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    © 2005 by Naba Barkakati

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« Model Driven Architecture—What is it? | Main | Can MDA Play a Role in Global Sourcing of Software? »

June 08, 2005

Comments

Joe Wikert

Hi Naba. I think the psychological problem most publishers have with this is that they don't want to cheapen their content just because it is presented in a non-print format. The thinking goes like this: If a book's price is $30, that's the price whether it's an e-book, print book, audio book, etc. Do I agree? No, but not for the reason(s) you might think...

As I've noted before, I almost think we'd have to take the e-book price down to a few dollars (<$5) to generate any significant traction in today's model. But that's just it...I don't agree with today's model for the e-book platform. Simple ports of print book to e-book, whether PDF, Microsoft Reader or any other format, just aren't worth that much. Their portability is more than offset by the facts that they're hard to read and the presentation style doesn't lend itself to an e-platform. If the print book is $30 and someone is willing to pay $10 or $20 for the e-book version, they'll probably also pay $30 for it. That's nothing more than a gut feel comment from me, by the way -- I don't have any data to back this up. I just think that someone has to really be desperate to buy an e-book the way we're formatting and selling them today.

Now, if we could (a) come up with a killer device and (b) move to that layered, rich content model where we're truly taking advantage of the electronic platform, I think you *could* charge the same price for both e-book and print book, and sell quite a few copies of the former. Until then, we're stuck with this fairly lame model where publishers are worried about setting a dangerous precedent with an e-book price that's significantly different from the print book price.

Naba Barkakati

Hi Joe, It would be nice if we could get to the rich content model with a commensurate device, but what if someone begins to undercut the current pricing by offering even the lame PDF/MS Reader offerings at big discounts - - say a half or a third the cost of current print titles. I suspect that may persuade some people to forego the print books and go for the ebooks. What I am saying is that some enterprising authors could self-publish ebooks and sell them cheap and if they are good enough, a market might develop... kind of like Southwest Airlines entering a market, to borrow an example from the airline industry. That could be another way to jump start the computer ebook market. I guess we'll have to wait and see or do something on own, if we can :-)

Zam

Yes, ebooks could become more economical especially when they are simply converted into the digital format from their print versions. But with the enhancement of technology, ebooks could becme much more informative and interactive when compared to their printed versions. This could actually make them much more expensive than the printed ones.

Zam
Ray Digital - Ebook Design, Ebook Development
http://www.raydigital.com

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