Book prices

This is a discussion on Book prices within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by MK27 Yes, and a pig is a pig now matter how good he feels about it. I ...

  1. #16
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yes, and a pig is a pig now matter how good he feels about it. I don't have romantic notions of what it is to be a "small noble bookseller" any more than I have romantic notions of what it is to be a "small noble grocer". Sell whatever you want. You didn't write it. Being an entrepreneur, who's goal is self-aggrandizement, means trying to "make a living" by profiting off the labour of others. Like it or not.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #17
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I have only two words for you.
    ........ You!
    Calm now... you are better than this.

    ... but seriously MK27... you're basically like what Starbucks has become... just a perfect blend of all the wrong ingredients. Just the right amount of ego combined with just the right amount of ignorance to leave that oh so bitter taste in our mouths for weeks. I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong... I'm just saying... well... you really haven't made a definite point to be right about, yet. Once you figure out exactly what you're talking about, be sure to relay that back to me because I'm really interested in hearing about it.
    Sent from my iPad®

  3. #18
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    ... you're basically like what Starbucks has become...
    LOL! In fact I evolved in pure opposition to Starbucks. Not because I have anything against coffeeshops, but because my homeless years painfully exposed to me how ridiculous these "hipsters" are.

    Altho (I figure) they have an ultra nice management ring in Toronto, which in general is a EXCEPTIONALLY mean, heartless city*. In general, if you ask for water or the bathroom in Toronto, people consider calling the cops an appropriate response. But for whatever reason, I could walk into Starbucks having not showered in months (totally honestly) and ask for a grande cup of hot water (free, since I didn't have any money) and the staff wouldn't even blink.

    Then I'd go to that counter, dump honey and cream and cinnamon and chocolate in it, and this was like the best thing that had happened to me all day.

    And they didn't give a damn about loitering! I'd sit down and read the book I just stole ...no problem. More than once, one of the staff gave me an entire box of $2 cookies, saying they wouldn't be sold by closing and had to be thrown out, or given to the staff, and the staff were sick of them. So then I'd get to ride around on the subway all evening, munching on Starbucks cookies -- oh heaven**.

    All the Starbucks in TO were like that. Very eerie, since everywhere else was run by fascists. Can't say much for the patrons tho, generally shallow and tedious. At least they didn't complain to the staff...

    * way, way meaner than NYC, which despite the hype is a pretty friendly place. The only place I've been nastier than T.O. was Calgary. America, how are you?

    ** just to make that clear, since I don't want anyone to take this an example of how "the homeless are living it up while the beleaguered middle class slave away in the heartland". Go try it. Everyone should.

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  4. #19
    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    If you live in Australia, the weaker Aussie dollar vs US dollar, as well as book trade protectionism means prices are at 30%+ premium for technical/text books.

    It is cheaper to order online from Amazon.com, then have the book shipped to Australia, than to buy from a local shop.
    OS: Linux Mint 13(Maya) LTS 64 bit.

  5. #20
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    I sympathize with ya Mario, the big problem is that I have a limited budget for books. If prices go up I can't spend more, I just buy fewer books. This unfortunately raises the profits of the book sellers, which sort of puts them in a conflict of interest on keeping prices low. Personally I prefer a hard copy of a book to a PDF, even a high quality PDF. Actual books give faster random access than a PDF and any hardware failure that causes you to lose them is a bigger issue than the loss of the book. (i.e. blindness or your house burns down).

    Technical books in particular have small audiences, so the authors have to charge higher royalties to pay for their living expenses.
    Last edited by abachler; 09-19-2009 at 07:18 PM.
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  6. #21
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I'll take a good book any day over a good digital version of the same. It's why I still buy video games as well. There is nothing like unwrapping your new book or game and opening it up for the first time. Digital distribution is convenient but it isn't the same for me. I'm a collector of both books and games and I can count on one hand the combined number of digital copies I have.

    MK27 you are just justifying the fact that you are a thief and a criminal. News flash...it doesn't matter if you 'think' or 'feel' you are wrong. The law has nothing to do with how you feel or think and everything to do with what others have passed in legislatures as 'the law.' Even if you do not respect it, it is still in force.

    The fact that book authors and companies are making millions off of their products does not justify piracy. Shouldn't an author or book company deserve to make money off of their product? And if they make money doesn't that benefit the customer since it means they can produce more?

    I used to own a business and trust me when I say that I hate thieves. When you steal you hurt yourself in the long run b/c those companies won't be around to produce products you can continue stealing. Even the pirate bay cannot replace the products the companies make if the company goes belly up. It's very simple. If you do not pay for a book/game and you download off the net for free and it is not shareware, open source, or has not been released into the public domain then you outright stole it and you are a thief. Any 'justification' you can come up with does not change the fact that you stole it. It's just in your head that you didn't which doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

    It isn't about morality to me it's about what has been passed down as the law. It's the law to pay for items before you can own them and therefore I pay for items before I own them. Morality has nothing to do with it. There is no justification for piracy....ever.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 09-19-2009 at 09:00 PM.

  7. #22
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    There is no justification for piracy....ever.
    Well, i have to disagree there. I'm sick and tired of paying $60 for a game that sucks ass because you cant get honest reviews anymore and the company doesn't put out a demo. So I will generalyl play a pirated copy to see if its worth buying, then either buy it or delete it off my system. Hey if games were $5 or I was a millionaire, I'd be happy to just buy every POS that came out, btu they aren't and I'm not (yet).
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  8. #23
    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Well, i have to disagree there. I'm sick and tired of paying $60 for a game that sucks ass because you cant get honest reviews anymore and the company doesn't put out a demo. So I will generalyl play a pirated copy to see if its worth buying, then either buy it or delete it off my system. Hey if games were $5 or I was a millionaire, I'd be happy to just buy every POS that came out, btu they aren't and I'm not (yet).
    More justification.

    If you finish a pirated game, why would you want to then pay money for it? If you didn't like it, you'd still have played a game without paying a cent for it.

    And by obtaining a pirated game, you endorse and perpetuate the pirating.

    The game maker or book author create the product to earn a livelihood. If you obtain the product without paying the author their due compensation, then you are stealing. Just put yourself in the author's position.

    Thieves blame doors being left open, hackers blame lack of security. You blame bad reviewers, blame the company for not putting out a demo. The culprit always blames someone else, but never accepts responsibility.
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  9. #24
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    This is all very true happyclown. But I have to side with abachler. The gaming industry is renowned for putting on the market either unfinished products, hyped products, or very buggy products. Let's all remember titles such as Neverwinter Nights 2. Adding to that there's also a lack of demos on many of the titles, or demos that are remarkably short or do not allow for a proper evaluation of the game. Here I'm thinking Far Cry 2, for instance.

    That said, neither abachler (I'm confident) or I (I'm certain) mean to say we download pirated versions of all games before buying them. Certain titles are unquestionable either because we know a lot about them already, it's a game we know for sure we will want, or comes from a maker we trust. This happens only to those titles we are unsure if we want them, online reviews do not answer our questions and general public information is contradictory. And the act of downloading a pirated copy will always result in one of two things; we either uninstall and delete a few hours after evaluating because the games sucks, or we go and buy the full version.

    Too much of a pedantic thought about these things doesn't help me as a consumer. Especially in the face of a personal tight budget and an overeager industry. And I'm perfectly willing to walk the illegal road once and a while if it serves those interests. I do my best in the meantime to stay responsible about it.

    Still an excuse? It's up to you to decide. I'm not going to debate it further.

    ...

    Curiously enough, the downside to this approach is that often pirated versions of games are riddled with bugs of their own. This is in fact one of the main issues the industry complains about -- and rightly so. Hackers do not correctly hack games in many cases, which sprout a series of runtime problems (from crashes, to hangs, to game features not working or appearing to be buggy) which are easily mistaken for problems in the original game. The piracy of games hurts not only the sales directly, but also indirectly through bad rep. So care must be taken when trying to understand if what one is observing is an original game bug, or the result of a lousy hacker work. On my case I don't care much. I do not (within reason) pay much attention to the bugs. I'm more interested in evaluating such things as playability or the game mood.

    Meanwhile, there's a whole debate on the quality of the gaming industry. I personally support that if companies want their games to sell, they shouldn't look at piracy, but at the quality of their games. That's what will dictate their sales figures. Games like Half-Life 2 are hacked up the wazoo. But their sales figures buy a small country. This is not to justify piracy, but to put the gaming industry in perspective. With or without piracy, a gaming company will keep growing like few other businesses in our economy if it simply makes good games.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    It isn't about morality to me it's about what has been passed down as the law. It's the law to pay for items before you can own them and therefore I pay for items before I own them. Morality has nothing to do with it. There is no justification for piracy....ever.
    Luckily, when enough people realize how imperfect and unjust the music industry and the copyright laws really are, the law will change, that is the essence of a democracy. And thus, the problem ceases to exist, and then there _will_ be a justification for piracy.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  11. #26
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Luckily, when enough people realize how imperfect and unjust the music industry and the copyright laws really are, the law will change, that is the essence of a democracy. And thus, the problem ceases to exist, and then there _will_ be a justification for piracy.
    There is no history of laws being changed to justify and allow crimes. If you really believe that I have some great ocean front property to sell you in Arizona. Copyright laws are here to stay and they will more than likely become far more stringent before being loosened. No judge in his right mind is going to change the laws b/c a company is making too much money and sticking it to the consumer. That is called capitalism at its finest. If a company charges too much another comes along and charges less and in the end the competition between the two is very good for the economy and the consumer.

    The simple fact is if you steal your books and software then you really have no business whining about how high the prices are since they obviously don't affect you.

    I buy computer games and books because I love both of them and it is my hope that my continued support will enable them to produce more and better games and books in the future. You cannot love PC games and the industry or tech books and its industry and yet steal from both. If a game or book is too high then guess what ....don't buy it yet. I wait until prices come down on both books and games.

    In the case of games I normally get all the patches and some expansions to boot for less than the price of the original game. No I don't get to enjoy it on the day it is released but I do feel I get a more finished product if I wait a few months before purchasing it. If I make the decision to buy a game on release day then I also make the decision to pay the premium price. Whining about a decision I made and blaming it on the company is ludicrous.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 09-20-2009 at 04:08 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    There is no history of laws being changed to justify and allow crimes. If you really believe that I have some great ocean front property to sell you in Arizona. Copyright laws are here to stay and they will more than likely become far more stringent before being loosened. No judge in his right mind is going to change the laws b/c a company is making too much money and sticking it to the consumer. That is called capitalism at its finest. If a company charges too much another comes along and charges less and in the end the competition between the two is very good for the economy and the consumer.
    I was not talking about whether or not companies make to much money. If a large number of people refuses to follow the rules, then what is the point of the rules in the first place?

    You can make as many rules as you want, but as long as nobody really cares, and they are impossible to enforce, then the rules themselves mean nothing. My prediction is that they will change, sooner or later, it's one of the finest examples of a political revolution in recent history.

    Pirate Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And since you don't seem to care the least bit about the morality of actions (a view that i strongly disagree with), you should have no problem with this new system, no matter how it turns out, it will, after all, be legal you know.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  13. #28
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I don't know what people are talking about with the video games... there are services (in the USA, anyway) like GameFly or even Blockbuster, still, that allow you to rent games for like $5 a week. That's exactly what you're asking for in pirating the game... a cheap evaluation period... there it is.

    That said, I agree that game reviews have been extremely dishonest and I've played some crap games that got amazing reviews in recent years... but I don't see this as a justification for piracy... I see it as a justification for rental... or a justification to find a review source you can trust.
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  14. #29
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    No rentals this side of the Atlantic Ocean. But I've had the opportunity to test games bought by some of my more eager friends to throw money away. It is very rare I resort to download a game to properly evaluate it. It happened recently though with the aforementioned Far Cry 2.

    ...

    But the discussion made an interesting turn...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1
    Pirate Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I've heard of them before of course (hard to miss it if you get political on the web). But I suggest you don't get your pants on fire. Some points to consider:

    - A grassroots movement that turns active in politics has very little to offer in terms of real proposals. Their primary concerns do not address dairy farmers, fishermen, factory workers, the judiciary system, health, unemployment, economics, social gaps, immigration, poverty. Wasting a vote on these type of political parties is a clear note one doesn't give a damn. So don't complain when things get rough on what really matters in your life: Your job, your family, and how much you can buy with your money.

    - The fact these people actually defend the elimination of patents and think that the only consequence is the government getting less money, goes to show their ignorance (that and the fact they actually think their cause warrants the formation of a political party, of course). Scientific development to the level we have been experiencing has only been possible exactly because of the patenting system which serves also to protect the huge investments made during investigation. The patenting system has helped secure investors, pay the salaries of sometimes hundreds of people involved, pay for materials and equipments, and has provided an important boost to the economy by guaranteeing viable scenarios for companies formation, exploitation and competition.

    - Similarly their views of copyright are a joke. A bunch of white middle class PirateBay junkies with very little worries in life besides the size of their hard drives, thinking that anything that gets in the way of their daily fix should be fought for their right to be free to do as they like. Since daddy and mummy provide at home, including buying their new i7 and paying for their Gigabit access, they have no feel for what really drives the engine that powers all they ever had and will have. Teens, immature young adults enjoying the benefits of a steady economy and anarchists all coming together. A bunch of useless pieces of crap wasting air and space.

    - Where was I? Ah, yes... It's however no surprise these type of "citizen movements" end up gaining some popularity (even if only temporary and even if not translated into actual votes). Politics in Europe is becoming increasingly detached from the population. People just don't care anymore about those they can't speak with, reason with, or even understand most of the time. So anything goes. From political parties being formed because someone legalized abortion, to this nonsense we are debating here.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-20-2009 at 06:38 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  15. #30
    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    So far, we've only heard justifications from users of pirated goods.

    I'll give a seller's perspective.

    I sell spiritual books on Ebay Australia as a secondary source of income. I buy them at wholesale prices for $14-$40, and I sell them at a markup price. I charge postage of $2-$5.40, based on item weight, and I don't make any money at all from postage.

    Then other sellers join Ebay and start selling ebook versions of the same copyrighted books that I sell, for $0.99-$1.99, with free postage. That's a fraction of what I charge for postage alone, and a fraction of what I paid with my own money at wholesale prices. Naturally, my sales grind to ZERO, and the authors of these copyrighted books gets ZERO. These pirates have not spent a cent of their own money, yet make money from the work of others.

    Ebooks are prohibited on Ebay Australia(due to international copyright laws), so I can report them to Ebay and the book publisher, and after a few weeks, they are removed, or the seller is banned. But in the meantime, I still make ZERO, but still have to pay Ebay fees. And then the seller just creates another Ebay account, and it all begins again. So what am I forced to do? I sell at below cost to make a loss, but at least partially recover the money I used to buy the item at wholesale price. And then I stop selling that title. Even 8-CD audio books are now being pirated and sold on DVD, or made available for download.

    I am still in a better position than people who sell technical and fiction books on Ebay USA, where ebooks are not prohibited. I would love to be able to sell technical and fiction books on Ebay USA, which is about 10 times bigger than Ebay Australia. But technical and fiction books are pirated to such a massive extent on Ebay USA that it has completely distored the book landscape. Legitimate merchants who spend their hard earn money buying at wholesale prices are getting crushed by pirated Ebooks and audio books.

    So personally, pirated books has severely impacted me as a seller on several fronts:

    1. I can't compete with titles that are pirated, so am forced to make a loss on those titles.
    2. I have to fight sellers who sell pirated spiritual books.
    3. I can't sell titles that are pirated, even though I very much want to.
    4. I don't dare sell technical or fiction books, even though I very much want to.
    5. I don't dare sell on Ebay USA, which is ten time larger than Ebay Australia, even though I very much want to.

    And these are only books we are talking about here. Retailers of music, movies, games and software are in the same boat.

    Brick and mortar retailers of books, music, movies, games and software are negatively impacted too. When someone downloads a pirated book, music album, DVD, game, or software, there is a retailer somewhere out there who has lost a sale, and can't move stock that they have paid for with their own hard earned money. Yet every bricks and mortar retailer has shop rent/lease to pay. So they lay off staff or go out of business.

    I bet the users of pirated material would have a very different attitude if their relative or friend was in a retail business that was getting hurt by piracy. But because on the internet, retailers are nameless and faceless, and hence out of sight, and out of mind, they are completely forgotten where piracy is concerned.

    If you use pirated material, whether for free, or for next to nothing, someone, somewhere will pay a financial price.
    Last edited by happyclown; 09-21-2009 at 01:46 AM.
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