Dear ebook retailers (an open letter type rant)

EBooks. One of the most wonderful things to come out since sliced bread. No longer must I lug an extra bag for my books on vacation. I have instant access to a large library of books that I own. If nothing in my library suits me at the moment, I can always buy something new. It’s wonderful! I love eBooks. Really.

I personally own the B&N nook because of the one simple idea that I can go into a physical store and read for an hour a day for free. Sometimes this means I can get a shorter book done in one sitting (no, I’m not kidding). This feature alone made me pick up the nook over the kindle. It helps that there is store about a mile from my house.

I said that this was going to be a rant and it is. I just wanted to be fair before I ripped them a new one. I have one very big issue with eBooks and eBook retailers. I’m sure if you use eBooks at all you’ve discovered this one as well. When the cost of an eBook is more than the price of a real book without all the cost of production behind it! I’m tired of seeing eBooks for 12.99, 14.99 or even 24.99 each! I wouldn’t pay that for a book period, let alone one that I don’t physically own. What is going to happen when these companies go out of business or change hands or the technology becomes obsolete? Are we all going to get physical copies of these digital books? Of course not! Is there going to be some kind a refund for the fact that we no longer have access to them? Nope. Ebooks have become the long-term library where we don’t know the due date and we have to pay for the books.

Personally, I have no problem paying 4.99 or less for an eBook. However, if I really want to read something there is this amazing free resource called the library where you can borrow eBooks for free or get physical books for an extended period of time for free. Then if you must have a book in your library you can buy a physical copy of it from the same place that is selling those eBooks, often for much much less.

My current policy has become that I will buy the book or eBook depending on whichever is cheaper if I must own a book. There are a few essentials in my library that I own both a physical and electronic copy of simply for the convenience factor.

I love how convenient eBooks make a reader’s life but I hate the cost connected with them. While I feel like authors should get paid for their hard work and the retailers should make money, I don’t think that the cost of an eBook should be similar to the cost of a physical copy. You know what I would love to see? I would love to see what the movies have done with ultraviolet. You get a digital copy along with your purchase of a physical copy.  Maybe eBooks should work the same way. Only new books are entitled to the download, used books would lose that privilege.

Something needs to change but until the industry realizes there is a problem, I have a feeling we are going to deal with the ‘it’s not broke so don’t fix it’ issue.

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1 Comment

Filed under Book Worm Rant

One response to “Dear ebook retailers (an open letter type rant)

  1. I agree. E-books cost nothing to distribute and yet they cost the same as real books. Which is why I don’t BUY ebooks unless I absolutely need it right now. I’ve bought exactly…3 ebooks, and 2 of them only because they were short stories by Stephen King that were only released as ebooks. (The other one was The Passage, by Justin Cronin, which I wanted right away.)

    The only other ebooks I have on my iPad are free classics that are in the public domain and the free galleys I get from NetGalley. I try not to spend lots of money on books, but occasionally I’ll splurge. (Or I’ll get a gift card or something.) I also love ordering from Amazon, going to used bookstores, and checking out library book sales. I once got a book for only 25 cents at a library sale! (The book wasn’t great, but it was okay because I only paid a quarter for it.)

    Anyway…long story short, you’re 100% right.

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