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Thursday, October 07, 2010

The other side of the coin...

I've gotten some flack for showing only one side of the print vs. e-book scenario here on my own personal blog, so here you go, a completely neutral article that in fact supports both print and e-books, AND emphasizes the fact that it's not format but content that you're paying for, regardless of format!


(But I'm still a print girl and always will be!)


patrysia said...

Good article.

After spending way too much time on the Amazon Kindle forums pre- and post-Kindle purchase, I can assure you that the overwhelming majority of ebook readers absolutely appreciate the publishing houses. They understand that finding and developing new authors, marketing the books, and everything in between (especially editing and formatting) require a lot of work. And they are willing to pay for that. They do think, however, that the lack of need for warehouse storage space, and delivery costs (gas, trucker--for both delivery and the picking up for returns), and paper and ink costs, means that an ebook shouldn't cost the same as a hardcover. But, except for a very small minority, they don't think ebooks should be free. They are totally happy with the $10-15 or so range, the cost of a trade paperback. They are not too happy when the ebook price is almost the same as the discounted hardcover price (e.g., Ken Follett's new book; $19.99 ebook, $19.49 hardcover on Amazon, B&N, Target).

And they don't think the publishers should be able to dictate to the middlemen whether they can discount an ebook, which is apparently what the agency model does.

And they still buy hardcovers and paperbacks! Except for some who have physical disabilities or loss of vision that precludes reading those formats, many continue to still buy their favorite authors in paper or hard copy. But they also buy ebooks--and they used to impulse buy a lot. Heard about a book on the radio driving home, or watching television? They whip out their ereaders and buy it instantly.

So if the publishers play it right, they'll actually increase overall sales numbers!

None of the online ebook lovers wants bookstores to disappear, although they acknowledge their own ebook reading puts bookstores in jeopardy. No one wants all books in hardcover or paper to disappear. They just don't want to be punished financially because they prefer or often use a new format to read. And they really are afraid that rather than adopting the Sprint approach (develop their own cell phone systems, etc. rather than disappear when people dumped landlines), publishers are going to take the music industry approach and ignore the new technology until its too late.

Phew!! Way too much, probably more than you want to read. But both sides are getting vilified (publishers and ebook lovers), and the truth is, as usual, actually in the middle, where most people are.

And if gets more people to read, it's good!

cookiedough66 said...

What a diplomatic person who must've sent you that article!