In Ireland at least they already are.....
I wondered through my local PC World at the weekend and was surprised to see a kindle out with the tablet PCs - I just assumed they'd being selling them for a while.....
Dixons' stores are to sell Amazon's popular Kindle e-book reader. Amazon already makes the Kindle - in both its Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi-plus-3G versions - available on the high street through John Lewis shops. Like John Lewis, Dixons will only sell Kindles through PC World and Currys bricks'n'mortar outlets, not online. Prices are …
There are 2 rip off with ebooks (nothing to do with the hardware or retailer)
1. The government charges VAT despite the green credentials of something that needs no trees to die and no diesel to distribute. Bonkers
2. Publishers like Penguin seem to be able to insist on a minimum price often higher than the paper version - banned on paper books - even though the books can't (yet) be loaned or given away or sold secondhand so are truly 1 buyer 1 reader thus increasing sales and the zero cost of printing (well they have to convert the file to a different format), warehousing, distribution and then the remaindering of unsold stock.
So write to your MP and ask why the government charges VAT on ebooks but not paper ones and why publishers can flout the ruling on the abolition of the Net Book Agreement.
1. Eh?! Wtf has VAT got to do with "green credentials"? VAT is charged on "luxury" items like tampons (I always laugh at that one. It's pretty evident that the 'VAT Man' is indeed a man). The ability to carry 100s of books in your pocket is a luxury. Ergo VAT is applied.
2. Minimum pricing in the UK is not permitted on *any* item. It's rather contrary to competition law. However, just because the prices are the same doesn't mean they're non-competitive. Look at comparethesupermarket.com (or whatever it's called). Tesco, ASDA et al all charge the same price for thousands of items. It's perfectly legal. However, should they start colluding to inflate prices they get hit with the naughty hammer.
A few more corrections - ebooks CAN be loaned. The lass just took out a library card to do just that. You download them from the library, they expire after 28 days, no having to return them manually, or late fees etc. Great idea (especially the rate she goes through them).
Finally, (big breath..) YOU DO NOT PAY FOR THE PAPER WHEN YOU BUY A BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! I hate the "oh it's electronic so it should be free/5p instead of £14" school of thought. When you buy a book/film/song you are paying for the artistic input and the temporal nature of it, not the freaking trees/plastic that went into making a copy of it.
If you buy a hardback that came out yesterday you expect to pay £15+. If you get it in paperback 12months later it costs ~£5. Did the hardback cost that much more to produce and ship? No, you're paying to have it now rather than later. Why should the fact it's rather more ethereal have any larger impact on the price than the 5p they add to cover the trees?
If you don't want to pay £15 for a book, or 99p for a single there's an easy way to avoid it. Do without. If enough ppl do so, market forces will align the prices with what ppl are willing to pay.
1. The point is taxes are used to encourage/discourage behaviour. I don't see the argument for taxing e-books and not paper books - I imagine the VAT-exemption is to encourage learning, plus there's the the added benefit of saving trees. Convenience is a poor argument for taxing it.
2. Publishers ARE fixing prices on Kindle. Amazon are not allowed to set the price as they would with anything else they sell. This seems to be abusing the market to push their own e-book formats, hence anti-competitive.
I don't have any issues with paying a fair price for the knowledge or enjoyment - I paid £23 for an e-book last night. Saved £8 on the hardback and didn't have to wait for stock to arrive.
"YOU DO NOT PAY FOR THE PAPER WHEN YOU BUY A BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! I hate the "oh it's electronic so it should be free/5p instead of £14" school of thought. When you buy a book/film/song you are paying for the artistic input and the temporal nature of it, not the freaking trees/plastic that went into making a copy of it."
Oh yes you do. Do you really think the paper mill donates the paper stock for free because it's "art"? Or for that matter do you imagine the man in the truck that delivers it does it for egalitarian motives. Then add the printer, the local branch of Waterstones that has to make space available, pay high street rent, leccy, etc., and allowing for the possibility of ending up with a turkey on your hands that has to be remaindered and eventually pulped.
All these and more are material costs of producing a (physical) book. All have to be paid for, and all make up part of the price paid by the consumer. If you factor in the fact that the author has already written the text anyway, the production costs for an ebook amount to somebody laying it out and publishing it in the appropriate DRM ridden format. A similar process will happen for a print edition, but probably at a higher cost as, for instance, physical proofs have to be produced along the way.
I don't know whether authors will receive substantially more royalties from ebooks - my guess is they won't. And before I get labelled "freetard", I'm not exactly a disinterested spectator as I'll be delivering a book for publication within the next month if all goes to plan.
When i wanted an e-reader, i went around every electronics store i could think of, to try and have a go with one, see what the screen was really like for reading.
At the time, not a single store even knew what i was talking about, and i had to take the chance and buy one online*
*I would have bought one online anyway, i just wanted to play with one first
"Dixons' stores are to sell Amazon's popular Kindle e-book reader (...) Prices are the same, whoever you buy a Kindle from"
Neat, I might consider getting one for the missus' birthday. It's not that I don't like ordering from Amazon online, I did many times. But she'll be able to see it and put her hands on it before a purchase, and I won't have to wait until the Royal Mail redelivers after failing to deliver because (believe it or not), yes, I do work during the day and thus, no, I'm not in at 10am to sign for it.
They been selling them in the "Posh" Dixon's in Birmingham since early December (Yes, there is such a thing as a Posh Dixon's - called "Black", showing off high end tech).
I'm saving up for a Kindle - least of all it's a place I can stuff my tech manuals on and try and read them in comfort...
The Kindle must be close to being sold at a loss leader price. A bit like inkjet printers - the money is made from selling the ink, or eBooks in this case.
However, there's a huge problem coming up in that once eBooks become ubiquitous, then the price of eBooks will plummet as they start to get pirated more widely. An eBook is quite a lot smaller than an MP3, and the dynamics will be the same. We already see, with the closing of many branches of Waterstones, that the days of mass-market, high-street dedicated bookstores are numbered, squashed by the same forces that hit music shops. Internet sales, electronic formats, supermarkets selling the most popular physical formats and pirated copies putting a ceiling on the prices that can be charged. What price a conscience for an eBook I wonder?
Convenience of carrying around a paper book stopped this before, now that Kindles and the like are a convenient alternative, this problem goes away.
Of course there will remain a market for specialist books, coffee-top books and the like, but the writing is surely on the wall for the mass market offerings.
Of course musicians have an advantage over authors - there is always the income from live performances. There is no equivalent in the literary market unless, suddenly, there's a splurge of popularity of paid-fore live readings in arenas...
Got mine a couple of weeks back in Curry's...
It was an impulse buy, at the front of the shop, really impressed with the screen etc..
In my so far limited experience though, I've found books largely to be cheaper than the paperback, sometimes up to 50% cheaper, therefore for me it seemed that after a while, the hardware would pay for itself.
The best feature of all though is that I can read whilst wedged between undesirables on the tube meaning I can get a lot more read and use that commute constructively.
Has to be the fact that all the books I buy for it take up zero bookshelf space. Some of mine are double-stacked, and I've still run out of both shelf space and walls to add further shelves to. I'll accept a few misplaced hyphens in exchange for not needing to extend my house.
When will people realise that is not the case.
I have a Kindle, and have not paid for a single book on it. Any of the usual ebook places can provide free books - e.g. Gutenberg. Even Amazon themselves do many many free books. I can read PDF's on my, or use Calibre to convert websites and send hem to the Kindle. Works great.
It's a nice piece of kit, which DOES have DRM on the recent stuff you pay for (as do all ebooks). And I don't have a problem with that, after all, mines full of free stuff (e.g. Dickens, Homer, Milton).
But you don't select your e-reader on the free content (as they all do this), you select it on the pay content.
Granted if you never ever intend to buy a pay e-book, then it makes little difference if you buy a Swindle or a proper EPUB e-reader (aside from the Swindles horrendous and mostly pointless keyboard), but most people DO want to buy content. Sure the Swindle is convenient, but that convenience comes at a price, the Swindle lock-in.
The Amazon Swindle truly is a horrible bit of hardware. That fugly keyboard that takes up 1/3rd of the space. What were they thinking.
You can get the same pearl e-ink screen on a same sized screen Sony reader, that half the weight and smaller (no fugly keyboard), it's also not locked into the Amazon Swindle store.#
Look what you could have had, instead of the lazy "it was on Amazons front page, so I bought one" shopping,.
I bet the people that end up with Amazon Swindles, are the same as Iphone/iPod owners, they bought it because it's all they know, the bloke next door has one, and i'm too fucking lazy to explore alternatives.
Calibre does a fine job of converting epub books and then mailing them to my kindle. The supported formats really are a non-issue. You really are not locked in.
What happens with the DRM protected epub format books bought for your Sony e-reader? I'm assuming (until someone points out otherwise) that they're tied to that e-reader and if I get a new one I'm going to have to go through all kinds of hoops to get them transferred. Oh, and I'm responsible for backing up because, correct me if I'm wrong, I can't download the books again.
On the other hand, I don't have to worry about that with the kindle. All my "purchased" books are available on any future kindle and on any kindle app. The problem would be, of course, if Amazon went titsup and no one could crack the drm to convert them to mobi format. Neither of those are especially likely are they?
"I won't have to wait until the Royal Mail redelivers after failing to deliver because (believe it or not), yes, I do work during the day and thus, no, I'm not in at 10am to sign for it."
So why not make an arrangement with your work's mail-room (or equivalent) and get Amazon to deliver Stuff to work? Works brilliantly for me. All I have to do it get it home.
that I am a bit of a techie, but since getting my Kindle for Crimbo I've been doing about 4x my normal book reading consumption. Mostly free(ish) classics so far.
Why - because it's so small & convenient, easy to read, even in the dark (yes I also got one of those covers with built in LED torch - brilliant).
Means that I can spend down time doing something useful!
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