E-Book Pricing- Assignment 3

We all know why everyone loves E-readers. It’s their convenience, compactness.and environmentally friendly nature.The text of an E-book can even be searched for specific words or quotes, which could be good for homework or for when someone wants to go back and look at something, but doesn’t know what page it’s on. In a digital age like today, I feel as though reading on a Kindle or Nook might encourage someone who doesn’t read very often to read a little more, since it may be a little more fun to use.

I also understand why not everyone is completely thrilled with E-readers. The page sizes are small, so the pages have to be turned more often. With an E-book, one misses out on that new book smell. Another thing that bothers some people is the fact that on earlier E-reader devices, the cover art isn’t visible, or is in black and white. Image

This picture gives you a sense of what you may be missing out on if you are reading from a black and white E-reader. Vibrant colors.

Some E-reader have a low battery life. These may be the only negative aspects that we consider when reading on an E-reader.

It is said that Apple is being accused of price-fixing on digital books.The company has apparently been fighting antitrust accusations for some time now. Apple, along with five major publishing companies came together to fix the prices of eBooks, in attempts to combat Amazon’s success.The low eBook prices from Amazon is causing Apple to lose more eBook sales, therefore Apple sees Amazon as a threat. Like Apple is hurting for money. That’s nonsense.  Apple, in this suit, is saying that the U.S. government is against competition. According to Pcmag.com’s author, John C. Dvorak, “Three partners in the scheme—Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster—make Apple’s position weaker because they have agreed with government and settled. Macmillan and Pearson are still trying to figure out what to do.”  The Wall Street journal claims that Apple, along with its accomplices, raised the prices on many eBooks and the five major publishers tried to push the idea on Amazon. People spent tens of millions of dollars more on E-books after this price increase. According to Wall Street Journal, “The government’s suit describes the shift from traditional wholesale pricing—where retailers set the price of both digital and physical books—to a so-called agency model that has publishers setting e-book prices and retailers paid by commission. ” These publishers thought that they could get away with forcing these prices on Amazon, but if Amazon were not to go for the idea, they could be dropped from Amazon and miss out on sales. It was also pretty obvious to the government that these companies had done wrong, just by the way they put so much effort into covering their tracks.

Popular Authors, like Jodi Picoult, say that eBooks can cut an Author’s income down by thirty percent. This could be a  result of price fixing on eBooks. Companies selling eBooks are promising us low prices at the cost of the Authors’ salary. It’s sad because eBooks are so popular now that if an Author wasn’t selling a digital version of their book, they would be even worse off. This is very similar to what Wall-mart is doing. Companies are forced to sell their products at a much lower cost, because Wall-mart is such a major seller, that they would actually lose money if they didn’t use Wall-mart as a platform to sell their products..Authors end up making less money when an eBook is downloaded than when a paperback copy is bought. Jodi is one of many Authors who are trying to get people back into the printed book, so that authors can actually make a decent living again.

None of these things occurred to me when I got my kindle. I thought that people would be spending more money on books with the popularity of e-readers, making Authors more money. It turns out to be the opposite of what I originally thought. I want to be an author some day, so the idea of this scares me. Maybe the fact that eBooks aren’t using up paper or ink makes them cheaper to make. I feel as though only the amount saved in the eBook publishing process should reflect in the prices. Major eBook sellers are however selling these books at such a cheap price that Authors are losing out on money. It doesn’t make any sense to me. These books are worth the same amount in digital or printed form ! The author put just as much time and effort into each book, no matter how it is distributed.

I love my kindle, but reading up on the subject makes me feel as though I’m stealing from the authors. I wish it weren’t that way. This really gives me something to think about.

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We are getting books quicker and cheaper, but at the Author’s expense.

 

Information on this subject was gathered from these sites:

Wall Street Journal Online

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404884,00.asp

http://sellyourstoryuk.com/2012/02/05/are-ebooks-losing-authors-money/

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2 thoughts on “E-Book Pricing- Assignment 3

  1. I totally agree with this post. A while back I purchased an e-book for iPad and I was content with it for only three days. Not very often to I purchase credit for iTunes so I purchased the free app. I believe the full version was $14.99? Overpricing e-books is ridiculous especially in our current economy. Everyone’s out to make a profit. As for the digital book, it wasn’t user-friendly. I remember having the paperback vs. e-book discussion in class this past semester and I’m one of those readers who like the smell of a brand new book.

  2. Though I can’t agree and disagree with the price-fixing. I can say when I buy books for my Nook, I find myself not purchasing them if they are more than $10. I know it’s based on the popularity of the book, but if you want people to buy your book, don’t set the bar so high.

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