…speech code hypocrites to note that there’s a looming lawsuit against Apple and various members of the publishing industry over the price of e-books. This recent op-ed by Authors’ Guild president Scott Turow argues that the current system is somehow better for the consumer, despite the fact that people are paying above market value for electronic versions of most books* and Amazon.com is currently the epicenter of a self-publishing boom.
It’s a very poignant op-ed, written by a leader of an important segment of the
buggy whip book industry. But let me tell you this: thanks to the Kindle – and a dedicated, handheld electronic text reader is something that people have been trying to get for decades – I probably read more books, and try out more authors, and generally get the impression that it’s now easier for me to write and get paid for a book, should I ever have the time and energy to do it. Simply put: whether you like it or not – and the publishing industry will not – taking a couple of bucks off the price of a hardcover and making it the price for an e-book will not fly. They can either accept that, or they can keep pretending that it’s 1895.
Guess which one will be more expensive in the long run?
*Not all: some companies out there are experimenting with systems that offer books at significant discounts in electronic form, or providing advanced reader copies of to be published books, or bundling entire series, or anything else that might transfer funds from the buyer to the seller.
PS: Amazon.com Associate for Maryland. So I have a slight financial incentive to keeping Amazon around.