Sunday, July 31, 2011

Three A.M. Musings

I've been musing for the last couple of hours or so and then I thought, why not write my thoughts down so others can enjoy my misery? Blogs can be so handy.

Why are ebook prices so variable? This question was not keeping awake, btw. No, that was a very irritable body part and I got tired of getting up every hour, on the hour and just stayed up. Which gave my brain time to think, once it adjusted.

So why are ebooks priced so variably? I think the publishers'strategy is to keep them in line with their previous model: hardback to paperback. Set aside the debate over the costs producing an ebook vs paper book where the conclusion is that ebooks should be cheaper. If you take a hard look at new releases for popular, well known authors, you will see publishers are pricing ebooks to match the paper ones.

When you get popular enough and sell enough books, your new books are printed in hard back, which have always been more expensive. I don't think they'd sell many if not for discounts. When the book comes out, the ebook price is equivalent, if there even is an ebook. With a HB I get .... well hard backs, lol. A solid, sturdy book that will last for years. With an ebook I get a file.

Okay, but they both contain the same words, right? So therefore they should be priced the same, say some. But when the book goes to PB and I decide to get the ebook, I get ... the same old file. No changes. Nada. Except a lower price for the same file. At least there is a discernable difference in product with paper. It's readily apparent why HBs cost more than PBs. But e? It's the same old file.

You know, I'd almost rather they didn't offer the ebook during the HB stage. Because, for a beloved author, it can be so damn tempting. Just wait for the PB release to offer the ebook. But that would play havoc with the author's numbers. I really dread the day Ilona Andrews goes HB. Nalini Singh did go HB with her last release and yes, I paid the damn inflated e-price. I wish I could say without whining or cyring, but I'd be lying.

I've heard people say (or rather seen them write) that they refuse to pay inflated ebook prices, not for any author. They window shop amongst the lower priced books. This can be good, but what I say is that I have particular authors I love, that I know will deliver the goods and I want their books, the sooner the better. I'm an old fart, damn it! Who knows where I'll be when the PB comes out!

They need to get their shit together and figure out something that's fair to everyone - reader, author and publisher. At this point, it's looking like corporate greed.

Well now, this particular musing took longer than I thought, so I won't go into any other weird thoughts I might have had. In fact, I'm feeling sleepy again, so I guess I'll hunt down Morpheus and see if I can snag him. (that's snag, not shag, although they do say shagging does the trick, at least for males).

Definitely time to retire. Ciao.

1 comment:

  1. I would pay inflated prices for books that I just really want to read. Really really really.

    But I wouldn't be happy and it's going to affect my enjoyment of the book.

    Personally I think that publishers obviously need to change gears, Give up Hardcover altogether. Why add the expense? Court ebook readers better with price and never publish anyone who became famous for being a douche.