eBooks unprofitable at 9.99? I call Shenanigans

I came across this on Tele-Read, and had to voice my irritation.

Not only do I think it’s BS that a $9.99 eBook isn’t profitable I think it’s outrageous that Steve Haber sucks for thinking consumers are a bunch of idiots that don’t understand profit margins.

Perhaps $9.99 isn’t profitable for Sony (Why is sony profiting at all on eBook sales?) because Sony is a huge bloated company with (I’d guess) more middle management than it needs. Profit margins have to be high for bloated inefficient companies to survive. That’s not the consumers fault, or the competition.

It’s an ebook, very little work goes into it’s creation, distribution, etc beyond the initial writing/editing process. Unless publishers are so backwards they’re still mailing manuscripts around in big envelopes, the work is already digital. Translate to ePub, and that’s it.

WTF, you can’t make money on $9.99 when you’re doing nothing more than taking the finished digital work, and converting to ePub? Really? ¬†eBook sales should be icing. You’re already marketing the book (or should be), already pitching it to brick and mortors, etc. the eBook is the “Oh yeah it’s also available on your eReader”

As a side note, i found this quote hilarious.

On Sony’s embrace of ePub, the open format for reading digital books across multiple devices (which Amazon has not adopted):

“My analogy is if you walk into a mall and you’re with a bunch of your friends to go shopping and you can only go in one store and they can go into many stores. It probably makes more sense to shop many stores. That’s our thinking … It frankly makes it more fun for us because we can work with so many different companies. We’re not here trying to put a wall up to block our customers. We don’t get emails complaining about ‘Why did you lock me in?’

My translation is this.

“We tried being pricks and forcing people to use our own proprietary format, much like we did with digital music, (ATRAC) and memory cards for digital cameras, that didn’t work with any other devices or services on the planet. It didn’t work, so we’re doing what we should have done in the first place, but spinning it like we’re cool, and hip, and all about consumer rights.”

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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