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Penguin Lowers Retail Price for Ebooks to Match Print Version

I had great news in my inbox today. penguin.gifPenguin is lowering its retail price for eBooks to match the print retail price. The price decrease is already in effect or going to be in effect soon. This means that instead of Lover Unbound selling for a retail price of $9.99, it should be listed at $7.99 and the bookstore discounts should be based off the new lower retail price. I think this is great for us e-readers and I am happy to see Penguin listening to its customers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

26 Comments

  1. TeddyPig
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 20:32:38

    They’re getting warmer…

    So what they are saying is that eBooks are as expensive to create as paperbacks. Nah, don’t buy it.

    But hey, now all they need to do is try to catch up to those other companies ahead of them that have most of the current titles available.

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  2. LinM
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 21:54:52

    It was interesting to see that the list price of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth” went from $26.00 to $7.99 at Fictionwise. Even with the 100% micropay rebate, I wasn’t willing to purchase the book for $26.00.

    Maybe now Penguin will work on the number of ebooks in their catalog that are only available in Mobipocket format – a number of people at AAR have recommended Housseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” but the e-book is only available in Mobi/Palm. Bah, humbug.

    Like TeddyPig, I’m still waiting for more of their books to be available in e-editions. The book I want most from their fall release list is the McKinney translation of “The Pillow Book” by Sei Shonogan. I suspect there is little chance of an e-edition of this book.

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  3. TeddyPig
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 22:37:57

    Pssssst Penguin… Jane Lockwood’s Forbidden Shores eBook

    Make it happen.

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  4. Brenna
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 23:19:06

    About time too. I’m contemplating buying an ebook device reader and choosing between a Palm T/X and the new Sony ebook reader. I just saw it at the computer mall and it looked gorgeous, the silver one. I was so tempted to buy it right there and then though the price is sooo expensive. Unfortunately, my ebooks are all in my Macintosh mini and to transfer them into the device, I will need to invest more for extra peripherals just to do so. So it will have to be a Palm T/X in the meantime which is at least compatible with a Mac, plus I will have all those functions like a WiFi, etc…

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  5. TeddyPig
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 00:30:52

    Yeah now see the Palm T/X looks nice, it has the wi-fi and it does other things. Plus it is color and has a full on Adobe Reader. The Sony is grey scale and flimsy buttoned, no wi-fi, no touch screen, and really let’s face the fact it is a high priced dog with lots of fleas next to what any Palm can do.

    Now what I like is Verizon has not one but actually FOUR nice color screened Windows based PDAs coming out.

    So if the Palm OS turns you off these Windows based PDAs also run Adobe Reader for Pocket PC.

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  6. Maya Reynolds
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 05:49:39

    Jane: When I read your first post about the cost of Penguin ebooks, I was horrified. I’m a Penguin (through NAL) author. I went on their website and couldn’t believe the prices. My own book was one of those exorbitantly priced novels.

    I wrote my editor at NAL an email.

    I’m betting lots of writers and readers wrote Penguin after your post. I’m glad to see they listened.

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  7. Sarah McCarty
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 05:53:01

    Wonderful news!

    Brenna- the new Sony ebook reader functions as a USB storage device so supposedly Mac users can just transfer over books that way. You’d just have to put them in a readable format.

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  8. Brenna
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 07:26:19

    Sarah, I have all my ebooks (in adobe acrobat format) saved on a USB flash drive w/c I connect to my Mac when I want to read them. Can I just connect that to the Sony reader?

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  9. Jane
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 09:33:14

    Brenna – I don’t think that you can. First, are your Adobe PDFs encrypted? Or mostly bought from epublishers? BEcause the Sony Reader does read PDFs. If you plug in the new Sony reader to your mac computer, your computer will recognize it as a USB drive and you should be able to drag and drop your files.

    Maya – That’s so wonderful that you did that. I am sure that everyone’s combined action helped.

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  10. TeddyPig
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 10:40:33

    I am glad the authors saying something would get them to rethink the pricing. No go beat them up on the lack of current titles.

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  11. Julie Leto
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 12:35:10

    Maya, thanks. I have a NAL book coming out next year and since I’m with Harlequin and Pocket previously, I’m not used to such high prices for ebooks. I’m glad they’re bringing the prices down. They should at least be the same as print.

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  12. Ann Bruce
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 13:01:44

    The Sony is grey scale and flimsy buttoned, no wi-fi, no touch screen, and really let's face the fact it is a high priced dog with lots of fleas next to what any Palm can do.

    TP – I don’t know about you, but I hate people touching my monitors and leaving their icky fingerprint smudges. And, yes, the PRS-505 is a one-trick pony, but it seems to do that one trick very well. When I read a book, I’m not interested in surfing the web or doing anything else. I just want to read.

    After further comparison, I’m edging towards the PRS-505 instead of the iTouch because I really want a device that does a heck of a job mimicking paper.

    Of course, I’ll eventually give in and buy both. But I’m a geek.

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  13. TeddyPig
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 14:16:32

    Well with wifi or Edge phone capabilities you can download new eBooks, update software easily and most important not waste your money on a one trick pony.

    It is not hard to create these open gadgets. In fact Engadget had a story on these new DIY Color Windows CE PDA models that you can order with all these different options including touch screen, ultra fast cpus, big screens and all you need to do is make a case for it. Starting at 200 bucks.

    Sony does not handle anything but their particular DRM in the most lackluster grey scale. You cannot use Adobe PDFs on it with DRM. I would just rather spend my money on something that is up to date, color, with a back light, and runs eBook reader software that I can also update unlike the Sony which I think is gonna be easily blown away by an open system solution here real soon here.

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  14. Jules Jones
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 15:47:19

    Teddy, Charlie Stross was pimping the TX at me recently as a good writer’s tool (I’m currently on a IIIxe), so I went to take a look at a demo model — and I’m in love. First time I’ve seen a PDA I’d actually be willing to spend more than a hundred bucks of my own money on. Unfortunately this was just before the move back to the UK, and I was a bit reluctant to buy something when I wouldn’t be able to take it back to the store if it died after a couple of weeks.

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  15. TeddyPig
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 16:10:31

    Yeah the TX is gorjesus.

    I would simply buy it online at Best Buy online and purchase the extended warranty if I was going abroad. Oh and get the proper recharger for the country you are in.

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  16. Miki
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 19:26:42

    OMG, Jane, you rock! This “news in your inbox” – was it actually an email from someone at Penguin??

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  17. Jane
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 19:33:21

    yep. It was news from a “publisher insider.”

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  18. Brenna
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 20:13:45

    Now I’m confused. Will it be the Sony 505 or the Palm TX?

    Jane, the sales at the computer shop didn’t mention anything about being able to plug the Sony 505 to my Mac. He was talking about using SD cards to tranfer the files w/c would mean that I have to buy extra peripherals for my Mac to be able to do so. Also, some of my ebooks are in Word format which I converted into PDF files. I can convert just about any files into a PDF format with my Mac by using the print function and saving it as PDF file. I don’t know if these PDFs will be readable on the Sony 505 or even the Palm T/X.

    Teddy, does the TX function well as an ebook? Is it easy to read? It’s display is smaller than the Sony 505. I haven’t seen a demo as it is currently out of stock but I have put my name on one and they will inform me as soon as the stocks come.

    Sorry about all these questions but I’m new to this. I dislike reading my ebooks on a desktop computer as I like to be comfortable when I read. I really need to get a portable reader.

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  19. TeddyPig
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 21:25:48

    As far as I know only non-drm pdf can be displayed on the Sony but it can be attached to a mac to get the files. I have not done this so that is the rumor.

    The pretty Palm TX on the other hand has it own full blown version of Adobe Reader which…

    Allows the transfer and viewing of Adobe Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected eBooks.

    I would look around this weekend for a best buy or something and go check it out.

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  20. Jane
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 22:06:19

    According to the guys at MobileRead.org (great group btw), the Sony Reader shows up as a mass storage device when attached to a Mac computer.

    You can’t use the Connect software, but the Sony Reader will read RTF files (which may be alot better than the PDFs for reflow-ability) and PDFs without conversion. So you can just drag and drop those non DRM’ed books to the device.

    I’ve had the HP IPaq with a 4″ color screen (bigger than the Palm TX); an iPhone and a Sony Reader and for reading, if you don’t miss the backlight, the Sony Reader is the best. I like having a backlight so my iPhone is my more favored device right now.

    But before I had the iPhone, I was really enjoying the Sony Reader. If you do any kind of out door reading, the screen quality was just phenomenal.

    It is a one trick pony, but as Ann Bruce said, it does its one trick really well.

    If you have any more questions, do ask because that is what we are all here for – a community of readers to help each other out.

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  21. TeddyPig
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 22:50:53

    PDFs can also reflow but that has to be allowed by the publisher.

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  22. Sarah McCarty
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 06:56:08

    Personally, I’m waiting on the Irex Illiad to get even praise. I really want the long battery life with the handwriting recognition so I can use the ebook reader also for editing manuscripts. The lack of handwriting recognition is really the only thing preventing my ebookwise from being the perfect device for me.

    PDA’s just have too short a battery life, are too fragile, too buggy, and the screen too tiny to even be in the running.

    I have given up on the Cybook. *sigh* The continued wait and delays make me leery of purchasing. My fear of technology rears its ugly head. I mean, just how buggy can a device that’s been in development that long be? And why would it be? It just makes me leery, but I will probably see what reactions it gets if it ever releases.

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  23. Brenna
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 22:50:28

    Thanks! I’m still confused on some issues and will do some more research. But the idea of getting both Sony & T/X is something that I’m coming to terms with and I may just do it especially with Christmas just around the corner.

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  24. 65files » Blog Archive » Penguin Lowers Retail Price for Ebooks to Match Print Version
    Oct 21, 2007 @ 06:17:11

    [...] from unknown [...]

  25. roslyn
    Oct 22, 2007 @ 09:01:31

    I’m an ebook reader out of necessity because I live in Malaysia and I cannot get the ‘dangerous’ vampire books (e.g. DarkHunters, Breeds) or even those written by Robin D. Owens (must be the talking cats or the songs). We’ve got a pretty healthy crusade (against the book banning) going but in the meantime, I GOTTA have them books. So my only hope is downloads via the Internet.

    There’s only so much we can do about the ebook prices but so far, the cheapest ebook seller I’ve found is BooksOnBoard.com.

    For example, you can buy Tanner’s Scheme at :
    Fictionwise.com for USD7.99 (non-member) or at
    Booksonboard.com for USD6.27 (no membership purchase required and price differs according to format, but not by much).

    ReplyReply

  26. Arr, Me Hearties! « Publishing by Degree
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 14:21:31

    [...]  So, aside from the anti-piracy squad kicking down doors in a bid to prevent e-books from being passed around as freely as their physical counterparts, what could be driving people to turn to pirated e-books? Looking briefly at the highly anticipated release of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, not to mention Random House’s E-Book Catalogue, we can pick out a trend: E-Books are being released at prices that are pretty similar to their standard versions. Even Penguin, who recently cut their e-book prices, [...]

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