ARC being ‘Advance Reader Copy’ and ‘A Call to Arms‘ being David Weber’s latest Honorverse novel (Manticore Ascendant series). Alas, Baen Publishing still doesn’t think that I’m worth buttering up with free books, so I had to shell out fifteen bucks for a before-it’s-published. Heh. ‘Had.’ As if I didn’t cheerfully drop the cash to read the books months before it came out in print. Baen’s probably being smart in not sending me free books…
…which, truth be told, I’m reading despite the fact that Fire Season (The Star Kingdom) is Young Adult: it’s perfectly well-written, but I’m not entirely convinced that science fiction YA is the way to go to hook new readers. When I was a teenager I was reading the hard stuff… still, it’s part of David Weber’s Honorverse, so there you go.
More interesting, in its way, is that it looks like Baen Books‘ new arrangement with Amazon works out to: ten bucks for ‘hardcover;’ seven bucks for ‘softcover;’ and no change in ARC availability/price. Obviously, I’m going to miss the old six/four buck model; but this looks sustainable, and it’s still a good deal more reasonable than the other publishers’ God-we-hate-ebooks-and-want-them-to-die-in-a-grease-fire pricing model. Which may change, if Amazon can show them numbers showing the advantages of pricing your e-books to reflect the fact that you don’t have to actually print them out to sell them.
Or any other e-book reader, really. It’s not the fault of the Kindle itself, but rather how some publishers are handling it.
Goes like this: I read recently an article about James M Cain that made me say, Hmm. I’ve never actually read him, and this guy thinks that a couple of his books are downright amazing. True, it’s the Atlantic saying that, but Hollywood made movies out of said books that are supposed to be really good, back when Hollywood wasn’t filtering everything for ideological bias.
So I decided to go look up The Postman Always Rings Twice on Kindle… and it’s ten bucks. Well. That’s… pretty expensive for the format, really. What are my alternatives? Well, see for yourselves:
So. Ten bucks is too much for the text of a commonly-available-in-libraries book, even if it is instant access. And almost six bucks ($1.63 for the cheapest paperback option, plus $3.99 for shipping) is too much for a takes-up-physical-space version of the same book sent to me three or four days from now, considering that I’m a little sensitized to costs after seeing the too-high Kindle price. If the Kindle book had been five bucks, or even six, I’d have bought it already and be reading it right now instead of writing this post. Instead, I’ve decided that it’s easier just to wait until the next time I’m at the library.
Continue reading The trouble with Kindles.