    Microsoft: making your e-world a e-better e-place to e-live!

     

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  11.  
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    Spiro Agnew, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re:

    You have it, except for one small detail. You assume the internet isn't already a polluted trash dump.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    That is why I love librivox, the free alternative for books.
    http://librivox.org/

     

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  13.  
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    Jeff Jones (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Stupidity reigns...

    when it comes to the corporate handling of this.

    Previously, I noticed that when the ebook was released at the same time as the hardback, it was generally priced at what the paperback would be. I though this was acceptable. I'd even be willing to pony up a little extra for the convenience of not having to wait.

    Now, the prices of the ebooks are getting close to that of the hardback.

    There is a simple formula that could be applied here, but it will never happen. Corporate bean counters do not seem able to, or willing to, differentiate between physical and digital media. Not going to rehash the production cost issues as they are all well known to us.

    I think that the cost of the ebook should be a fixed precentage of the least expensive print copy. Let's assume the difference between hard back and paper back. Just for the sake of this example, let's say that Publisher A has a $30 hard back price and that same book, when goes to paper back is $10. That means if we assume an ebook distribution at the paper back price, then we apply that same 66.6% difference to the ebook 6 - 12 months later when the paper back is published. So instead of an ebook at the same or greater price than the paper back, we get an ebook at 1/3 the cost ($3.33).

    Seems simple to me, but I am not a corporate bean counter with my head up the CEOs ass and my hand in my customers' pockets.

     

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  14.  
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    bob, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Now I understand the term Data Mining.

    /s

     

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  15.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Seriously. It's so bad that almost a terabyte of their elitter has managed to dirty up my formerly pristine new drive. Where do I send the bill for cleanup?

     

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  16.  
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    wifezilla, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    I love you guys

     

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  17.  
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    SUNWARD (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    lower price now

    now 10.38 for kindle

     

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  18.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    I dont get it...

    ... I learned consumer demand formulas in high school!!! Jeeze, I just dont get it anymore. If you increase the price, you sell less.

    And besides, I can download a pirated e-book in 5 minutes, which means I am much more likely to pirate an e-book than to pirate a movie.

    See what you did publishers? YOU created the pirates.

     

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  19.  
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    Karl (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Hardback is cheaper...?

    Ha. You can buy a used copy of the hardback for under five bucks, including shipping, from a bunch of resellers.

    So, a copy that costs nothing to manufacture and distribute, is sold for over three times the cost of a copy that cost money to manufacture, and has to be physically shipped.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

     

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  20.  
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    Phil, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 7:09pm

    With publishers, it's all price NEGOTIATION at this point.

    A tenant of capitalism is that the market determines a fair price, and a fair price is whatever the market will bear. As we speak, publishers are trying to see what we will bear. Just how much is that ebook worth to us? If they can get all of us to decide that the ebook is extremely valuable, and perhaps even more useful than a paper book -- regardless of what we know the production costs are, then they will have been able to move the market's judgement of a "fair price" in their favor.
    Time and time again however, it has been seen in other markets that consumers do make a judgement of fairness. Generally, consumers do expect that producers have a right to make a profit, but they expect that profit to have some reasonable relationship to the expense of production. For the publishers, negotiation consists of throwing something up there and seeing what flies with the public. All of the moaning about not being able to make a sustainable profit is just misdirection and posturing to support their attempt to move prices higher.
    All of the above seems fair to me, but what I really resent is when publishers, and the media in general, attempt to use governments to change laws allowing then to gain an unfair advantage in this pricing tug-of-war.

     

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  21.  
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    Atkray (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 9:34pm

    The E-book is "High Tech" therefore by definition it must be worth more. Sure enough, look it can only be read on an E Reader, we might need to make it even more expensive if people are slow to adopt it.

    That is the thinking behind this madness.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2010 @ 12:00am

    Region 1

    And although you can buy the paperback in the UK, the Kindle edition appears to be US only!

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2010 @ 12:03am

    Re: Region 1

    Unless of course they've sold out of the eBook version in the UK? :-p

     

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  24.  
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    ebook reader, Oct 30th, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Can stores put up a "Sold Out" sign for ebooks?

     

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  25.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 30th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    which is great (thanks for the link!)

    but not helpful when i want to read something that is not in the public domain as of yet.

     

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  26.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 30th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    your post is rife with inaccuracies.

    ebooks are not simply worth more because they are high tech, they are worth UNIMAGINABLY more becase they are high tech. everyone knows the only tech stuff worth buying is the retartedly high priced stuff.


    people are not slow to adopt because its not priced correctly.
    people are slow to adopt because jobs has not called people who have not yet adopted it stupid sheeple. once we get jobs on board everyone will be forced to get into ebooks or be socially ostracised, shunned and have rotten apples thrown at them.

    finally, you make one huge assumption that there is any thinking behind this at all.
    more likely they have a giant spinning dartbard, they throw a dart and whatever it says to do, thats what they do.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Screw Amazon the patenter of software routines. Trying to lock out developers world wide. Cancel your slow delivery Amazon Citizenship.

     

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  28.  
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    Vivster, Oct 30th, 2010 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Region 1

    naa, one thing (which hopefully won't get "fixed" anytime soon), the Kindle store lets you set your address at whatever you want. I've got mine set to Amazon's headquarters. I can buy any US book I want

     

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  29.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 31st, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re: Hardback is cheaper...?

    And what is especially important here, is that a second-hand copy bought this way gains the publisher nothing either, from someone who isn't pirating. Goooood business model, eh?

     

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  30.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 31st, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    Precisely, stick i- on the front and an apple (TM) logo on and... hey presto!

     

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  31.  
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    tax cpe, Oct 31st, 2010 @ 7:32pm

    Digital..

    The book is about something in the "digital age" so naturally it should be priced higher as an e-book... :)

     

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  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 1st, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Region 1

    Huge frakin LOL ...

     

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  33.  
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    vastrightwing, Nov 1st, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Didn't see this coming

    I admit I didn't see this coming. I figured they'd sell ebooks for the same as a paperback. Publishers sure don't like ebooks, or they simply think people will pay dearly for convenience. Ticket master knows this and publishers now think this. Ironically, they are selling the paperback for much less than the ebook and loosing more sales because a tangible paperback can be resold many times (legally), donated to libraries and loaned out. now my only question is, how much are people willing to pay for a license to read?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Funny how you all mention price, delivery and manufacture cost... What about the DRM? New state-of-the-art and super-permissive Amazon is going to allow you to 'loan' your ebooks to your friends!

    Except...
    You can only loan your book 5 time total. And for a maximum of 14 days per loan. And while it's loaned, you cannot read it nor can you loan it to multiple people simultaneously. (If you say it's normal because normal books also work this way, you deserve a slight slap in the face)

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/11/06/2243234/Analyzing-Amazons-E-Book-Loan-Agreement?fro m=rss

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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