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back to article Amazon heralds unstoppable rise of the e-book

E-books are now outselling hardbacks and paperbacks combined, Amazon.com claimed today. It's UK offshoot, Amazon.co.uk, separately said it is now selling more e-books than hardbacks. Since 1 April, Amazon.com has sold 105 e-books for every 100 print books. Free e-books have been excluded from the total, it claimed. In the UK, …

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still a stich up

cos you can't choose which stores to buy from !

globalization my arse, each still coverting there own territory with the extra profits that involves

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Stop

EPUB

That;s why anyone buying a Kindle is frankly a short sighted idiot.

Amazon are desperate to lock up the EBook market, like iTunes have locked up the music market.

EPUP and a open market is clearly what SHOULD be happening, but that will only happen if consumers buy EPUB devices rather than loss-leader priced Kindles that they will be forever paying over the odds for content...

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JB
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Short-sighted idiots?

Those short-sighted idiots only need to download Calibre (free ebook syncing software) and they can load any type of text document and ebook onto their kindle. I have loads of epubs, and read them on my kindle.

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Not just for books

That;s why anyone buying a Kindle is frankly a short sighted idiot.

To be honest I'm kind of hoping it'll help reduce the eye strain ... anyway, quite happy with my Kindle thanks and it's really not a problem for me to load epubs on via Calibre. Besides, plenty of other use cases of the Kindle make it worth it so I wouldn't use the ePub issue to dismiss it entirely. No data charge for browsing the web when abroad? Don't mind if I do.

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How much difference between 69p and free?

They may have ignored the free Kindle books, but if you look at the top 10 paid-for ones on Amazon's UK site only four cost more than £1, and three of those are the sort of price you pay in remaindered bookshops. I bet they won't be prepared to compare the formats on the basis of gross revenue, even in percentage terms (i.e. Kindle book revenue is X% of print book revenue).

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Pricing

Amazon need to either crack down on pricing or the publishers need to wake up and stop pricing their ebooks so high.

Right now it is trivial, absolutely trivial to pirate an ebook. Not only that but it is significantly faster pirating an ebook than a piece of music or a film because of the file sizes involved.

They need to start pricing closer to reality. (There are no printing costs, no storage costs etc) They are not only competing with free ebooks through piracy but also normal second hand books on ebay.

Amazon (i've only used the kindle so I can only comment on that) has an excellent system for previewing and buying books, it's practically flawless. But as I said above, the pricing is horrendously off once they can get that sorted out then the only problem for them for removed is the silly drm.

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Sadly many publishers *are* pricing close to reality

Printing onto dead trees is a *very* small percentage of the total sticker price on a book, the vast majority goes into editing, typesetting, proofreading and so on - all the background stuff that turns badly misspelled fan fiction into literature.

When it comes to high street stores, 90% work on a sell or return basis, they don't pay for the title until after it is sold. If it hasn't sold in 6 weeks it gets returned to the publisher who either restocks their warehouse, flogs them off cheaply as remainders or pulps it.

The problem is the publisher's business model relies on a small quantity of runaway bestsellers to pay for the vast majority of slow sellers. What people really don't realise is just how few books are actually sold these days. In 2005, the average first print run for a mid-list author was only 5,000 copies, for the entire US market. Bear in mind the US market is roughly 1/3 of the global market for english language books. And they have trouble selling more than 5000 copies of a book to a population of 260 million...

“950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million books in print tracked by Nielsen Bookscan in 2004 sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies.”

-- Publisher’s Weekly, July 17, 2006"

http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm

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Flame

Pricing 2

They will most likely increase the price, not lower it. Price is determined but how much can greedy bastards get away with and nothing else. I pay relatively the same amount for my jeans and sneakers today as I did in 1992, although the cost of production was lowered by 90% as most of the brands now produce stuff in labour concentration camps in third world countries. How come is that?

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Umm....

You do know that the same sweatshops in third world countries were around in 1992 too....

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Anonymous Coward

That's how pricing works

You can buy unbranded jeans for £6 in Tesco. Why don't you?

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I love my Kindle

but they have not made any money from me. I have been catching up on classics from Project Gutenberg.

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

So far everything I have wanted to read I have been able to download in .mobi format.

Also I find that I am reading more than I have in years.

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See also

http://www.feedbooks.com

It's like Gutenberg+

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Indeed

I do the same in iBooks on the iPad. However, using that has also let me to buy a few paper backs - I'm a paper preferer, but iBooks lets you download a sample of its paid-for books, I've raed a few of those and then bought the paperback.

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VAT

ebooks means paying 20% to George Osborne.

Fuck. That.

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Not always Amazon's fault

Amazon isn't always to blame for the ridiculous pricing of some ebooks. Where an ebook is priced higher than its print counterpart, it will invariably say underneath "This price was set by the publisher". The publishers are trying to bring back the Agency Pricing model, though I believe this was recently referred to OFT for review.

Perhaps some sunny day in the near future, the gov will cut VAT on ebooks to 5% or zero, and the publishers will realise that they're going down the same well-trodden path as the music industry and get their act together. Yeah I know, I'm a dreamer!

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Anonymous Coward

Any estimates?

On how many trees were saved.

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but

Had a kindle for just over 8 months but also had to buy 3 paperbacks in that time, the first one surface detail was because it was actually the same price in paperback (??) and the other two because they were not available on the amazon.

I cant actually fault the kindle itself, I actually prefer it and the books are generally a lot cheaper than rip-off NZ, however theres also a lot of shit reads masquerading as classics out there

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Rekindling a love for reading

I've had my Kindle for 10 months and love it, ESPECIALLY after getting a nice leather cover and finding Calibre! But most of the books I have on it were either free or very low-priced. What I have found is that thanks to the eReader my pleasure in recreational reading has been rekindled (sorry, couldn't resist), and I've bought more dead tree books in the last six months than in the previous 6 years. I first check to see if the book I want is available for Kindle in my region, and if not, then it's off to www.bookdepository.co.uk for a paper version. I think it far from inpossible that other Kindle owners do similarly, and that thus Kindle may even be helping dead tree sales numbers.

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