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whatever happens

April 2017

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whatever happens

Maybe someone on my flist can explain to me - why are ebooks so expensive?

I'm not talking about the ebooks in small publisher places, like my own, where they run about $5. (I actually consider that a little high, even, but then, they are small places where they have little stock with which to make their profits, no best sellers, and few really decent writers in the first place.) No, I'm talking about the bigger places, where they run the same prices as hardcover books. WTF? How do they figure that? The overhead is lower - they have no costs for paper or binding, shipping, remainders, brick and mortar stores, and sellers. They only have the price of the royalties plus a website and commercial software. And let me tell you, the royalties ain't that much. I wasn't surprised by the high cost of audiobooks, as you have to pay someone to read it, and have sound booths and editors to pay as well. But converting text to ebooks is, like, nothing. I do it myself with my own books on my poor old PC. So I think there is gouging going on here.

With good ereaders on the market now, I was hoping for a nice upsurge in ebooks, but with the costs so prohibitive, that's not to be. I'm a fairly average "heavy reader", I think, and I gobble up books in any format - not just ebooks, but audiobooks and traditional books as well. I love the feel of a book in my hands, but I really only want to read it. And my ereader travels with me easily, wherever I go, lighter, thinner, and only slightly larger than the average paperback, carrying dozens of my books on it. I love it. I want to buy books for it. But if I'm going to pay $15-$25 for a book, I can't afford them.

OK, bitching over.


And when massive amounts of my reading come from the free pile at the public library and from trade credit at the used book store, 'cause I'm so broke...? Well, somehow I don't see ebooks ending up in either place.

The ebook reader that Amazon and that Borders had sounded cool -- and then I saw the price... $200?? WTF??!? If I had a spare $200 setting around I would use it to fix my car engine, which has been flashing the "check engine light" for awhile now, and which intermittently sputters. Or to pay back the $200 that I owe my brother for fixing the brakes on the same said car.

$200 and then another $20 per book? I rarely can afford the $20 for hardcover and even wince at the price of mass market paperbacks anymore.

In the meantime, I'd try Project Gutenburg or check and see if your local public library is a member of NetLibrary which would let you get an account with them and read their ebooks.
What? Seriously?
See when I first heard about the kindle thing, I though it sounded awesome, I figured ebooks would be cheap, sort of like itunes or something, you know a couple bucks per book right?
Wow, but 15-20 bucks?? Geez that sounds like such a ripoff. You might as well just buy a real book!
And then totally accidentally I run into a news story about free book downloads for Kindle -- see:


This is my second serendipitous blog find of the day... Must be something in the stars....
From someone else on my f-list (why does that always sound off-color to me?) who just got a Sony reader, a link to a blog(?) about various readers and ebooks, and related info...


There might be something in there now and then that would be helpful....
Can your new ereader read PDF? I ask because Powells has a free download of the PDF for something called "The Alchemyst" at http://www.powells.com/biblio/9780385736008?utm_source=sections&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=subject_Childrens_20090501&utm_content=download%20a%20free%20copy&j=20047235&e=bjmccormack@yahoo.com&l=4831095_HTML&u=166153525&mid=48972&jb=0 -- hopefully that link will work? Otherwise maybe I can download it and send it if you want it?

I think it's officially a young adult book, but the reviews say people who like Harry Potter may enjoy it...
It doesn't read PDFs very well, but it does read them! Thanks! The book looks like it'll be a great one, and I downloaded it already.

As for "young adult" - what they're calling YA these days is rather mature for what I always considered YA. I'm reading the Libba Bray trilogy now, and that's called YA, but there are things in there I would NOT want my 13 year old kid to read (if I had a kid).