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Author Topic: Ebooks to see a huge boom  (Read 3671 times)

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Richard

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Ebooks to see a huge boom
« on: March 28, 2009, 07:11:10 AM »
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9130689 Once people start to get used to ebooks, I wonder when tradition books will begin to fade.

Lin Robinson

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 04:10:34 PM »
Confirms my deep hunches.

Traditional books won't disappear.  Anymore than steam locomotives or bows and arrows or horseback riding has disappeared.

But the handwriting is on the wall.  Books are made of paper and shipped to readers by gasoline.  Neither of which will ever get any cheaper (or less environmentally harmful).   The cost of ebooks even at the jacked up prices today  (remember what happened with mp3 prices?)   are like a quarter of book prices.

Now here's the thing for authors, publishers, or author/publishers:  under the old model production, warehousing and shipping was hugely the big expense in publishing a book.
With ebooks, which are damn near free to produce and deliver, that drops to "approaching zero".  What that means is... the AUTHOR'S RIGHTS start being the biggest fraction of the cost of books.

So no longer is owning a press or doing huge volume any real advantage.  What's important is controlling the rights to the work.

So suddenly the writer is starting to move into the driver's seat.   This won't happen soon.  Most publishers and almost no writers have even figured this out yet.   But it's there and won't go away.


Richard

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 04:22:22 PM »
Very well put. I agree with you on all of this. This also means we are going to and having a clash between rights and the internet, and I don't think that clash will go away. With mp3s I think the industry is seeing people are willing to pay a "reasonable" price for their music when they feel they are not getting ripped off. P2P music went down the price of mp3s went down. I like the writer being in the driver's seat. Books will never go away, but they will become less popular.

A song is 99 cents, but a novel takes much longer to create, and is a lot of work for the author. I think finding the right price for ebooks will be a new challenge. Of course marketing will always be a factor in the cost.

Lin Robinson

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2009, 07:55:48 PM »
It might be 99 cents.    Look at what happened with video tape rentals.

I see $5 as maximum for an ebook and suspect the price will be lower.  Thing is though, it's possible for the writer to actually see MORE money that way.

If you get fifteen percent of a ten dollar book, (which is about the top of the royalty schedule) that's way less than forty percent of a five dollar book.   Sell it yourself for $1.50 and you get the same amount.

Richard

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009, 08:02:25 PM »
99 cent books would be awesome! The range between 99c and 5$ is perfect with me. I will say now, to the publishers, if I was going to buy a book out there, and they cost 99c, I'd buy more than 1 title.

Tweet_Book

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 02:52:47 AM »
True indeed. I think Lin is right on here -- you'll not only see cheaper books, but a lot more titles as people figure out self-publishing for ebook formats.

I think a big issue, though, will be piracy (as it is with music).

Lin Robinson

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 05:18:32 AM »
Very true.   And it's worth watching how musicians are dealing with that.

One group (Soundgarden?) Put some new work up asking for donations. Voluntary price.  Only a small percentage of people paid, but it ended up averaging out at a little under 99 cents.

I heard.

But one consideration... if your product has no production cost, how much does piracy hurt you?  You take in less than you "might have", but don't lose money. 

Tweet_Book

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 06:16:44 AM »
Very true.   And it's worth watching how musicians are dealing with that.

One group (Soundgarden?) Put some new work up asking for donations. Voluntary price.  Only a small percentage of people paid, but it ended up averaging out at a little under 99 cents.

I heard.

But one consideration... if your product has no production cost, how much does piracy hurt you?  You take in less than you "might have", but don't lose money. 

'Twas Radiohead (I gave them $10). And Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) did a similar thing where he released a quadruple album -- the first one was free, the whole collection was only $5.

Richard

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 03:41:09 PM »
I think the artist selling their own works, works if they have a name. But if you put out your own book with no backing from a company, no marketing, you will not make any money. We haven't see a real way that artists can market their own work. The way I am afraid companies will make money from a book is through a service. You pay a monthly fee. That might not get much money in the pocket of the artist.

Lin Robinson

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 05:26:05 PM »
I hear you.
It's hard to say what future models will look like.   Maybe the Balkanized situation of retailers with download services and proprietary reader programs will continue.

Or maybe there will be a bigger slice for the independent and/or small publishers who can offer cheap books without contracts.  Obviously favoring niche books and the flamboyant. 

My desidirata here would be that once they're on eBook readers people will start sifting for new favorite authors.

It's possible that the main thing that will happen is that publishing gets wrested from the hands of publishing houses by retailers.   amazon is the poster boy for that, but see also mobipocket, audiobooks, etc.   What if WalMart put out an eReader?   Or Starbucks?


An author might be confronted with a grim choice:  do I want to sign on with a big service and get three cents per download, or a smaller press that gives me 40% of much smaller volume?

Of course, either way the writer gets a book out there.   Even if he produces it himself and offers it off a blog somewhere, it's out there for people to read.   And once Auntie Em gets an eReader, he can send her his book.


Richard

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 05:48:27 PM »
When I look at publishing, I think of sports sometimes. Back in the early 1900s the owners made all the money. That shifted to the talent in a big way. I would really like to see that shift for writers, but right now even though books are a huge market, the writer rarely gets credit. It's even in the way we talk about books. When you talk to someone, they will say, "I'm reading a good BOOK." And most of the time they do not say, "This is a great author, or great writer," unless they read a few books by that author. It's almost as if, if you like the book, it was created by mistake, or the author got lucky. It's just the way, I think, a lot of people who are not writers, think about books. A lot of time they don't even know the author's name.

And when you look at movies it's even worse. The writers gets almost no credit at all for the final work, even if they have written many good screen plays. They can win a few best screenplay awards, and still they do not come into a very public view.

anthonymiller

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 04:40:39 AM »
Living in 21st century it has become quite obvious that things have changed and technology have reached heights so these things are quite expected and in future this is for sure true that small kids will have there books in E books format.

coolwrites

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 07:48:45 AM »
I think ebooks will reign so hardbound books will disappear and less trees used for papers. Then, more trees live and help us live in a clean environment.

planetbob

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2013, 03:29:14 PM »
Sure ebooks are going to be a boom, but you won't get the fun reading the ebooks as you will have reading the hard copies..:)

Richard

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Re: Ebooks to see a huge boom
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 10:50:12 PM »
I thought that until I got a kindle, and now I think it might be more fun reading them on that pad.