ebooks - the last two years - your opinion

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Guest » 12/15/06 09:32 AM

More than two years ago we had quite an interesting and engaging thread titled "ebooks the last five years". I thought it is time to do this again and get some feedback and perspectives from you.

Some of the questions you could try to answer:
- Do you think that e-books made a positive development over the last 2 years?
- Do you think there is a future in e-books?
- Where do you see the major issues problems?
- Have any of the old standing issues been resolved or improved?

Let me recap a few of the major developments I remember from the last two years (in no particular order):

- Genii archive now available digitally
- More new ebook releases than ever. Many authors decided to release their new and old material electronically. (Lybrary.com is listing more than 370, and many other places have started to offer ebooks. Peter Duffie and Michael Close are probably two of the most prolific big name magic ebook authors.)
- Conjuring Arts Research Center went online
- PDF has become a defacto standard for ebooks although other formats are still hanging on.
- New reader hardware has progressed, particularly the e-ink screens (see Iliad by IREx Technologies). Still expensive but a clear technological advancement. For a cheaper reader see www.ebookwise.com.
- the service and offering of ebook retailers and publishers gets more sophisticated (see Lybrary.com's permanent storage, digital shelf and timeline feature for example)
- Google has started to scan millions of books (probably not that many magic books among them, but still significant as a general acceptance and availability of digital information.)

Best,
Chris
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 09:50 PM

Here's my honest take Chris.

1) If it's not .pdf then it's lacking value. Who knows what browsers will be doing even two years from now.
It's gotta' be .pdf.

2) I don't enjoy sitting and reading e-books in anywhere near the same capacity as I enjoy reading paper books.
What I do enjoy with e-books is access to information that is otherwise unavalable, or only available for a large investment in cash. In magic, having the information is key. It can be e-books, DVD's, or paper books, but getting to the info is important.

3) The four or five e-books I've bought from you in the last year have been either completely unavailable (in paper form), or available rarely.

4) I'd be far more inclined to purchase an e-book if it was a book that was only published as an e-book.
However, if given the choice between the same book in paper or e-book, I'd always go with the paper.

Research material like the Genii archive, Ask Alexander, your own Sphinx discs, and others are defninitely leading the e-book wave.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 10:22 PM

e-books are definitely the wave of the future. It's hard to know exactly how long before it reaches a tipping point. I think display technology will be the critical catalyst -- ebooks will take off when portable ebook diplays becomes inexpensive and high enough resolution/quality. In that respect, it's not dissimilar to how affordable portable mp3 players (i.e. Ipods) changed how we aquire and listen to music.

I'm curious, what percentage of your customers read your ebooks on computers versus specialized ebook hardware? I'd bet it's almost all on computers.
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Postby Guest » 12/15/06 11:39 PM

E-books might truly be a wave of the future, but nothing beats holding ( and reading) a real, hard copy perfect bound book in your hands. Yes they might become quickly extinct, so enjoy & get them while you can.

Tim
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Postby Guest » 12/16/06 12:51 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
More than two years ago we had quite an interesting and engaging thread titled "ebooks the last five years". I thought it is time to do this again and get some feedback and perspectives from you...
It was a good exchange, Chris. Since my thoughts remain largely unchanged, no sense in repeating them here.

To Bob, if you read that older thread, you'll see a discussion about the iPod/music versus e-book/reading comparison. I was one who argued that making the comparison is inapt, for the reasons stated in that thread. In essence, the experience of reading a book involves far more than the eyes viewing a bunch of letters appearing on a flat-ish surface. The iPods, etc., are nothing more than highly efficient storage devices, and their use does not fundamentally change the aural experience of music. E-books, on the other hand, do fundamentally change the experience of reading. That said, I agree with you that the reading medium presents the biggest challenge for e-book proponents.

Chris, if you have the time, could you tell us more about (or point us to websites that do it) the current state of display technology and what is realistically within reach in the next couple of years? Thanks!

Clay
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Postby Guest » 12/16/06 02:12 AM

Clay,

There are two major developments with displays happening right now. One is the e-ink technology I mentioned earlier and the other is super small projectors.

There are currently three ebook reader devices that use e-ink screens. My favorite so far is the Iliad from IRex technologies (a spinn off from Philips). For more info go here: www.irexshop.com/product_info.php/products_id/28
It is expensive but I would be surprised if prices do not come down soon.

The other is a Sony device, which was completely messed up with stupid rights management and proprietory formats - the usual Sony way. For more info go here: news.sel.sony.com/en/press_room/consumer/computer_peripheral/release/9402.html

Hot off the press is the STAReBook reader. Don't know much about it. Uses the same screen as the two above. For more info go here: www.stareread.com/en/reader.html (loads extremely slow)

I think we will see more devices like these coming on the market during the next year or two, all using the e-ink screen, which is a major improvement, because it uses much less power and is easier to read - somewhat higher resolution. Right now they are too expensive because e-ink charges major bucks for their technology, but eventually prices will come down. For more on e-ink see: www.eink.com

A second area of major improvements are projectors. The smallest so far is a matchbox sized laser projector. See here for more details: www.audioholics.com/news/editorials/laserprojectorscellphones.php
These could make it into cell phones.

Already now available are the DLP based projectors with LED light source. Several manufacturers offer projectors: www.mitsubishi-presentations.com/products/projectors/PK10.html
www.mobilewhack.com/reviews/toshiba_tdp-ff1au_dlp_palm_sized_projector.html

The interesting part with projectors is that one could project onto various surfaces (wall, table, sheet of paper) creating an instant flexible size display.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 12/16/06 06:24 AM

Chris,

If this "survey" is going to come up every couple of years, perhaps it ought to serve double duty: it ought to come with a reminder to everybody who owns e-books on their hard drives and CDs to make fresh back-ups onto new media. Given that hard drives and CDs do fail without any warning whatsoever (partially attributable to the quality of the media and the storage conditions), it behooves anyone who values their collection to make fresh back-ups every couple of years at the least.

--Josh
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Postby Guest » 12/16/06 09:16 AM

The issue for the tech folks to solve in addition to resolution is contrast.
The contrast between a matte or semi-gloss white paper and black ink is perfect for long session reading.
I find that on my MacBook Pro the illuminated screen, even when set to a lower contrast tires the eyes quite quickly when reading for enjoyment.

As for back-ups, and only if you buy from lybrary.com, Chris does that for you by making your book available from his site any time you need it.
I find that concept holds a unique potential, offering up ones entire library (lybrary?) from any data terminal in the world.
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Postby Guest » 12/16/06 11:42 AM

The contrast of the e-ink screen is much better than the contrast of your typical LCD screen. I am repeating myself here, but the e-ink screen is a clear step towards a much better screen for reading.

Best,
Chris
www.lybrary.com
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Postby NCMarsh » 12/16/06 12:16 PM

My favorite of the current ebooks are those produced by Michael and Lisa Close. The layout is very easy on the eyes and very readable, and the video is integrated very organically and I really do believe it combines the advantages of both print and video.

My other primary use for ebooks is to research specific effects. Someone says: there is a version of the effect you're working on in Downs "Art of Magic" -- and, if available, I will download the ebook to have quick and easy access to the original writeup of the routine.

I also enjoy the portability of having a library on my laptop. There is a trade-off in readability -- and for that reason I hope that ebooks and hard-copies continue to complement each other and I believe there is tremendous value in both media.

N.
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Postby Guest » 12/16/06 12:51 PM

I just purchased 2 Sony readers.
Am I going be able to download from Chris's site with the Sony?
Thanks,
Tom
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/16/06 12:54 PM

Personally e-books provide a quick and efficient method of delivery. As I've said before, the first thing I do when I get a new e-anything is to print it off and file it in a binder.

I've noticed in the last year or so a couple of e-books that have been laid out on a square 800x600 size page, obviously going for screen reading. These did not print well. I much prefer A4 or letter sized books and if neccessary, the CTRL+L command.

I have to agree that Mike Close's output is at the top of the tree.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 12/17/06 09:49 AM

Originally posted by silverking:
As for back-ups, and only if you buy from lybrary.com, Chris does that for you by making your book available from his site any time you need it.
I find that concept holds a unique potential, offering up ones entire library (lybrary?) from any data terminal in the world.
That's great, and it could be a remarkable thing for scholars especially, but it's a different issue than regular backing-up. Having one's book collection dependent on the continued operation of one company's website (and also requiring an internet connection and a terminal) is just compounding some of the problems presented by e-books.

Make back-ups, store them in a fire safe, and back them up every year or two. That's a far better way to ENSURE that they'll still be readable ten years from now than to depend on the fortunes of someone else's website.

--Josh
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Postby Guest » 12/17/06 10:28 AM

This has been a very enlightening thread, as one that has produced more than his fair share of ebooks I'd like to bring out something that's been explained to me in so many words; "To gain genuine credability and respect in this craft, you must publish tangible books..."

I've heard this from several sources and recent events in my world have caused me to have to re-explore that option. Yes, it will create a product that is far more expensive to produce; No, it is not nearly as "convenient" as having a disc or download file you can slip into your lap top or whatever, and take with you wherever yuo happen to be. But, there's still something to be said about the psychology and yes, the convenience of a real book.

I have a new tome coming out officially in March that is nearly 400 pages in total. To say that in ebook terms negates the visual impact a patron has when they see a hefty composition that has some actual wieght to it. Paying a few hundred dollars for a disc, for me at least, makes me feel a bit "empty" and robbed. By the same token, having a physical something in my hand that look substantial and feel substantial... well, those feelings, psychologically at least, seem to fade away. Too, the production of "physical evedence" as it were, lends a bit of something to one's posterity and how both, your peers view you as well as how history itself will remember you.

While many of my "tool" type manuscripts smaller booklets will continue to be sold by Loren at the MEVPRO web site, my heftier tomes will see ink via personal publishing actions as well as one or two PRINT ON DEMAND type resources. In truth, I do not know why any author/publishing source isn't offering that option, in that POD is so simple to arrange and the cost readily off-set in price.
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Postby Guest » 12/17/06 11:03 AM

Josh, my service at Lybrary.com to provide a permanent storage for ones bought ebooks has to be seen as added service, not as replacement for a sound backup strategy. It is yet another safety net assuring ones investment in ebooks without any further cost or work.

Backing up has nothing to do with ebooks. Anybody who has a computer, and that means all who read this thread, should have some form of backup. For some a few CDs will be sufficient. For others it is an external USB hard disc. For me, it is three layers of backup. One stored in Europe on a yearly basis, one every week and one done automatically every 15 minutes for my working directories.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/17/06 11:21 AM

On a slightly related note; I used to be the Support team leader for the Storage team of the fourth largest bank in the world. I was responsible for backing up about a terabyte of data each night, and that instils a certain mindset into the techhead.

I've had to recover many hundreds of critical files that people had lost, and almost the same amount that people had not backed up (and therefore, usually, lost). On the downside, I've seen USB backups wiped in error and many disk failures.

There is no substitute for backups. There was a phrase when I was a pilot; the three things that don't matter are the sky above you, the runway behind you and the fuel back in the pump. To that I would add the unused backup media on your desk. Be safe with your data.

/panic mongering

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Postby Guest » 12/17/06 11:47 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
Josh, my service at Lybrary.com to provide a permanent storage for ones bought ebooks has to be seen as added service, not as replacement for a sound backup strategy.
Precisely my point.

Backing up has nothing to do with ebooks. Anybody who has a computer, and that means all who read this thread, should have some form of backup.
Er, Chris, you're making a dangerous assumption here: that everybody keeps all their ebooks on their computer at all times, and therefore automatically backs up their ebooks every time they back up their computer.

I would not make that assumption, which is why I think it would be responsible to use your "survey" to remind people to back up their ebooks on a frequent basis.

--Josh
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Postby Guest » 12/18/06 04:54 AM

Originally posted by Craig Browning:
"To gain genuine credability and respect in this craft, you must publish tangible books..."
Craig, I don't believe this will hold true for the near future. If you look at the Card College ebooks I prepared, which have hundreds of video clips integrated, it is obvious that such ebooks cannot be printed anymore, because video is hard to capture on paper :-) Or look what Michael Close has done recently following Lybrary.com's lead.

More and more ebooks will make better use of the medium and integrate audio and video in a form that printing will become impossible. Or think about a dictionary. With hyperlinks one can make it so much more useful. I am thinking here of the "Encyclopedic Dictionary" where we have inserted thousands of hyperlinks to make browsing and following cross references highly efficient for the reader. Other ebooks will be so large that printing is economically unjustified.

So in many ways ebooks will transcend paper such that printing will become altogether impossible.

And do you really think that authors of such digital only works have any less pride than a paper book author? And if these ebooks are really good and influential they will certainly also get the credibility and respect.

A good analogy are software engineers, who are craftsmen entirely in the digital domain. They are just as proud, respected and esteemed as any other accomplished craftsman.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
preserving magic one book at a time
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Postby Guest » 12/18/06 09:00 AM

Just my .02...

I'd never been a big fan of e-books and had never really considered them to be the wave of the future. The idea of sitting in front of the PC reading a "book" just didn't make any sense. That position began to change when I purchased Michael Close's "Closely Guarded Secrets." The integration of video with the written word made such a radical change in how I was "reading" that I now see this as something I'll become involved in....by purchasing e-books of this type.

NOT YET THO'.....the final item needed is a low-cost reader that hopefully will be on the market soon. Assuming that it will support the video (and audio) it will be the icing on the cake. This will allow me to upload and take the reader-thingee with me as I now do with "real" books.

Guess it won't make it for Christmas...

Adrian
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Postby Guest » 12/19/06 03:35 AM

Originally posted by Tom McDonagh:
I just purchased 2 Sony readers.
Am I going be able to download from Chris's site with the Sony?
Thanks,
Tom
Tom, and any other folks who have purchased one of the new e-ink screen ebook readers. It would be great if you post your experience, likes and dislikes, of this new screen technology and the reader in general.

The specification says that you can transfer PDFs to the Sony reader. That means all our PDF ebooks would be game. Let me know if you are successful.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 12/19/06 05:19 AM

Chris, the service you offer at your site are great, I won't argue that. I'm of the ilk that information is information no matter what form it comes in (though I prefer tangible "somethings" to work with). Too, aside from my own preference in having actual "things" in my life vs. virtual things, there is an ego gratification about it... maybe its just the fact that I'm a die-hard romantic but...

The other reason I expressed what I've said in the previous post, is that I've actually had a fair number of folks that I respect in this business (folks with names) look down on me because of the "immaturity" of doing eBook releases vs. the mature committment one makes in creating and selling a "real" book. I fully understand how that's bunk; either format still entails much of the same work and effort to create. But members of the Status Quo still seem to believe that only a hardcover and lots of dead tree pulp combined with ink, equates to being a genuine contribution.

This new book of mine, for reasons that will be understood when folks read the introduction (by Marc Strivings) has to, in my opinion, be a physical composition. I feel this way about both of the encyclopedic projects I've been working on but not so in other instances... and aside from prosterity, my other reason for going with print is protection of content; I have a means by which to encode and identify each copy and thus, know who scanned and distributed which copies so that legal recourse might follow. Electronic publications seem rife with theft in that so many in today's world take pride in being a proficient hacker and not respecting the "locks" as it were, to the details. Our modern culture being filled with many a spoilt soul that believe it their right to exploit what I and other contributors of this craft, have cried, sweated and bleed over and that's just not right.

Anywho... gotta run! ;)
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Postby Guest » 12/19/06 12:24 PM

Originally posted by Adrian Kuiper:
....the final item needed is a low-cost reader that hopefully will be on the market soon.
Adrian, what is low cost for you in this context?

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 12/19/06 04:36 PM

Originally posted by Adrian Kuiper:
Assuming that it will support the video (and audio) it will be the icing on the cake.
Part of the problem here is that e-ink, as it stands, is black(ish) and white(ish). Since the embedded video in e-books is usually in color, e-book readers that use e-ink to display videos and color photos won't, at best, be doing justice to the original images -- and, at worst, will fail to communicate important information that happens to be color-related, such as with the PDF w/embedded video that accompanies Bob Kohler's "Human Phone Number".

--Josh
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Postby Guest » 12/19/06 04:58 PM

Originally posted by Adrian Kuiper:
....the final item needed is a low-cost reader that hopefully will be on the market soon.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adrian, what is low cost for you in this context?

Chris....I'd have to say something under $200.00. Truthfully, I've not researched these things so I have no idea what they're going for now. At my price I'd definitely be interested.

Adrian
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Postby Guest » 12/21/06 03:56 PM

Originally posted by Josh Mandel:
Part of the problem here is that e-ink, as it stands, is black(ish) and white(ish). Since the embedded video in e-books is usually in color, e-book readers that use e-ink to display videos and color photos won't, at best, be doing justice to the original images -- and, at worst, will fail to communicate important information that happens to be color-related, such as with the PDF w/embedded video that accompanies Bob Kohler's "Human Phone Number".
Josh, the bigger problem is the slow speed of the e-ink display. It takes about 0.3s to 1s to refresh/change the screen. This means the color is the lesser of the problems. The speed prohibits the viewing of video. This is strictly for replacement of paper.

I think they are working on a color version, but that will be another 3-5 years, if you ask me.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/21/06 05:28 PM

Let me wade into this interesting thread.

In my research for the book on Theodore DeLand, I have been making much use of Ask Alexander's electronic versions of turn-of-the-century magazines. I have found them to be an invaluable resource and, if they weren't available to me, I would have purchased Chris's Digital Sphinx by now.

I also have a real file of The Sphinx, and my work with the electronic file hasn't prevented me, or kept me, from perusing the actual magazine in a comfy chair on many occasions.

Next, on to Mr. Jennings Takes It Easy. This is a work that I have contemplated as doing as an eBook for some years. The idea of being able to imbed small video clips of Larry doing some of these items (video that could never be included on a DVD, for example) is very appealing. However, you can't really sell enough eBooks like this to make it pay, and so the publication of an actual hard cover book is inevitable. The natural and logical end result of this is that the eBook would be included inside a pocket in the hardcover printed book. Of course, this increases the price of the whole project both at the manufacturing and retail levels.

The whole thing is still very unsettled.

When I began editing Genii in 1998, I was still printing out my text files in order to do all my editing on hard copy (it was the only way I could do it), then later inputting all the corrections. Over the course of the last nine years, I have found that I can edit just as well by reading the text on my computer. This relates to the reading of eBooks because I spend much more time reading off the screen (and the digital flat Sony monitor I have has made this much easier because there is zero glare and no flickering).
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 04:00 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
However, you can't really sell enough eBooks like this to make it pay, ...
Richard, that is an unsubstantiated claim. I think the time is ripe that if you have top notch new material, enhanced with video clips, published as high quality ebook for a reasonable price, you will sell quite a bit. And taking the reduced production cost and investment cost into account you would be able to turn a good profit. At the same time you will use the most appropriate format to release this material.

Best,
Chris....
A blessed and prosperous New Year
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/31/06 07:21 PM

Okay, tell me how many copies of some of your ebooks have you sold? I know some of your authors, and know how many you've sold. I don't think you want to compare numbers with me in public.
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 08:28 PM

Originally posted by Chris W.:
... if you have top notch new material, enhanced with video clips, published as high quality ebook for a reasonable price, you will sell quite a bit.
I tend to agree, but what is it that is doing the selling here? The format (e-book), or the fact that it is top-notch material supplemented by video at a reasonable price? Granted, the video portion is part of the e-book format, but which would sell better if prices were the same, a printed book with a DVD or an e-book?

Clay
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/31/06 09:34 PM

A printed book will always outsell an eBook, whether it has a DVD included or not.
That will eventually change, but eBooks just don't sell very well right now.
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 10:16 PM

While I like the idea of imbeded video clips in a book of instruction, there is also the preceived difference in buying a "real" book vs an e-book: tangibility.

The "real" book you can hold in your hands and, lets face it, if printed on good paper, it will easily last for 100 years or longer with no change in accessability to the information contained.

On the other hand, e-books are a very new technology that has changed several times since they began and will certainly change in both the near and distant future. An e-book that is read today will not be accessed by the same technology in 10 years and certainly not 25 to 50 years, yet printed books that several hundred years old are as readable today (given the changed language) as they were when they were new. This is a problem I have yet to see addressed by the advocates of e-publishing.
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 08:50 AM

I am not claiming that one can sell more copies of ebooks than books today, but that the overall profit you can derive is similar and potentially a lot more.

For example, "Card College" ebook sales have reached a level one would expect a good new magic book to sell today.

For a book like "Jenning's Takes it Easy" think about printing/binding and distribution costs. I don't know how many pages the book will have, but with a print run of 3000 I would estimate a price per copy of ~$7. Add to this the DVD which is for 3000 probably another buck or so, depending on packaging options. So a total of ~$8 per copy. Assume for now that the retail price should be $50. For the book publisher who sells mainly through distributors he will get only 40% of that or $20. Substract the $8 and you are left with $12. Then substract another buck or so for royalties and another one for marketing and you are left with roughly $10 per copy profit for the publisher. (Not included here are the costs to write and illustrate and so on, because they are the same for book and ebook.) So in total a publisher has to invest about $25k for the printing to get about the same in profit back once everything is sold. I don't want to get into details like time value of money, but it is very clear that to publish a book means a substantial financial risk mainly due to the printing cost.

Compare this with an ebook. Assume the ebook is sold at a reduced price $42 (to reflect the reduced production cost). Since you are offering this as download and not as a physical product you have essentially no reproduction costs. The total price difference for book and ebook customer is increased by the lack of s&h costs for the downloadable ebook. Since anybody in the world has access to an online shop, the service of distributors and other retailers is less benefitial and you can use a direct sales model taking all of the profit. In the end you will make 4x profit per ebook sold. That would mean you would only need to sell 750 copies of the ebook to get the same profit as with the book option. On top of it you do not have to invest $25k upfront. From a financial point of view, the ebook option makes a lot more sense than the book option. Any author who derives royalties from revenue would also be well advised to consider ebook options because the publisher can pay higher royalties due to reduced cost and risk.

I think more and more authors will find out that the ebook option can very well turn out to be much more profitable than the book one. I just paid all outstanding royalties to my authors. Some made a substantial amount and I anticipate that this will further increase in 2007.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 02:35 PM

Chris,
You neglected to mention a big expense: post-production storage costs.

If you write a large book that's a slow seller it will continue to cost you money to store the unsold copies until they are all gone.
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 04:09 PM

Bill,

The distributor stores the books. So in my calculation that is indirectly taken care of by assuming you only get 40% from the retail price from the distributor. But you are correct, if you would sell books directly to retailers and individuals you would need to include warehouse cost.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/01/07 09:00 PM

Warehouse costs are minimal: about a penny and a half per month per book.
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 11:34 PM

Being a bookseller, I know I am biased. I realise that there is great magic that won't otherwise see the light of day unless it's in the form of an e-book. But bless those folks still putting out those hardbound, cloth copies of magic books.. the real deal. There is NOTHING like learning from an actual book. E-books, dvds... I might love the magic in them, but I can't stand the format!
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Postby Guest » 01/02/07 06:08 AM

Originally posted by Tim Furneaux:
hardbound, cloth copies of magic books.. the real deal.
I am not sure what you mean with 'the real deal', because ebooks are just as real as books. The information is the same and often enhanced with audio and video, can be printed out in case you need the paper, searched, hyperlinked, taken with you, ...

Best,
Chris....
preserving real magic one book at a time
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Postby Guest » 01/02/07 07:04 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
Clay,

There are two major developments with displays happening right now... Hope this helps.
Chris, a belated thank you for your update! I look forward to embracing the technology as it makes the life of a researcher easier. On that note, if memory serves, I believe you or someone else commented in another thread that Google (or a company like Google) was busy digitizing the literature of the world. Is this still going on? Does anyone have an update on the progress of such projects?

On this and earlier, related threads, several folks (including me) have pointed out that the aesthetic and tangible nature of a printed book* presents a great challenge to those who would have e-books replace printed books in the market. In response, some have argued that the progression of music storage, retrieval and delivery technology (iPods, etc.) proves that John Q. Public will embrace e-books as the primary source of reading material. But for the reasons discussed in those earlier threads, comparing iPods and their ilk to e-books is inapt.

Will, as Chris argued a while back, e-books largely replace printed books, thereby relegating printed books to ultra-luxuries? Only time will tell, and Ill make the bold statement that we wont know the answer in my lifetime, no matter how cheap or effective e-book readers become. IMHO, the answer to this question does not depend on e-reader technology, but rather on how willing readers are to dispense with the classic experience of reading a book.

Because the experience of reading a book is not limited to the mere extraction of information, I respectfully suggest that Chris comment ebooks are just as real as books. The information is the same... completely misses the mark when it comes to a response to Tims point (which I interpreted as there is much more to a printed book than its text.)

Clay

* It feels odd to write printed book, but such a term, which would have been a pleonasm a generation ago, is no longer redundant given todays publishing technologies.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 01/02/07 07:20 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
I am not sure what you mean with 'the read deal', because ebooks are just as real as books. The information is the same and often enhanced with audio and video, can be printed out in case you need the paper, searched, hyperlinked, taken with you, ...
Really, Chris? You're not sure what he means? Seriously? Truly?

I find that incredibly hard to believe. I think you're being deliberately obtuse in order to do what you've been doing for years: beating down anyone who says anything remotely disparaging of e-books.

--Josh
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 01/02/07 07:34 AM

Certainly I know the difference of a book and an ebook, but to call one 'real' and the other thus implicitely 'un-real' or 'not-real' is simply incorrect. They are both real.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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