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  1. #1
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    Amazon strikes again

    Any other company with such practices gets smacked down by the government. Why not Amazon?

    http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/daily...bookstores.php



  2. #2
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    Free enterprise. What are they doing that you think is illegal?

  3. #3
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    Selling goods below cost to run the competition out of business. That's called "dumping," and companies have absolutely been prosecuted for that in the past.

  4. #4
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    I admit I know nothing about this, but I'll do my own research instead of asking for examples (a cursory look-up only discussed the WTO and foreign vs. domestic). Thanks for the food for thought. I'll still take the $20 textbook over the $220 one. The markup on those is what ought to be outlawed.

  5. #5
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    It goes both ways. The textbook publishers (I've been managing editor of an academic press) have been price gouging a captive audience (you want to take this class? You have to buy these specific textbooks.) for centuries. This seems like an equalizing move at least in this realm. Textbooks should have gone to e-books some time ago anyway, and it has only been an under-the-table publishers' agreement that has stimied that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    Gary, you're forever conflating textbooks and academic press books. Why do you do that? I know that you know they're not the same thing. One of the reasons textbooks -TEXTBOOKS- are so expensive is because the lazy professoriate insists on tons of ancillaries. They cost lots of $$$ to develop, but the only thing that can actually be SOLD is the textbook.

    Jena -the markup, after expenses, is not that huge.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by L C View Post
    Gary, you're forever conflating textbooks and academic press books. Why do you do that? I know that you know they're not the same thing. One of the reasons textbooks -TEXTBOOKS- are so expensive is because the lazy professoriate insists on tons of ancillaries. They cost lots of $$$ to develop, but the only thing that can actually be SOLD is the textbook.

    Jena -the markup, after expenses, is not that huge.
    Oh, I'm FOREVER conflating textbooks and academic press books? I don't really recall doing this all all before. Examples? The bulk of academic press books are books to be used as texts in universities. That doesn't mean that all textbooks are published by academic presses--not by far. But, as most of the books an academic press publishes are textbooks and I've worked inside academic presses, I know more than a little bit about the pricing of textbooks by academic presses.

    So, I just don't see either your premise or your comment as relevant to what I posted.

  8. #8
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    No, the bulk of academic press books are vanity affairs driven by people who have to "publish or perish." Their baby gets a spot on the "by our professors" shelf in the campus bookstore (the equivalent of the "local authors" pity shelf in B/N). And they're published by university presses or small, academic presses. They may be required reading for that professor's class, but usually aren't, and they're never required reading anywhere else.

    When I say "textbooks," I'm referring to the required-reading stuff put out by mostly the Big 4 commercial publishers (who wouldn't touch an academic book) that are on the "buy your textbooks here" shelves all over the country.

    The TAA (Textbook Authors Association) segregates conversations about textbooks and academic books into two areas, so I'm not alone in this differentiation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member L C's Avatar
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    Oops, TAA is Text and Academic Authors Association. See, even their name differentiates the two.

  10. #10
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    Jena -the markup, after expenses, is not that huge.
    The markup has to be huge because many students buy used copies (if they're lucky enough to find them) and now also "rent" them; they have to make the greatest profit possible off the sale of new books. One statistic I saw said that textbook prices have gone up around 180% in the past 20 years. I believe it, because I went to college in the eighties and my kids went in the 2000's and the difference in price was shocking. That certainly doesn't apply to novels, etc.

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