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O'Reilly Discounts Every eBook By 50% 108

destinyland writes "O'Reilly and Associates just announced that they're offering a 50% discount on every ebook they publish for Cyber Monday. Use the code CYBERDAY when checking out to claim the discount (which expires at midnight). Amazon has also discounted their Kindle Fire tablets to just $129. Due to a production snafu, they've already sold out of the new Kindle Paperwhite, and won't be able to ship any more until December 21"
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O'Reilly Discounts Every eBook By 50%

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  • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@Nospam.hotmail.com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:18AM (#42093975) Homepage

    You may have missed the fact that these files are DRM-free and can be stored on any device you like -- including your local computer with your local music.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:41AM (#42094167)

    If so, then I apologize for thinking we as customers are always being cheated. If on the other hand, selling them at 50% off still returns some profit, something must change. It's that capitalism?

    Umm, what? There are so many things wrong with your comment it's hard to know where to start. First of all, being ebooks the cost to O'Reilly per copy is near zero, so obviously they aren't selling at a "loss" at any time. Their normal prices are likely set by 2 factors: a high enough price that they can pay the author and still make a tidy profit, and a low enough price that people will still buy. By lowering prices, they increase the number of copies but lower net profit per unit, which means they might end up making little to no profit over their regular prices (or even less, or more likely a lot more).

    However, in no case and no matter what price they set, they are never cheating the customer. The customer pays what he thinks the book is worth. If the price is too high, he has the option of simply not buying. Not like there aren't a million other things he could spend his money on for entertainment or knowledge. That's how capitalism works.

    If you're wondering why they don't set the price low permanently, the answer is simple. Some people will pay full price to get the book when or nearly when it comes out. Some will not, and will wait for sales or lowered prices, or simply not buy it if the price doesn't get lowered. Steam is perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. They sell tons of games at full price to people who want it now, and discount them 50-75% later on. The customers know this, and some will wait, while some will not. Either way, all parties involved end up getting what they want.

    Prices for electronic "goods" are a lot more complex than "always as low as will still make you some profit on the individual unit".

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:45AM (#42094207)

    But for reference books, I prefer hard copies that I can browse thru at my leisure, leave open on a desk or quickly flip between sections.

    open / flipping / browsing don't really do it for me. However I do "grep" them a lot. Search is the killer feature.

    The problem for authors and publishers is making their reference ebook better than what you'll find via google.

    I've owned and read a lot of oreilly books and they fit 4 classes:
    1) anything with "cookbook" in the title = worth the money, best as a searchable ebook
    2) anything with "intro" or "learning" in the title = worth the money, best either old fashioned paper or ebook only if you dual monitor or have a dedicated reader device
    3) anything purely reference-ish = better off just googling for the answer for free
    4) Mix of the above. Think "programming perl". Worth the money. Best off as paper copy for learning, because pure reference stuff will never be looked up, google gets searched first.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:42PM (#42095501) Journal

    While O'Reilly does make their work available DRM-free, I take exception to the 'the one company' part of your post. Pearson[1] makes all of their books available in DRM-free PDF and ePub versions from here [informit.com]. O'Reilly may be the underdog in this market, but they're not the only one doing the right thing. They've been providing DRM-free books since at least 2007 (I only started paying attention when they published my first book).

    [1] Owner of the Addison Wesley and Prentice Hall brands, among others.

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