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.