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[ NNSquad ] Re: eBooks are not worth the paper they aren't printed on
A while back I did a series of postings on the topic of Common Misconceptions About Publishing.
Here they are:
The iPad once again has brought the issue of eBooks to the fore.
Iâve been following the pricing battle. The idea of eBooks is wonderful but DRM, Digital Rights Management, makes it difficult to pretend that the DRMed eBooks are just like their printed cousins. The attempt to price those eBooks at the same price as printed books is fundamentally wrong. These eBooks are typically worth substantially less than the printed books because DRM is far more onerous than the limitations imposed by paper as a token of ownership.
I can only view the eBooks on a limited number of devices. I can try to game the system by treating my family as a group but that has its own problems. No sharing, trading, and with most readers I canât even copy the text to a clipboard.
If we had rational pricing then DRM should knock most of the value off the book. Of course things are more complicated because some books work as transient âreadsâ and should be priced as a read. Others are more archival and lose value if they canât be shared. And some indeed work as personal active documents whose value on a device is more than it would be in a printed form.
Rather than trying to carry an old business model forward we need to recognize that an eBook is a new creature and that DRM should one of the factors in determining, limiting, the price.
Once we get past the attempt to bring the old model forward we can create a variety of new âbooksâ. Some would be subscriptions with updates. Others would be more like apps and some would become family heirlooms.