Wednesday, April 08, 2009

WLW: Progress is measured...

in inches, literally. :) I gained...I'm losing again - almost back to my 45 pound loss. It just amazes me how quickly I can get derailed. My knee has been acting up because my schedule is crazy and I haven't been going to the pool. Big No No for me. So I've been sitting with my leg up and the ice packs and the bandages...and breathing puts pounds on me.
So I've been watching what I eat and forcing myself to move around no matter how much it hurts. I've reclaimed 3 of my lost pounds and 1.6 more gets me back to my 45.
Ugh, haven't I been here before?

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Price of eBooks

There's been a lot of talk lately about the cost of ebooks versus their print prices. To most of us, it only makes sense that the ebook should cost less, quite a bit less than the print counterpart.


1) Lack of printing costs
2) Lack of warehousing fees
3) Lack of distribution fees (mailing, shipping etc)

This is quite a big chunk of change when you look at the price of an individual title. Ingram (the biggest book distributor in the US) demands 55% of the cover price up front. Currently they aren't in the digital market but they're working on it and I'm sure they'll suck up 55% of that too...though for what I'm not entirely sure.

Anywho - there are some costs associated with ebooks that don't come into play with the print versions.

1) DRM - gotta pay for that technology...which hackers can break faster than the legit guys can dream it up
2) Delivery - there has to be a delivery back-end needed to deliver the ebooks to the buyer

The print version's costs versus the ebook's doesn't add up. Here is the reality of ebooks - once the file is edited and sent off to the printer you are only one step away from an ebook. All that is left is to format it to the specs required by .pdf, .epub, .prc designers and toss in the DRM and voila - you have an ebook ready to be sold.

Yes, that is a bit of a simplification but the basic information is there. In order to create the four 'standard' takes less than 20 minutes apiece and you end up with a product that could conceivably be available for sale until the end of time.

So let's look at a Kindle title, No Rest For The Wicked by Kresley Cole. On Amazon the paperback price is...7.99. Guess what the Kindle price is...7.99. What are they thinking? Where is the enticement to buy the ebook?

There isn't one.

I already have the a Prime account that I pay 79.00 a year for so I have free shipping on whatever I buy (yes, I place that many orders!) it would make no sense for me to buy the ebook. Why?

1) no discount for the fact that the overhead is less than half for the ebook as it is the print
2) I have nothing to show for it. eBooks can't be resold but if I buy the print one, I can get a few dollars out of it at the used bookstore.
3) I already paid 359.00 (no shipping though! ) for the Kindle so there's no way I would pay full price for the paperback - a discount should be automatic if you want me to buy your hardware...which you're making money off of anyway. Make a decision, make money off the device or the book but not both - unkewl.
4) I can buy the same 7.99 for roughly 6.00 at my local Target, WalMart etc.

The Cole title came out in 2006 while J.R. Ward's Lover Eternal (also 7.99) came out in 2006 and the Kindle price is...6.39. Not great in my opinion but more managable.

And the best one of all...Jim Butcher's Small Favor is a 9.99 paperback...and the Kindle version was 11.99 (it has been repriced to 7.99). No one will ever be able to make a rational explanation to me as to why this should be okay.

My response? Buy ebooks from the smaller presses - the prices are better and if you buy from a good-quality, reputable press - the books are excellent too.