Thoughts On Amazon, Apple and E-Books

April 12, 2012

If you had been a e-book reader, didn’t it really rub you the wrong way when you saw the price of e-books rise to the same cost as hardcovers? It sure as hell grated me. Wasn’t it cheaper to produce a digital book than its paper counterpart? And wasn’t distribution, catalog availabililty and storage issues now less expensive?

Well apparently this happened because Apple got serious about digital book distribution and was giving the publishers a more comfortable payment model than the competition, Amazon. Learning about the Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple and the major publishers was a surprise to me and then again, it wasn’t. Read the rest of this entry »


Thoughts on Recent Publishing News

March 27, 2011

The New York Times announced their pricing model last week, to take place at month’s end. I have no issues with their minimum free content, 15.00 and 20.00 per four weeks (not monthly) subscriptions and am glad that they won’t be making an effort to prevent Twitter and Facebook from linking to their content.

Regarding the book publishing industry — Did we really expect that the major publishing houses would price their electronic books at a minimal discount from their paper counterparts? Other than major bestsellers, Kindle savings are minor. Let’s see if we have to pay sales taxes on digital downloads!

I’m as disappointed as I am glad that a federal judge denied Google’s plan to digitize every book ever published. There will be time to come up with a settlement. No one should be in a hurry to have Google become the world’s bookstore.. .

Publishers Get Greedy With Digital

October 5, 2010

An ebook actually costing more than its paper counterpart? Hey, it’s less than one dollar, but the ebook versions of new Ken Follett and James Patterson titles are selling at a higher price than the hardcover editions. Come on! Although, I suppose we thought this would occur sooner or later.

Technology Spoils Us All

June 22, 2010

In a November, 2007 Wall Street Journal article on e-book readers, I complained that despite the attraction and dazzle of Amazon’s Kindle, the price would have to come down from its then $399.00 cost.

At the time, I never would have guessed, that by June 2010, the Kindle would sell for $189.00!

Of course its natural that with success comes competition, so it’s inevitable that price reductions follow. But who could have predicted the advances in technology which have now created the iPad? With its swiss-army knife array of features, including a dazzling color display, web, video and app capabilities, oh and an ebook reader and store, the iPad has quickly dated the Kindle and its brethren.

The first generaton iPad costs $100.00 more than the first generation Kindle. Should I bother waiting for a price decrease? Technology spoils us all.

Gutenberg Is So Retro!

June 2, 2010

Great NYT Opinion piece comparing the virtues of good, old fashioned books to their colder, digital brethren.

The Publishing Tortoise and the Technology Hare

April 26, 2010

For a long time, I have been critical of the book publishing industry’s procrastination in accepting the web as a sales, marketing and distribution force. It was almost as if publishers believed that the internet was some fad that was going to go away and that people would always want to read their books printed on paper. In light of the financial losses that the music, newspaper and motion picture industries were dealing with due to digital conversion of content, the book publishers’ apprehension was somewhat understandable, yet also frustrating in that they seemed to be avoiding the obvious and needed to develop their own digital content strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

How Much Less Should E-Books Be Priced?

March 1, 2010

With the publishing companies alarmed that e-books are not being priced high enough, this New York Times piece sets it straight on costs and profits for paper and digital tomes.