Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Are Publishers Insane?

I love reading books. My house is littered with thousands of them. And to me the Kindle is a godsend in that I can have, in my hand, thousands of books and read whatever I feel like whenever and wherever I want. I can travel with the Kindle and ensure that if I’m not in the mood for a given book in a second or two I can start in on another. It’s made packing for a trip that much easier: just pack the Kindle and have all my books.

Yet publishers, well some publishers, seem to hate the Kindle. I’ve seen books I’ve been interested in buying priced at or above! the price of the Kindle version by publishers. What the hell is going through their brains? If the hardcover is $18.70 why is the Kindle version $18.67?

What this has done to me is that I simply will not buy books from any publisher that does that. I will buy from those that price the Kindle version fairly from $3 – 13, depending on a variety of factors that I can live with. But I won’t buy an electronic copy of a book for the price I can have a hard copy for. And I won’t buy the hard copy so as to justify the asinine price structure the publisher is pushing. In other words, I will boycott those publishers. And if I truly want to read the book I’ll borrow it from the library. I want to enjoy the convenience electronic books offer, not be shafted.

The only outcome I see from this type of stupid pricing structure is to push more authors towards self-publishing via Amazon. And they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

And don’t get me started on DRM, which is another issue entirely and another one that publishers are stupidly foisting upon us readers thereby creating the very monopoly they’re now bitching about with Amazon and the Kindle. It’s not Amazon’s fault that publishers demanded DRM on the books. The fact Amazon is the biggest purveyor of books meant they’d sell the most electronic copies. Ipso facto that means that Amazon would slowly get a near-lock/near-monopoly on electronic versions.By ensuring a Kindle version of a book can only be read on Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle apps the publishers created the very thing they most feared. Brilliant.

So, I ask, are publishers insane? Or merely stupid?

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March 2012
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