More discussion on e-books

There’s a post over at the Mad Genius Club – writers division on e-books. Apparently Penguin have entered into an agreement with Amazon. But the pricing structure of their e-books doesn’t appear to make sense. Why pay more for some e-books than you do for the paperback?

One commenter sums it up succinctly:

For Baen e-books, they have apparently set their price point a little below their currently available hardcopy. This is exactly what I see as reasonable. The truth is that there is a loss of tactual enjoyment by reading e-books. You lose the colorful cover. You lose the non-volatile storage format (excepting things like fire and water). You end up with weird layout bugaboos and editing glitches from the combined effects of data-format transfer and whatever point in time the manuscript was ported over during the production process.

What you gain? Well, the books are readable if not necessarily as friendly or professionally laid out. You get more shelf-space. The ability to have multiple “books” in one device. Library portability. And the recurring need to recharge your reader.

I recently spent 9 days on a driving holiday in Tassie. I took my laptop to write on. I would have taken some books to read but I tend to read big fat fantasy books and they take up so much room and are so heavy … A small, user friendly e-reader would have been great. I could have had my pick of books, depending on my mood. (I know I could have taken e-books on my lap top but it is a baby lap top and the screen is the size of a postage stamp. Trying to read on that, after writing on it would have driven me crazy).

One thing about belonging to a shared blog with US citizens is it makes you realise how cheap ordinary books are over in the states They talk about paying $10 for a paperback. Here we pay $19.95 and think that is reasonable. (I’m not going to get into the discussion about Parallel Importation because we would only end up with the remaindered books from overseas and it would kill our publishing industry).

Does the price of paperback and hardcovers in Australia inhibit your purchasing of books?

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