Someone Please Explain This to Me

…preferably as though I was aged for the target market of the book.

I’ve said for some length of time that eBooks need to be approached as being a replacement (if they can be said to ‘replace’ anything) for Mass Market Paperback editions of titles. they fulfill the same approach as the Penguin or Pocket editions of any novel: get the words to the eye-bones of the readers as easily as possible. There’s no requirement for them to last forever, they’re not meant to be cherished, they aren’t supposed to survive thousands of readings un-molested. They’re meant to be read, possibly re-read, and that’s about it really.

So, based on that, eBooks are the same, except they’re able to withstand multiple readings. None the less, however, they present the words in the simplest and plainest format for the express purpose of getting words to the eye-bones of the readers.

Thus, can someone please explain why this MMP costs TWELVE dollars:

“I Shall Wear Midnight” (Discworld Novel 38), by Terry Pratchett {paperback}

“I Shall Wear Midnight” (Discworld Novel 38), by Terry Pratchett {paperback}

…yet the eBook below costs NINETEEN dollars:

“I Shall Wear Midnight” (Discworld Novel 38), by Terry Pratchett {electronic book}

“I Shall Wear Midnight” (Discworld Novel 38), by Terry Pratchett {electronic book}

…which is actually 50¢ more than the Hardcover edition of the work in the listing above it?

Don’t blame the un-identified retailers, they’re working with the Recommended Retail Price set by the publishers, which in this case is Transworld and Corgi, who seem to be bound and determined to ensure no eBook is ever purchased by any individual in the history of man.

Authors: talk to the houses who publish your work and insist they no longer ignore the way their are slicing their own throats. Electronic bindings are not some sort of luxury, especially as one has already bought some fancy electronic goo-gaw to read the books on in the first place. They can make money through volume sold just as easily as if they locate the handful of people in the marketplace daft or rich enough to pay top dollar for the option of carrying less paper.

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2 thoughts on “Someone Please Explain This to Me

    • I’m guessing that your question about “Server/e-commerce costs” is a suggestion regarding the price for an e-book being close to the RRP of a hard-cover. While there are costs involved in maintaining a server and its database and file inventories, they are a tiny fraction of a fraction of the costs involved in printing, shipping, storing, and distributing hardback copies. Additionally, those costs are probably even lower than what might be imagined by the average consumer.

      My supposition — and, being a publisher myself, it’s an educated one — is that the large houses are simply attempting to milk that cow as much as they can before they’ve no longer any access to it. “Avarice”, essentially, driven by desperation.

      As for reading printed books over electronic ones: I sympathize. There’s not a damned thing wrong with the printed book. The problem with them is that it’s tough to have enough of those in stock and available for all titles ever made. Thus, for the less-than-popular titles, the electronic book can take-up no space and virtually no cost on the publisher’s or author’s budget. Certainly there are many books which people will wish to buy and keep for a long long time, but those titles which people wish to only read once and which aren’t got by the Public Library are perfect for eBook distribution.

      Electronic books are not — despite the panic-filled exclamations of some — a replacement for paper-based books, but an alternative format only. No one is going to come into your home, remove your books from the shelf, and then hand you a Kindle with the message “this is your new reality, citizen”.

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