Ebooks Part II

This is Part II of “My Love/Hate of Ebooks” blog.  I enjoyed the other discussion and I hope to get your thoughts on this part of the “rant” as well.

I love my ebooks.  I like being able to take my reader with me and have a lot of books available.  I am sometimes a mood reader or I want to re-read a favorite book so the reader solves that problem for me.

My problem with ebooks besides the ones outlined in Part I of this article is the pricing of them.  Why are ebooks priced similarly to printed books?  I have even seen on the site I buy ebooks from that some books I have been interested in are a  few pennies higher than the printed book.  This is illogical to me.  I have had someone explain the mechanics of ebooks to me (this person is in the know on this subject).  I also have my own common sense to base this on.  If all that is needed is the master copy of the book, and there are not the customary costs of a printed book (paper, ink, shipping, etc.), then why are they the same or more than a printed book?  I certainly want the author to make what they deserve for the enjoyment they give to us with their stories.  I also want the companies selling the books to make the profits due them.  They keep people employed and this is critical.  It just seems that ebook pricing is out of line with production.

My other problem with ebooks is that for many of them, especially new books or books by well-known authors, they cannot be loaned.  My mother and I would loan books to each other of authors we enjoyed in common.  One of us would buy the book and the other read it also.  I also do this with my aunt and a friend who is reading the same series that I am.  Now, everybody does this.  It is also a way of introducing friends/family to new authors that they have not yet read.  You simply cannot do this with a lot of ebooks.  My question is why not?  What is the difference in doing this and checking out a book at a public library (which I support whole-heartedly).  I will often go to our public library and check out books and place a hold on new releases especially.  I have also oftentimes gotten an ebook downloaded from our public library.  Why is this different from me wanting to share an ebook with a friend.  I realize it is so the publisher can get more sales, but again loaning a book can often open up more sales in the long run if we convert a reader to a new author.

Again, I love ebooks and I realize the industry is forming and some of this may be “growing pains” with a new industry—I just feel the ebook industry has some work to do to improve itself.  These are just a few ramblings about problems I see.

Happy Reading,

Debra

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13 thoughts on “Ebooks Part II

  1. What a great post Debra. The lending thing makes me wacky too, it’s my book why can’t I lend it to my friends!?! There have been good books/series out there that refuse to sell their ebooks to libraries and I just won’t do it anymore. Too much to read. I think they need to figure that out pronto!

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    1. When I put my book in print, I actually requested (from the options) to have it released to libraries. I also put my e-book on Kindle Unlimited and made it available for lending. Personally, I think that the more people that read it the better. While I would love to make a million off my books, that isn’t why I wrote them. I want to share my stories and lending allows that to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your comments. I wish I could loan some of the stories I’ve purchased to my kids. But I can’t and I don’t want the lend them my reader, because I would be without it. Also, the pricing…there is a certain price point where I will not buy it if it’s an ebook. If it’s too high, they are out of luck.

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    1. I agree–I am holding off purchasing the ebook version of the latest in a series i am reading simply because of the price. I hate that but at a certain price level, I will not buy an ebook even if I want it. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  3. Both of those issues are due to the publisher’s preferences, and not inherent in the e-book technology. As I self-published author, I price the e-book versions of my novels at $2.99 each (in contrast to 10-12$ each for the paperbacks) and I allow my books to be loaned (that’s an option that Amazon offers when you upload an e-book.)

    When will traditional publishers stop shooting themselves in the foot with their pricing and DRM policies? Who knows.

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      1. I charge around $4.99 for an e-book and around $12 for an in-print book. I also give away my e-book when the in-print is purchased. Amazon Direct Publishing (I think the preferred for self-publishing authors) makes all of these options very easy to choose or change. DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a tough sell for me, I like the idea of protecting my intellectual property and ensuring that unique reads are paid for. On the other hand, I would hate to have my book stay in one person’s hands when they could lend it to a friend. To shake it up further if someone bought the in-print book they could easily hand it to a friend and let them read it. I am not sure why an e-book would be valued the same as an in-print book as it is all digital and there isn’t much to pay besides the publisher’s cut and the author’s royalties.

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  4. I agree with wishing to lend ebooks. Half of the books I read in high school I got from borrowing from friends. My roommate and I swap books all the time. I wish I had the ability to swap ebooks with her, except she is not much of an ebook reader. My biggest thing is my book bestie is long distance which deeply hampers our book swapping ability. Swapping ebooks would be AMAZING! It would help us bond over books again. Ebooks is still evolving though, so we will see where it goes.

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  5. I’ve seen several traditionally published books that have prices rivaling the print versions. In my personal opinion, I believe those should be just a few dollars less, if not for cheaper production, then because you can’t lend them the way you would a paperback copy (you may have already said that? I’m a little slow tonight lol!). Anyway, this lack of lending ensures more copies will be purchased, so yeah, again, it seems like making it a few bucks cheaper would not only be ideal, but also get more profit in the long run.

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  6. Would it not be a way for publisher’s to maintain a level of income and revenue by pricing both e-books and printed fairly the same? Think about it, if the option is there to buy a book at half the price wouldn’t you go for it? I suspect it’s a safe-guard to prevent huge amounts of money-loss. And, you know…greed.

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