New Site Tries To Explain To Book Authors & Publishers Why People Choose Not To Buy

from the reasons-not-to-buy dept

Eric Goldman points us to a new site,, that lets people publicly explain why they either chose not to buy or simply could not buy an ebook they had originally intended to buy. That could be that the price is too high, DRM, geographical restrictions, etc. The idea, obviously, is to collect enough examples of this and to let publishers know that they're making mistakes in how they pitch and sell ebooks. Of course, it's not clear how much of the information and examples is actually accurate, so I'd take it with a pretty big grain of salt. That said, we frequently do hear stories of people being stymied from giving money they want to give due to ridiculous pricing and/or restrictions.
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Filed Under: buying, ebooks

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2010 @ 3:44am

    Preaching to the choir

    I'm not sure such sites really accomplish much.
    The "facts" offered, such as they are, are in the "obvious" category. So trying to point them out to an industry that must already know them and has either chosen to ignore then or has reasons of it's own to disbelieve them seems a bitof a waste of time.

    IMO the "obviousness" includes:
    Price is always going to be a factor - the fact is online book distribution will end up "competing with free" whether it wants to or not and while you can do that there's no way you can charge masses for it. But I don't think that's the major price problem. I think that's:
    Perceived profit. A physical book as far as I know has a profit margin of about 10%. Most people are fairly comfy with that I think. But take it online and the profit margin jumps massively - even a massively distributed online server farm is peanuts compared to a physical distribution network and everyone knows it and the publishers also get to take away a whole bunch of overhead - logistics of paper and ink supply chain, storage for large physical media, the overhead cost for books that aren't bought.
    Whatever number that actually amounts to, the public perception is "too much you greedy ba****ds"

    The other problem is functionality. You could consider it perhaps synonymous with the iPod. You might argue reason the iPod became popular was the ability to cram loads of albums/music/whatever onto 1 small device and that's the same as an e-book reader. Maybe so.
    Except that the iPod and other MP3 players were hugely popular before services like iTunes came along. Why? People started by ripping their CD collection to it that's why - it was even legal then (in the UK at least) and easy - 1-click functionality even in early software. File sharing networks largely grew up around people doing exactly what they'd always done with CD's and records - loan them to their mates, who might or might not have "taped" them. They then got out of hand due to the ease of it and the suddenly large circle of "friends" "borrowing" your music but the fact is that an iPod enhanced functionality you already had. E-books restrict functionality and until that stop happening a large chunk of people just aren't going to be interested.
    The ones that are are likely to be primarily ones tech savvy-enough to get the functionailty they want for themselves whatever is imposed from the publisher - if it's not offered legally, well... guess what? "Piracy" becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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