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Thread: Collusion!

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Contrarius View Post
    That's really not Amazon's problem, though.
    No. It may be a reader's problem, though.

    Think of it as lending out a leather-bound limited edition book.
    Right. I don't have any of those. If I did, those probably wouldn't be lenders. I probably wouldn't have read them myself. They'd still be in wrappers.

    Also it's unlikely that I would limit every book I buy to such an edition. Especially since, with e-books, you won't ever luck into purchasing a first edition that's worth any more than what you paid. In short, no small chance of ever getting your money or even a portion of it back, or being able to consider the book an investment, however unlikely of a return.

    Or, think of it this way: if you send a friend a copy of an ebook file, you are doing the same thing legally as though you Xeroxed a whole book and handed the Xerox copy to your friend. Would you ever consider that such a thing would be legal? Probably not.
    No. I have given books away to friends, though. In some cases it's kindled (*cough*) an urge in the other reader to read more by that writer, and then that reader becomes a buyer of the writer's books.

    But when you hand your friend your physical Kindle, it is legally the same as handing over the physical book. If you don't trust that friend with your Kindle, then you probably shouldn't trust em with your book either.
    Well, not quite. First, I trust most anyone with something that cost under $20, but a lot fewer people with something over $100. Call it a sliding scale. Second, I've never loaned anyone my entire library of books at one time.


    Randy M.

  2. #32
    Randy --

    The bottom line is that no technology is going to fit everyone's preferences 100%. As the saying goes, nothing's perfect. Ebooks have a lot of advantages -- for instance, they can't be permanently lost in a fire (you can download them again for free once you've purchased them), they are much easier to search and notate and bookmark than paper books, they are easier to move around (I have hundreds on my laptop), you can download them instantly, they don't require cutting down trees, they are cheaper to produce and distribute, and so on. But you've gotta expect a few disadvantages along the way. It is *not* impossible to share ebooks -- it isn't even very difficult to do so -- and if you don't happen to like the ways in which ebooks can legally be shared, well, them's the breaks.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by kennychaffin View Post
    No it only affects the particular book you loan out, not the rest of your "library"
    Hi, Kenny.

    No, I was responding to Contrarius's tongue-in-cheek suggestion of handing over the whole e-reader.


    Hi, Contrarius.

    I understand you're right that e-books look to be the future. So far my motivation for accepting that future isn't quite strong enough to just jump in. Once e-reader's drop further in price, I might do so, but right now I'm content with paper.

    I'm curious: You said you have hundreds on your laptop. Do you actually read them on your laptop? One thing that puts me off is that I don't care for reading from a screen. It's okay for email and anything skim-able, but works that require actual thought while reading I find I don't concentrate on on-screen. It's like eyes on Teflon.


    Randy M.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy M. View Post
    I understand you're right that e-books look to be the future. So far my motivation for accepting that future isn't quite strong enough to just jump in. Once e-reader's drop further in price, I might do so, but right now I'm content with paper.

    I'm curious: You said you have hundreds on your laptop. Do you actually read them on your laptop? One thing that puts me off is that I don't care for reading from a screen. It's okay for email and anything skim-able, but works that require actual thought while reading I find I don't concentrate on on-screen. It's like eyes on Teflon.


    Randy M.
    Hiya, Randy --

    Yup, I actually read em on my laptop. I don't even own an ereader of any sort.

    I was also skeptical about ebooks -- until I tried em. I soon found that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

    In my case, I especially like that I can change the font size to suit myself. I have bad vision that is only getting worse with age, and I can't even pretend to read most print any more without reading glasses (I've always had to wear glasses all day, but I'm in "bifocals or reading glasses, you idiot!" territory these days). With ebooks, I can set whatever font size I like, and then speed right along without any problem -- and without changing my glasses.

    And then there's all the other benefits. I really like that I don't have to schlepp around whole bookcases full of books. I don't mind having a book "stuck" in the laptop when I'm on the move, because when I'm away from the computer I listen to audiobooks instead. I love being able to search the ebooks, and to make notations when the mood strikes. No, you don't get that evocative book smell -- but I can live without it.

  5. #35
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
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    One thing I'm appreciating more and more about the Amazon/Kindle ebooks is that I can read them on any of my devices (via the Kindle App) - Xoom, DroidX well as on my computer, laptop etc. And they will stay synced up. If I'm reading on my Kindle Fire and then end up waiting in line at the grocery store I can pull out my DroidX and pick right up at the same spot. And later read on my laptop or Xoom or whatever at the point I stopped. I love that!

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by kennychaffin View Post
    One thing I'm appreciating more and more about the Amazon/Kindle ebooks is that I can read them on any of my devices (via the Kindle App) - Xoom, DroidX well as on my computer, laptop etc. And they will stay synced up. If I'm reading on my Kindle Fire and then end up waiting in line at the grocery store I can pull out my DroidX and pick right up at the same spot. And later read on my laptop or Xoom or whatever at the point I stopped. I love that!
    My Kindle removed the pile of books on my nightstand and the need to reassess purchasing new bookshelves or donating books. I don't think reading on my Kindle is better than reading a paperback, but it has some pretty major benefits.

    The whole free market discussion and the price point vs. willingness to buy is always interesting, but I also wonder if and when the consumer base will realize that you can download pirated version of the books as easily as one could music in the late 90s with Napster. And, unfortunately for authors, they don't have the ability to generate revenue like rock stars can with touring (etc.).

    I was quite shocked to learn that the selection of ebooks (mobi) on simple torrent websites is far more extensive than my local Barnes and Noble. Torrent sites and ebooks may not be on many book consumers radars, but that could easily change if a service equivalent to Napster becomes a household name. It's a problem that will need to be addressed.

  7. #37
    Near as I can tell, Amazon is lowering ebook prices already. I went to purchase Last Argument of Kings and it appears to have been lowered over 25% from it's previous price to $6.50. Good times!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kged View Post
    E-books are The Devil, and I will have nothing to do with them. Books are paper - real wrinkly, rustly, mildewy, smelly, yellowing, broken spines, falling open at your favourite parts paper. When you start a book you have a big chunk of pages in your right hand and just a few in your left; you can judge where you are in a story by how that balance changes. You can re-read a book and remember the feel of it in your hand, the weight of THAT book, the curl of its page corners, that weird splodge on page 296. When you read and love a book, you can have the excitement/disappointment of going into a bookshop a few years later and seeing it has got a new cover. E-books, however, are sterile joyless ugly lifeless horrible horrible horrible things. I'll never never switch to using one.

    Aaaaaand relax *breathes*.
    I fully agree with your sentiments but feel that in the very near future we may have no other choice but to go electronic simply because they will stop printing books altogether. Mind you the market for used books is likely to continue but as they become more rare, they will also become more expensive. If we wish to obtain anything new we may well have to embrace the new technology whether we like it or not. Printed books will likely go the way of vinal records and 8-track tapes. Yes you can still find them and if you're lucky a device to play them on that still works but you will never find a record or 8-track released by any artist beyond a certain date. Unfortunately books are likely to follow the same path.

  9. #39
    bingley bingley beep kissmequick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    Near as I can tell, Amazon is lowering ebook prices already. I went to purchase Last Argument of Kings and it appears to have been lowered over 25% from it's previous price to $6.50. Good times!

    Amazon and co selling ebooks as loss leaders was part of the problem that started this.....going for the model they have has actually cost the big six money. So, er, when was the last time people colluded to lose money long term?


    I imagine it now:

    Boardroom, 10am.

    Exec one: so if we all gang together, we can make less money per book, all time. Who's with me?


    *tumble weed*

    Alternate this; Big six get fed up with amazon using their books as loss leader and pricing the competition out of the market, raising spectre of a monopoly - which is NEVER good. One of them decides sod it, will change model so every resaler gets fair rate (and more of a share!) No one will ever complain, right? Cos they will mke more money per book, but price will stay same! Win win!

    Other pubs think actually, they'd rather there was fair competition, so follow suit, doing nothing to raise prices at all (because cheap prices were all Amazon artificially lowering prices), but a lot to enhance competition (and incidentally lower their own margins because they think it is it important) Someone complains that this flat rate pricing across resellers is unfair.

    This is, of course, Bad. The company trying to get a monopoly but dictating who gets what is Good. /facepalm

  10. #40
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
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    uh...no. the big six sold the books to amazon per their agreement. amazon discounted to 9.99 on their own.

  11. #41
    The government has emails and letters that show the publishers colluded to keep prices artificially high on ebooks, to protect their more lucrative paper book market. The publishers were tryiong to prevent anyone from making books available cheaply. Again, this was proved not only by their own admission, but also by the fact that they settled instead of fighting it, and finally by the fact that lower prices are now available.

    Will Amazon become a monopoly? I doubt it because it isn't that hard to get into the ebook market.

  12. #42
    bingley bingley beep kissmequick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennychaffin View Post
    uh...no. the big six sold the books to amazon per their agreement. amazon discounted to 9.99 on their own.
    Exactly. Making a loss leader, so that people would buy from amazon, and because amazon could take the loss. Other e-retailers couldn't. So Amazon create an expectation of (artificially) lower prices and get such a market share there's a danger of monopoly. Which is what started all this off.

    Will Amazon become a monopoly? I doubt it because it isn't that hard to get into the ebook market.
    It's hard to compete with a company that makes a loss on ebooks, if you can't do the same.

  13. #43
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissmequick View Post
    Exactly. Making a loss leader, so that people would buy from amazon, and because amazon could take the loss. Other e-retailers couldn't. So Amazon create an expectation of (artificially) lower prices and get such a market share there's a danger of monopoly. Which is what started all this off.

    It's hard to compete with a company that makes a loss on ebooks, if you can't do the same.
    No it didn't "start this off" Amazon was doing what every other ebook seller was doing at the time and it had nothing to do with the Big 6 making a profit or not. Amazon was and is a CUSTOMER of the Big 6 (actually a customer of their distributors cause there is another middleman in there). It was APPLE that "started this off" by encouraging them to collude and break the law.

    The Big 6 were not in competition with Amazon. Amazon was their customer and they were selling to them under the terms of their agreements.

    The Big 6 are (and have) done everything they can to stop ebooks because they refuse to move into the 21st century.

    THAT is what this is about.

  14. #44

  15. #45
    Registered User Snowy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kged View Post
    E-books are The Devil, and I will have nothing to do with them. Books are paper - real wrinkly, rustly, mildewy, smelly, yellowing, broken spines, falling open at your favourite parts paper. When you start a book you have a big chunk of pages in your right hand and just a few in your left; you can judge where you are in a story by how that balance changes. You can re-read a book and remember the feel of it in your hand, the weight of THAT book, the curl of its page corners, that weird splodge on page 296. When you read and love a book, you can have the excitement/disappointment of going into a bookshop a few years later and seeing it has got a new cover. E-books, however, are sterile joyless ugly lifeless horrible horrible horrible things. I'll never never switch to using one.

    Aaaaaand relax *breathes*.
    See, now I kinda am with you in terms of the sentiment there, but...

    Well, first off I love my Kindle. As others have noted, I can read a book on my Kindle in any format, from the actual machine I bought from Amazon to the free app on my mobile, with the two constantly in sync.

    Book stores, at least here in the UK, are a dying breed. My hometown no longer has one, and while I can go from work to the bookstore the choice is a limited one. While I agree that I am part of the problem - Waterstones get a lot less income from me now I have a Kindle - I get to read the book that I want when I want it, without having to worry if they have it in stock or the ballache of ordering it and then collecting from the store. I can one-click purchase the book and be reading it less than a minute later.

    The Kindle is wonderfully portable - and before you scoff, remember that reading fantasy titles often entails mighty 1000+ leaf tomes. It fits in my jacket pocket nice and snugly, and the ability to change the font size on the fly means that I can read as easily on the treadmill, cross trainer or bike at the gym as I can in a cafe or at home.

    I love that I can pull the reading light out of the case too, something I have yet to see built into a hardback

    I like the lower cost of e-books.

    I like the e-ink technology, allowing me to read in bright sunlight (when that rare occurrence happens here in England).

    I like being able to highlight, bookmark etc.

    I like the battery life, which means a charge before you go on holiday lasts you until well after you return.

    I like the inbuilt dictionary, allowing me instant definitions of any word I am unfamilar with.

    Most of all though, I like the space. I recently did the unthinkable - I gave a huge chunk of my book collection away to a charity shop. I am such a voracious reader that my collection was getting out of control, but if I can condense my collection down into one small electronic device which still gives me all the pleasure I would get from the paper versions (ok, almost all the pleasure) then I am a happy boy, with a happy wife. I still have my Lovecraft, Gemmell, Tolkien, Abercrombie, Erikson, etc, my bookshelf is delightfully tidy now, but I still have access to all the stuff I have given away and the glow of being charitable

    So yes, I love everything you do about real books, old, musty, crumbling treasures that have been read and re-read over the course of my life. I also love the hiss and crackle of listening to old vinyl played on my turntable, but that doesn't stop me having 4000 songs on my phone - the Kindle is simply the book equivalent, and I for one am delighted with its' having been invented.

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