Author Topic: Book Price War  (Read 6162 times)

mtlhddoc2

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2009, 10:53:33 PM »
really really stupid on the part of the publishers. The free market is the free market. If they want socialism, they should move their businesses to France.

Silk

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2009, 11:02:13 PM »
What would happen if publishers simply stopped selling their merchandise to Wal-Mart and its ilk?

mtlhddoc2

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2009, 02:20:38 AM »
I can answer that one Silk:

They would sell half as many books. Or worse. They complain, but in reality, they have only themselves to blame. the could find a cheaper way to print books, but they dont.

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2009, 03:15:26 AM »
Do that many people really buy books from Walmart and other such stores, though? (I'm not criticizing you; I genuinely don't know the numbers.) 

Even if they do, if the choices are between selling less books and selling a whole bunch of books at a horrendous loss, which would be the worst proposition?

Also, this is why I will never, ever buy books from Wal-mart et all.

sortitus

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2009, 05:09:37 AM »
They would sell half as many books. Or worse. They complain, but in reality, they have only themselves to blame. the could find a cheaper way to print books, but they dont.
I disagree. Publishers know their business, and they are out there to make money. If they could make more money on their books by changing the manufacturing process, they would. I'd guess that without a major investment (one that would likely never pay itself back) on the behalf of printers, book manufacturing is pretty much at its peak.

From what I hear, this spat was started because Amazon sells e-books at $9.99, and WalMart felt that its sales would drop if they didn't move to compete. This sounds totally mad to me, as the only people I know who own e-book readers don't shop for literature at WalMart (a few didn't even read physical books for years until the Kindle became available). Few of them shop for literature at physical stores at all.

Overall, I think that this is just the growing pains that accompany the start of a medium change. Did something similar happen when people started to get their news online, or is this new?
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Hero of Ages

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2009, 09:35:50 AM »
Do that many people really buy books from Walmart and other such stores, though? (I'm not criticizing you; I genuinely don't know the numbers.) 

Even if they do, if the choices are between selling less books and selling a whole bunch of books at a horrendous loss, which would be the worst proposition?

Also, this is why I will never, ever buy books from Wal-mart et all.

Ah, but it isn't the publisher that is taking the loss.  Walmart is.  Walmart is still paying the publisher what they normally do they just sell the books at a lower price that is a loss to Walmart.  They figure that the other stuff you buy will make up for it.  The only groups harmed by this strategery is Walmart (for taking the loss) and other book sellers (because they will lose business due to their inability to price match).
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mtlhddoc2

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2009, 01:36:46 PM »
sort: the investment WOULD pay for itself, just not immediately, which is why they dont do it. there are many printing processes which use cheaper, longer lasting alternatives to paper and ink, but the printers are not set up for it, so they are "expensive" to print on. If they all switched to it, it would become cheap, that is the nature of things. Computer sin the 1980s were thousands of dollars, for a cheap one.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 04:31:28 PM »
Ah, but it isn't the publisher that is taking the loss.  Walmart is.  Walmart is still paying the publisher what they normally do they just sell the books at a lower price that is a loss to Walmart.  They figure that the other stuff you buy will make up for it.  The only groups harmed by this strategery is Walmart (for taking the loss) and other book sellers (because they will lose business due to their inability to price match).


This is correct.  Most stores buy books at at 40-46% discount off the cover price.  Walmart's online store and the physical bookstores are the places getting hammered (remember, as far as I can tell, these $9 price-tags are online prices only).  The publishers and authors get the same amount of money.  As of now.  Though this could lead to places asking for even bigger discounts from publishers which the publishers should respond to with a big middle-finger. 
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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2009, 04:57:37 AM »
What if their fingers are skinny?

Bookstore Guy

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2009, 05:37:13 PM »
What if their fingers are skinny?

Prosthetic finger.
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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2009, 05:59:08 PM »
Prosthetic finger.
Everybody wants prosthetic fingers on their real fingers.

mtlhd, like I said, I'm ignorant. What would the publishers move to? Paper and ink is all I can think of that has similar qualities to paper and ink. :P Heat-printed plastics? Leather and dye? Metal punch cards? I'm being a bit silly here, but really. I don't know a thing.
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mtlhddoc2

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Re: Book Price War
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2009, 07:20:12 PM »
there are dozens of alternatives to paper. Right now, since the industry for them is small, they are more expensive, but if there was a movement towards Hemp or seaweed or kenaf or any number of other cheap, strong and long lasting sources, you would see a price drop, and since the publishers would no longer be competing with house builders for wood, might actually be cheaper. They could also more towards inkless printing, which would save themselves milliosn of dollars per year, if not per print run.

"Paper" as we know it, was not always made from trees or wood. Hemp was the paper choice for the founders of this country. The Constitution is on hemp paper.

Almost any fibrous plant can be used to make paper, I have even heard about a process which combines hemp and cornstalks.