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December 8th, 2008

1:08 AM

I don't think they get ebooks

Okay, I can still hear the bad karaoke singing in my head and I'm still a little woozy from coming back from my son's wedding, so this entry may have more spelling and grammatical errors than usual. Bear with me, please.

Okay: link to ebook pricing article on Dear Author.

My first woozy thought was, "Ha! Ha! Didn't fool me!"

Then I realized today wasn't April 1st.

The best thing I can say about these people making the pricing decisions for ebooks is that they do not learn anything from the mistakes made by the music industry in the last few years in their hamfisted attempts to even get into their heads that people will not buy digital products at a bloated price. Then again, already that thread is in danger of being infested with authors complaining about piracy and readers announcing to all that they do not read ebooks at all (want a medal with that?), which could easily lead to the derailing of the topic at hand. I hope not.

Anyway, I will not buy ebooks at hardcover prices. Of course not, don't be ridiculous. Do these people think I'm crazy when the print book with the same content is available for $7.99? Do they think their precious DRM come with some kind of special effects that make it worth the hardcover pricing? Unlike digital music, digital books are not fun to read. Yes, yes, some people have a Kindle, whoo-pee-doo, good for them, the 1% of the 1% of people who actually read ebooks, but for the rest of the folks who don't use an ereader for whatever purposes, there is little choice other than to read on the PC. So, why would I pay for a hardcover when I buy a cheaper print book that I can hold in my hands and read at leisure again?

It doesn't make sense. The whole thing doesn't make sense.

And any justifications made are ridiculous. Insulting even. I'd rather they stop making ebooks altogether than to treat me like an idiot and ask me to pay more for an ebook when the print book is so much cheaper. I don't care if their DRM thing drives up the cost - that's their problem, not mine. I'm still not buying any ebook that costs that much.

They can blame the pirates of the Caribbean, they can blame readers, they can say whatever, but I am still not buying those stuff and I suggest they stop wasting everyone's time and just stop putting out ebooks if they insist on charging hardcover prices for ebooks.
7 comment(s).

Posted by meh:

What's the official resource that says DRM ups the cost of an ebook? Both Kindle and Mobipocket have DRM added to them and, through the self-pub portals, at least, this doesn't impact the cost.
December 8th, 2008 @ 2:58 AM

Posted by kirstensaell:

Heh, and here I was just saying in that thread that you were one of the only people I know of who might arguably be better off paying 14 bucks for an ebook than 8 for a print book that would cost that again to ship and might not clear customs.

It's good to know that despite the vagaries of getting print books in Malaysia, you aren't about to bend over and let Macmillan stick it to you digitally.
December 8th, 2008 @ 7:02 AM

Posted by Zot:

Honestly I wince at paying paperback prices for a lot of the e-books on the market. Most of them are shorter than your average paperback, have lower production values, had less time put into them by the author and the editor, and have a hell of a lot lower per-copy fixed cost to the publisher. (The only justification at all for the cost as it is is the fact that so few copies are sold, relatively speaking, that the fixed cost of production's spread over a smaller number of sales)

DRM also adds at best a few cents a copy, doesn't stop pirates because all of them have already been broken, annoys honest customers, and for most e-books results in lower overall sales anyway. I'm not really sure it's a win...
December 8th, 2008 @ 11:13 AM

Posted by Mrs G:

Honestly, the only reason I pay paperback prices for ebooks is because ebooks allow me to avoid paying Amazon's shipping fees and I'm too impatient to wait a few months for them to arrive at the local bookstores here. And also because the books are trade paperbacks, which rarely get imported here for some reason.

But yes, paying $7.99 for an ebook annoys me too, but I don't think we're going to change that anytime soon, as major epublishers are starting to price their "super novels" at that price.
December 8th, 2008 @ 11:55 AM

Posted by Emma Wayne Porter:

I'm seeing "return on investment" written all over their figures. Setting up shop to produce reliable platform files is not a quick or cheap process.

But they'll figure out, just like everyone else has, that they can't recoup those setup costs by hoisting them onto the consumer. Volume/backlist is the lynch-pin of the epublishing business model, and... maybe it's just me, but I think they'd have a better chance at $3.50 per unit than $14.

What I'm especially afraid of happening is that they'll release books at $14/unit, fail to sell many, then throw their hands up and declare very publically that ebooks suck.
December 8th, 2008 @ 3:10 PM

Posted by Marie Hill:

I agree with you especially since we can't trade them in or resell them, if they want us to pay the same price , then we should be able to resell them legally, like regular books.:P:P
December 9th, 2008 @ 2:07 AM

Posted by mara:

Congratulations on your son's marriage. I hope they have a wonderful HEA.
December 11th, 2008 @ 1:18 AM