Amazon has gleefully started contacting US ebook customers about the funds they're entitled to claim after three publishers settled price-fixing lawsuits. The Kindle-maker told customers that they'd be getting partial refunds of $0.30 to $1.32 for each eligible ebook bought between April 2010 and May 2012. Ebooks will be …
it all blows anyway. I'll be the first in line to buy ebooks when the publishers and resellers stop gouging consumers. Charging the face value for an electronicaly formatted title is a rip off. There are no printing costs, no distribution, no middle man. You have an already formatted text, saved as a variety of ebook styles - a days work at best. Put infrastructure, rented or otherwise, on the bill, plus the nominal cut for the publisher and author and these things don't really cost much to impliment. Instead, the industry has just shifted the format and kept the savings to themselves. Fuckem.
Re: Pricing Blows
Not quite as simple as that. Yes there is a parity on price to the consumer, but that's because of the incompetence of the original publisher rather than anything else. For example 'The Gap' novels had their digital forms off-shored for proof reading. However Stephen Donaldson did his own proof reading based on what they sent back. It was somewhat lacking, which is why the books have been delayed. Actual physical printing of books is really a minimal cost when taking into account publishers take and giving the author something to live on.
Production costs and materials are a very small percentage of book publishing, less than 50p for a paperback, the real cost is the author, his agent and the cut the publishing house takes tax and vat.
More cost effective
Is to buy a proper book not an ebook.
A proper book can be passed on to another family member
Given to charity
Used to help make a fire if shipwrecked on a desert island
Toilet paper in emergency
A weapon against a burglar
Prop up a wobbly table
Burn to keep warm
Ebooks can't do any of that.
Re: Pricing Blows
Agreed, out and out greed. The move to digital publishing should have been smoother than that of digital music but it seems no one learned anything, if anything it's been worse with format wars and next-gen DRM. Again and again we hear of examples of corporations showing their true colours, i.e. they're out to gouge you wherever they can. Digital publishing offered certain 'opportunities' and they just couldn't help themselves. It must also be said charging VAT on eBooks is a major, major fail.
Re: More cost effective
I CAN burn ebooks. But I would require a very large amount of them. Providing a proof, or linking to, of the collection of organized data being more energy dense than that of random data is left to the reader.
Ebooks are the death of literature
Too bad that the author does not get better share of ebooks but as John 104 says above "Fuckem"
Also, great applicable quote lifted from another El Reg post:
"We will not be enslaved through coercion, but by the lure of convenience"
Once the printed word is gone (formerly the very definition of open source software) and these fiendish "publishers" have us locked into electronic books permanently, the price will go up and the DRM will get really bad. No difference between them and the pusher man.
Got to love a global world
When I first started buying books on Kindle, you could only buy from the US store. So I did. Definitely bought books from those publishers during that time period from the US store, but I guess overcharging forinners is A OK.
Re: Got to love a global world
Yeah, there's been no word of refunds to ROI customers, and we shop the .com suite and pay usd, not eur. annoying on principle as I'm sure I've bought a few from the relevant publishers.
Regarding all the things an ebook cannot do that in part is why it has a perceived lower value to the consumer, the difference in cost keeps being bandied around, but that isn't the issue.
Agreed - You can't lend,sell,or donate an ebook after it's first obtained. Therefore it is not as valuable as a physical book.
If the publishers wish consumers to value ebooks on the same level as physical books then there needs to be a right of transference.
Logically that only means anything if there is a 1-instance thing to transfer. So the license or whatever would need to be held centrally (not by the e-tailer - because they can go under) This central registry should be paid for by the publishers or e-tailers (obviously you'd need some EU law or something to force them to pay up & licence in this way) This should logically also extend to other forms of digital only media (films, music, software etc). I think there we are still a long way from this kind of thing, and there would be a lot of problems to overcome (not least of which the privacy concern). Still something to think about...
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