Ebooks, Tree Books, Pricing Issues
I am pretty sure I've mentioned before what a huge sci-fi/fantasy geek girl I am. If not, here's the warning-- I am an admitted sci-fi/fantasy geek of major proportions. This is a lifelong commitment. I cannot remember a time when I didn't love the two genres. This explains a lot about my fascination with technology. I am also a serious collector of technology. Which in turn, explains my utter fascination with the internet. The whole world at my fingertips is equal parts inspiration and distraction.
There is so much information, on occasion, it just becomes too overwhelming to process. I find myself bookmarking and favoriting things that I want to come back to and then time passes and passes. Eventually, I have to clear out my bookmarks or I go a bit nutty. I do not like cluttered bookmark tabs or a cluttered desktop screen.
I've been doing some of that cleaning up of link-y things. Wow, there were a lot that I am going to have to weave together. In the meantime, there is a wee kerfuffle happening with John Scalzi (one of my everyday reads) and Dear Author (one of my other everyday reads).
So, last week Scalzi, who has a great feature called The Big Idea, put up a post about deleting comments. The Big Idea is a place where Scalzi promotes new authors. Anyway, read it here. I agree with Scalzi about readers complaining about the price of books. I don't want to see it in the comments either. It's long been one of my complaints on Amazon. Readers will give less stars to a well written book if they do not like the price. These are not the forums for complaining about pricing. And yes, price can be a deal breaker for me when it comes to buying a book, but that in no way effects how I would review a book.
So, Dear Author blogger, Janet wrote an opinion bit about Scalzi's blog and twitter conversation. Read it here. Janet writes, and I quote,
The rise of digital books suggests that even within the realm of books there is a hierarchy of cultural value. Eloquent eulogies to the paper book abound, elevating its status and calling into question whether something that’s not printed and bound can even be called a book. Publishers currently treat digital books differently from print books, both in royalty structure and pricing (i.e. no so-called agency pricing model for print books).
I really deplore this kind of thinking. That somehow an e-book is less than. Did the author not pour the same amount of effort into an e-book as opposed to a tree book? Really? I am not saying that there isn't a lot of crap in e-books, but I guarantee you there is just as much crap tree books as well. I've read several. A few I've actually sent to the recycling bin as I couldn't even recommend them to another living being.
Scalzi, responds here. Thank you and bless you John Scalzi. Not only does he make an obvious point, as an experienced author, he also links readers directly to publishers. Which is where readers should aim their pricing complaints.
Here's a great bit over at The Guardian UK, The Great Ebook Price Swindle, by Dan Gillmor. He begins his piece thusly,
I want to offer a word of thanks to the American book publishing industry, or at least the traditional big companies that have dominated it in recent decades. They've helped me rediscover my local library and the used book stores in neighboring communities.
They've achieved this by exhibiting the qualities that come so naturally to corporate media giants: greed and arrogance – in this case, as applied to the way they've dealt with the digital world.