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I’m frustrated

amazon hardcopy is cheaper than ebook

The eBook for Linux Network Internals is MORE than the Amazon list price.

$32.97 http://www.amazon.com/dp/0596002556/
$39.99 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596002558

I would love to not have another dead tree to carry around but I of course will buy the hardcopy from Amazon.
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  • Hello Brandon,

    First of all, thank you for buying our books, whether from Amazon or direct from oreilly.com. Second, sorry for the frustration. Amazon functions at a scale that individual publishers like O'Reilly can't, and they discount each title deeply, sometimes at a loss. While we don't discount individual print book purchases, we do offer a Buy 2, Get 1 Free discount, plus free shipping on orders over $29.95 in the US, that is within shouting distance of Amazon's pricing. This offer also applies to ebook sales, which are already discounted by 20%.

    When it comes to our ebooks we offer some things that Amazon doesn't. For example, when you buy an ebook from O'Reilly, you get lifetime access to three, DRM-free file formats for the price of one, with no strings attached. We update those files and alert you when changes and corrections have been made to them. Though developing the processes and systems to support our ebook program required substantial investment, we're continually evaluating the price of our ebooks and discussing whether we can provide better pricing and still make enough money to pay our authors, staff, and vendors, and still make a profit.

    This is, as you well know, a time of change and stress to all existing business models, and we're doing everything we can to produce the best books at the best prices.

    Thanks for taking the time to write.

    --Allen
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  • Hello Brandon,

    By updates I mean any changes and corrections made to the current edition of an ebook. However, if you register your book with us you'll get a 40% off offer on the next edition.

    Regards, --Allen
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  • I’m disappointed
    The explanation that Amazon's dead-tree books are significantly less expensive than Ora's is understandable. The *excuse* that Amazon's dead-tree books cost less than Ora's eBooks is ludicrous. "Oh, but you'll get all the changes and corrections!"

    I get all the changes and corrections on my dead-tree book. It's called "using a pen."

    I don't know about you, but paying MORE for an eBook from Ora's site over the Amazon dead-tree price is laughable. What does it cost O'Reilly to produce that second, third, ..., fiftieth copy of the eBook? The answer is somewhere between $0 and ... $0. That's much less than the cost to produce a book; even a one-page pamphlet has to be printed, packaged, and shipped.

    I love O'Reilly books. I've been reading them since "vi" second edition (i.e,. a looong time). It really burns me up that you folks are---basically---GOUGING us eReader folks.

    If you treat your customers right, they will keep coming back and you will do well. Of course, there's always the Wrox Press way (before Wiley bought the charred remains)..
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  • I’m confused
    Thanks for answering the question Allen-

    I don't side with Safetycap's complaint, as while production costs are low for ebook volume, the built in content creation cost still must be distributed.

    That being said: Amazon's Kindle copy of Visualizing Data is almost HALF your ebook cost for the same title. I understand the portability you're providing, but a nearly 100% difference is very odd indeed.

    I'd love to purchase directly from you guys and avoid whatever cut amazon may take, but the economics of $17 vs $30 are hard to ignore. For now I'll pick up amazon's kindle edition.

    -Drew
    • Hey Drew,

      Thanks for the feedback. PP&B (paper, printing, and binding) account for only ~10% of the cost of most books. The other 90% goes towards everything else: salaries, royalties, design, marketing, distribution. So, yes, that additional electronic copy may not cost much to produce, but everything leading up to it does.

      With that said, we're always looking for ways to add value, some of which I noted above. We've also made many of our books available as iTunes apps -- http://bit.ly/oreillyapps -- for as low as $4.99, and a growing number in the Android Marketplace. There's also Safari Books Online -- http://safari.oreilly.com/ -- where, for the price of one print book a month, you can access upwards of 7000 titles and hundreds of hours of video.

      In January we're starting a project to replace our old shopping cart w/ a true ecommerce platform which will include a loyalty program. My goal is for all our valued customers to receive the kinds of discounts that will keep them coming back.

      So, while I'd love to have you as a direct customer now, you clearly have lots of options, and at the end of the day my only concern is that we produce what you want, no matter where you choose to get it.

      Thanks. --Allen
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  • I’m not buying it
    Allen - thank you for responding; I know that the question is "answered" and I appreciate you taking the time to provide further clarification.

    Let me run the numbers.

    Javascript: the good parts

    Purchased from O'Reilly directly
    http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596517...

    Print $29.99
    Ebook $23.99

    Purchased from Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/JavaScript-Good...

    Print $19.79
    Ebook (not available in epub/pdf)

    > Amazon functions at a scale that individual publishers like O'Reilly can't, and they discount each title deeply, sometimes at a loss.

    Even assuming--as inferred by the quote above--that Amazon says, "We're going to sell at a loss because we'll make it up on volume," they are selling *lower* than the 25% (NOT "~10%") PP&B markup over the ebook cost and a total of 17.51% lower than the ebook price!

    There is enough float in ORA's profit to allow Amazon to insist on discounting the paper price 35% and still make money (because they do).

    If the print product can be reduced by 35% and ORA still makes money (unless you guys are going to also "make up your losses on volume"), then why can't the ebook price also be reduced by 35%?

    Are you going to say that you can't match the discount on the ebook price because it "costs more" than the 35%-cheaper paper book?

    Sorry, the numbers don't add up.
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  • This reply was removed on 2015-02-11.
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