Found this in Publisher's Weekly. It breaks down the cost of production for a printed book versus an ebook. Interesting. Especially if you're a corporate tycoon looking at the bottom line. Ebooks apprear to be more profitable.
Some of those are fixed costs, though, so the size of the print run would be a big factor - cover desgn, copy editing, etc., aren't usually profit-participation positions so when the article says how much they are for each copy, how many copies is that out of?
Yes, that doesn't work for me either, for much the same reasons John cites. Add to that the fact that print publication generally precedes electronic publication, which means that copy-editing, cover design, marketing, and publicity have already been done and paid for. Since publishers demand electronic copies of novels from authors, I cannot imagine that adapting that to electronic publication can involve much more than a few clicks on the computer.
Note that PW just announced a glowing profit for Penguin, partially because of electronic sales. (and they pay me only 15 %)
I just don't think Ebooks will be as big as people think. Fifty years ago, we were told that we'd be in paperless offices by 1990. It's 2010 and I still see a shite-load of paper when I drop by the newsroom. Plus there's nothing like the feel of a book in your hands. I don't want to stare at a computer screen, I want to take my book to the beach and not worry about getting sand in the keyboard. Whenever I find a good paper or journal on the net, I print it off because I want to hold it in my hands as I read it. Knowledge gained from a computer has no texture or context - it's there one minute and it's gone the next. If information is to last, then it should be tangible. That's why Ebooks won't replace printed books.
Jesssica, yeah (I'm 60) and I remember all kinds of promises about what the future would hold--and still waiting for them to arrive. And I agree that a book is more tangible. I too love the feel of a book in my hand.
But I gotta say, ebooks are coming: they will never replace the book entirely but they will be a major rival.
Yeah, I agree that they're coming. But if you had a choice between an Ebook and a regular book, which would you choose? I'd buy a regular book everytime, even if the Ebook is cheaper. I know a lot of people who would do the same. And I'm nineteen!
Oh, I go for the real-deal first. Got a library full of'em--and still growing. Yet some of the ebooks out there beginning to experiment on creating the device and making it have the touch and heft and look of a real book.
Now, depending on if you're an optimist or a pessimist--this sounds exciting or this is the death-knell for the real-deals.
Selling a print edition and offering the electronic version at a discount at the same time sounds a bit silly to me. Not too many people will want a title in both formats. As for POD: the machine thing was mentioned quite a while ago. I'd like to know what sort of POD books they sell. Many publisher/authors use POD to make out-of-print titles available.
On his blog, the CEO of Macmillan has said they'll be making e-books available at the same time as hardcovers and then lowering the price of e-books as lower-priced paperback editions are released. I think that's a step in the right direction.
Some bands are now giving away their new CDs free when you buy a ticket to their concert. There are all kinds of changes coming, that's for sure.