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Author Topic: The price of fantasy and science fiction books  (Read 8423 times)

FloonKarcoot

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The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« on: June 20, 2010, 04:22:22 AM »
Given that most SFF novels these days cost north of £9.99 for a slightly big paperback, and c. £20.00 for the hardback, do people think that buying science fiction novels is now too expensive?

Floon

Vinxlady

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 09:13:31 AM »
I think that's why online retailers like Amazon do such good business. But yes, it is expensive. I managed to borrow over a few years the complete set of the Sword of Truth series as I really wanted to read it but buying all 11 books would cost way too much - not to mention the huge amount of bookshelf space I'd need!

What do you think would be a reasonable price to pay for a slightly big paperback? I saw one (not a scifi one admittedly) in Waterstones the other day that cost £14.99 and not surprisingly that went straight back on the shelf without a second glance. Still, it is sometimes nice to splash out full price on a treat book after browsing the shelves of a good bookshop. I only ever buy paperbacks however, not just for the price, but also for the ease of carrying and reading them.

Vinx

Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 12:55:29 PM »
Hello Vinx

You sound like you live in the UK.

You could always try reviewing. You can get a free supply of books that way.

My email is on-site if you're interested.

Geoff

Surly Joe

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2010, 05:55:59 AM »
It will be interesting to see if e-books take off and how prices change then - although the price of dead trees will always remain more or less the same in real terms, I think.

SJ  :o

Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 05:19:28 AM »
Hello SJ

I think the real problem with ebooks is the same with musical downloads, ie there is no secondary market for them. Having something physical in your hands means you have something you can show and occasionally barter or sell on. Pointing at your computer and say its in there doesn't really have much meaning.

Personally, I think I prefer the physical to the digital in my hands.

Geoff

JLJamieson

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2011, 12:23:07 PM »
Hello SJ

I think the real problem with ebooks is the same with musical downloads, ie there is no secondary market for them. Having something physical in your hands means you have something you can show and occasionally barter or sell on. Pointing at your computer and say its in there doesn't really have much meaning.

Personally, I think I prefer the physical to the digital in my hands.

Geoff

I wonder, has your opinion changed any in recent months?

I've been reading some very interesting articles directed at debate about pricing with ebooks, especially geared toward recent ebook authors who have made extraordinary sales in that venue--many, *exclusively* in that venue.

Personally, I am of a mind that once DRM is made in a far friendlier manner that makes using files across multiple devices an easier task, it will be a big step toward making ebooks friendlier and less prone to theft. The second step is pricing. People often weigh convenience against price. This is a lesson ALL content providers are learning slowly, but to their eventual benefit. Electronic copies should have a price point congruent with their cost (minimal), and not identical to paper copies. The price point still needs to reflect their economic value as intellectual property, but honestly, if the ebook costs more than the paperback, people will continue to either buy the paperback or sadly, steal the ebook. This is where these ebook-only authors are apparently cleaning up. http://www.businessinsider.com/amanda-hocking-2011-2#ixzz1FTuFckYx This is on one of those writers. I must admit--I've never read anything from her, but a bit of digging will show several similar stories, as well as several print writers who have found when attempting to sell their back catalogue, a new cover and a 2.99 ebook price point has put money back into their pockets.

Have you ever considered either having ebook releases reviewed, or using them as another means of having overseas reviewers? (Yes, I'm volunteering).

Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 05:52:50 AM »
Hello JL

I think the price of an ebook reader such as Kindle could pay for more books - I still buy the odd ones I can't wrangle for review and it keeps a reminder of how much things cost - than a gadget.

I've nothing against people reading ebooks. Some of my reviewer team use them after all and we cater reviews for all people.

Perhaps the question should be asked is would paper based books ever stop??

Geoff

Vinxlady

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 04:53:22 AM »
I have to chip in on the ebooks debate. I was given a Kindle for Christmas and, being a book lover (I mean I love having pretty copies of pretty books not just that I enjoy reading) I was a bit skeptical. What would it be like reading from a digital screen? What would be available? How would it change my reading experience?

I've been re-watching Buffy from the first season recently and Giles says that the thing he dislikes most about computers is their smell, or, to be more accurate, their total lack of smell. He goes on to explain that smell is one of the most powerful senses, that scents can take you back years to a specific time and place, and that books always have a smell.

I sort of agree with him. I love picking up an older book and having that faint waft of mustiness, being able to flick through the pages and feel them beneath my fingers. I love the crispness of a brand new book, no creases in the spine, no tattered corners or dried droplets of spilt tea. I love my books, they are a feast for the senses.

And yet, I have, in a very short space of time, also grown to love my Kindle. Yes it's a different experience but different isn't a bad thing. For one thing, I travel by train a lot and, being someone who can get through anywhere up to 100 pages in an hour, I often run out of a book halfway. Now, instead of having to lug several books with me just in case I can simply take my ebook library with me and select new books at my leisure. I think the reading quality is excellent too (the Kindle screen really fills me with awe at the technology), to the extent that once I became absorbed in my first Kindle book I actually moved my hand to the top right to try and turn the page - what an idiot I felt! But it is testament to the reading experience that I automatically went to turn the page like that.

However, a lot of ebooks are too expensive - it shouldn't cost the same as a printed book, and many of them do. If there are particular things you want to read then this could cause you problems. If, on the other hand, you are willing to try new authors, new styles and older books, there are myriad options for you that come really cheap and often free.

To answer Geoff's question - no, paper books shouldn't ever stop - I'd be a deeply unhappy person if that ever came to pass. But I think there is a place for ebooks alongside them, and if anyone doubts whether they'd enjoy reading something off a screen as much as out of a book then I can assure you that I can still get lost in a fantasy world just as easily on my kindle as with a real paperback.

Vinx (Bookaholic)

Scott J Robinson

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 04:02:05 AM »
Computers have a lack of smell? Hasn't been to my place where dinner is eaten at and dropped on the computer regularly. There are all sorts of smells going on there. :)

Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 03:57:42 AM »
Hello Vinxy

I totally agree about the price of ebooks compared to the hardcopy versions. A lot of the expense in paper versions is in the printing and with that gone, the price should be lower. I mean, the pubishers and writers still get their profits. I do wonder as to whether keeping the price high is to discourage piracy. I mean, if you paid a lot of money for something, you might be reluctant to share it for nothing. Whether they've considered reciprocal sharing remains to be seen.

Geoff

Weirdmage

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 08:11:18 AM »
"A lot of the expense in paper versions is in the printing and with that gone, the price should be lower."

This is a common myth bandied around the internet. The fact is that the typical paper cost is about 15% of the publisher's retail price. (It varies a bit with the size of the printing.) So far from e-books being over-priced, they are in fact under-priced.
The problem is that bookstores often sell some books at a loss. As far as I can tell the price point publishers have set for e-books is close to what the large retailers pay for hardcover books. Which makes perfect sense, since this should mean that paper books would be slightly more expensive to buy.

I really wish the "printing makes up most of the cost" myth would disappear. It has absolutely no basis in reality.


Geoff the head Uncle

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Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2011, 04:56:15 AM »
Hello Mage

  I'm avoid using the prefix of your name. That would be...well...you know...

Doing a break down of book costs, its easy to forget any publisher has to work out a profit margin. The sums they do in that involve what happens when the price is reduced and even the prices like Amazon sell at so they still have a profit margin even on short run books, which essentially how first editions are done. Constructively, hardbacks are far more limited print run than paperbacks and why the likes of the first editions of Harry Potter books rocketed in price so much.

  I do agree with you that the profit margin bookshops run at is far less, especially when they sell cheap but they also have a returns policy so they only make money on the books they sell.

Geoff

SFcrowsnest.net: The genre media magazine

Re: The price of fantasy and science fiction books
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2011, 04:56:15 AM »