The High Cost of E-Books: I came across a fun article (with a long title) in the online edition of the Christian Science Monitor. The article is titled Why do e-books cost so much? E-books don’t involve costs like paper, labor, and shipping, so why do they often cost more than their paperback counterparts? Here’s the answer, and why e-book prices may be falling in the future.
And wow what a long title! The article discusses the reasons why e-books often more expensive than their paperback counterparts. And in a nutshell what is going is that our quickly advancing technology is transforming the world of publishing and books and in an era when self published authors can keep 70% of the gross profits of their works most publishers are operating on an outdated business model. And that outdated model has them keeping 60-70% of the money coming in from each e-book sold just as they would with a printed book. The publishers expect to receive that amount of money from each e-book sale because in the print book business, traditionally publishing companies have been responsible for having books printed, stored and sold.
Additionally, in the past publishers were used to keeping control of the books they published and promoting them through established distribution channels and they could pretty much dictation to authors what they could publish and how much they could receive for the books they publish via those big publishers. And today we’re at the dawn of the e-book era and all that is changing. If you’re an author you can self publisher your works through online book vendors like Amazon, price your new e-book at $2.99 per e-book and keep 70% of the proceeds of each sale. Now $2.99 may not sound like a lot of money; however, consider the fact that 70% of $2.99 is $2.09 and if you multiply that by 50,000 e-book sales you get $104, 500 dollars! And with that in mind you can see why self published authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke (both of whom have sold more than 1 million books via Amazon’s Kindle Store) can indeed make money without going through print publishers and why, inevitably, those same publishers must change they way the do business and the amount they charge for e-books if they want to stay in the e-book selling game for the long haul.
The author Stacy Johnson’s response to publishers saying they need to keep 60-70% of the profits of e-book sales because e-books cost them as much to produce as hardcover books is summed up in one colorful word and fun word: “Hogwash.” And I don’t think I can improve upon that statement! (Although I could get up on my soap box and talk all day about the lack of ownership of digital content issue but I’ll spare everyone today and refrain!)
Johnson also notes of the tremendous changes going on in the book and publishing industry – how fast the new e-book world has emerged by noting that three years ago the old publishing industry business model was the norm and if you wanted to get a book published you really had to work with publishers via the previously mentioned traditional business model used for selling print books – and today all that is changing. She specifically says: “A short three years later, however, the landscape has changed. The publishing industry – the gatekeeper between writers and readers – is collapsing under its own weight. I no longer need to surrender up to 90 percent of the price of a book to the publisher. Today I can self-publish an e-book, put it on Amazon, spread the word on the Web, and price it however I like.”
You can read the full article by clicking on the following link:
iOS 6.1 Released: Today Apple has released iOS 6.1 the latest software upgrade for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The upgrade features a few new bells and whistles including the ability to use Siri to buy movie tickets, the ability of Match subscribers to download single songs from the cloud and greater LTE coverage for those with 4 G devices.
Here’s a link to a Gigaom article on the subject aptly titled Apple Updates iOS 6 With New Siri, iTunes Match and LTE Coverage
Tech Programs @ The Library This Week: This week we are offering a “Photos & Computers” program on Wednesday. This program is part of our weekly Wednesday One Hour Tech series and offers a basic introduction to getting photos from your digital camera to your computer, modifying those photos and saving them.
Photos & Computers is being held Wednesday from 2 – 3 PM. Registration is required. To register please call us at: 607-936-3713 ext. 502.
And of course this week as always – we offer free one-on-one tech assistance sessions by appointment. So if you just purchased a new PC, Mac, iPad, Kindle Fire or e-reader and have questions about how to use it – please feel free to call us and make an appointment for a one-on-one session! Just call the Reference Desk at 936-3713 ext. 502.
Have a great day!
Johnson, Stacy. (2013, January 12). Why do e-books cost so much? E-books don’t involve costs like paper, labor, and shipping, so why do they often cost more than their paperback counterparts? Here’s the answer, and why e-book prices may be falling in the future. Christian Science Monitor. Online.
Ong, Erica. (2013, January 28). Apple updates iOS 6 with new Siri, iTunes Match features and more LTE coverage. Gigaom. Online.