“Stop saying that!”


Andrew Wheeler discusses the pricing of e-books, especially the widely-held contention that they should cost less than ink-and-paper books because they cost so little to create.

As Wheeler points out, creating the file is a lot more complex than “Print to PDF” or a quick bit of copy pasta. It’s also not free to store or sell after the file has been created.

As an additional datapoint, someone on my LJ friends list (not named here because it’s a locked post) linked to this news report about the launch of Amazon.com’s Kindle in the UK market. Is that a good thing? Maybe not for authors, since breaking down the various rights for different markets into “World English” reduces the money writers get. (For the record, I sold world english rights when I signed my contract). Also Amazon.com has worked hard to force huge discounts from publishers, which limits my payments (assuming I earn out).

At which point I say “Hrm.” In the years leading up to my sale, I tried to learn as much as I could about publishing, but I skimped on ebooks. I don’t read them and I know sales are still quite small, despite the noise people make about them. Plus, every time you scan a discussion of electronic texts, somebody starts waving the skull and crossbones, and I’m not interested is chewing that meal for the thousandth time.

Always something new to learn.