Shryke, on 02 March 2012 - 11:06 AM, said:
Why is it an absurd price?
This whole issue seems to revolve around this weird idea that ebooks are worth way less, despite the cost of making one not being much cheaper.
Did you read what I wrote? Ebooks cannot be resold, I cannot lend them out (unless I own a Nook and so does my friend), and I have DRM preventing me from opening it in any software I choose. All of that reduces the value of the ebook for ME, the customer. Did the author and the publisher spend nearly as much to create an ebook as a physical book? Sure. But till they invent a physical book that sticks to you, can only be opened inside the store you bought it from and is illegal to resell or lend out, you can't charge me more for an ebook that does less for me.
Mr. E, on 02 March 2012 - 12:09 PM, said:
But I can just imagine a paradigm where every lame, derviative, and deluded novel on every USB drive in every office of America could suddenly be published online at the same time, with no publisher to edit it, format it correctly, weed out the less quality cases...:shivers:
So maybe there are more books than ever, but I would argue more stingently that there just might be less good books.
That's ridiculous. Nothing like that happened to the music industry with the arrival of youtube. Are there appalling music videos from random teenagers out there? Yes, but there's also tons of cool innovative stuff, some of which would never have seen the light of day if the music labels were still ruling the roost as they did on their heyday.
The same happened when blogs and internet news sites challenged traditional news sources. For every shitty blog with biased info, you have one that exposes stories that no mainstream media source will look at twice. And with the internet, you have the power to weed out the crap from the good.
What ebooks will do its give the reader more choice. Suddenly, your reading choices are not confined to what a few people think is worthy of publishing. You get to decide for yourself.
And ebook stores have the additional advantage that they don't have to worry about physical space or losses incurred by ordering too many copies of a non-formulaic book. When I enter one, I won't be confronted with 50 copies of a crappy bestseller, when the book that I actually should be reading is a single copy hidden behind a discount stand of NYT bestsellers. It would mean publishers can take bigger risks with the novels they publish since they won't be confronted with retailers refusing to preorder risky titles.
And I find it absurd that people think the presence of ebooks means no one will use editing, graphic design and text formatting!
Take the software Caliber, for example. I can take a word file or a pdf of my work, and convert it into a very well formatted epub or mobi file with complete control over everything from line spacing to paragraph indentation to spacing between chapters. And the software is free and constantly updated.
Then there's Apple's new e-textbook writing app. How long before something like that comes up for novels, so writers, editors and designers can collaborate over the internet and create great books?
And that could mean massive changes to the publishing industry. Maybe instead of publishers, you have editors co-ops, designer co-ops and so on. How do prospective authors pay them? With Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing allowing you to get as much as 70% of sales in royalties, authors can trade a percentage of that, perhaps. Or better yet, use Kickstarter. Get your funding from future readers, pay the guys who'll make your books better, then reap richer rewards than you currently can.
To be sure, this is just one, highly optimistic, model that could replace the current model. Not every author can succeed this way. But the beauty of ebook publishing can be that there are multiple ways to get your work published and make decent profits.
The more choice there is, the less constraint economics will place on literature as an art form. And for that to happen the current, middlemen filled, publishing model has to die.
Edited by fionwe1987, 02 March 2012 - 05:03 PM.