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Last post Author Topic: Let's face it: the ebook market is FUBAR, thanks to pure greed  (Read 31814 times)


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Re: Let's face it: the ebook market is FUBAR, thanks to pure greed
« Reply #75 on: March 30, 2011, 04:19 AM »
One thing that can be done is supporting the publishers who try to do ebooks right.

One example that works out as "right" for  me is Baen
- a whole bunch of ebooks for free
- ebooks are paperback price from the beginning
- no DRM, you can redownload
- multiple formats

now clearly this covers mostly fictions of a small set of genres (although there are some allied publishers on there) and the store hasnt changed much since it was launched, way long ago. But I can live with ebooks like that especially when I realise that I cannot travel with enough books in normal format :)


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Re: Let's face it: the ebook market is FUBAR, thanks to pure greed
« Reply #76 on: March 30, 2011, 07:17 AM »
How is it possible for the "mash a tree up into pulp and dehydrate it and put ink on it and glue it together" version to cost less than the "ones and zeros" version which can be duplicated almost infinitely, almost instantaneously, and at almost no extra cost?

I realise no-one wants to hear this argument, but I'll repeat it anyway: books are different from music. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the cost of printing and shipping books accounts for 12-13 per cent of the shop price on average (a long-established cost pattern, not something recently concocted by publishers).

And as I said in a separate post, in the UK, ebooks attract 20 per cent sales tax, whereas printed books are tax free. Therefore, logically, ebooks should all be more expensive in the UK than printed books. But they're not.

I do think publishers are terrified by the ebook market and its implications, and they are making some bad decisions (e.g. the agency agreement, which can't last long as it's essentially price-fixing). But I don't think current UK ebook prices suggest we are being ripped off.

There are certainly examples of bizarre price anomalies, but that is down to the agency agreement which some publishers have implemented, so the Amazons of this world cannot discount ebooks, but continue to discount printed books. In the EU at least, the agency agreements are likely to be ripped up sooner rather than later by the lawmakers.

If EU book buyers want to get angry about something, I suggest they get angry about the fact that sales tax is applied to ebooks.


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Re: Let's face it: the ebook market is FUBAR, thanks to pure greed
« Reply #77 on: March 30, 2011, 07:52 AM »
One example that works out as "right" for  me is Baen

Completely agree. I'm gradually becoming a fan of military sci-fi on my iPhone largely because of Baen's reasonable approach to selling ebooks.

Baen also demonstrates a "human" side to their business model with a policy of providing free e-books to people with severe physical disabilities.

Baen Books (, a publisher of science fiction, will provide its books to fans who are blind, paralysed, or dyslexic, or are amputees, in electronic form free of charge, effective immediately.

Baen Books is making this offer in recognition of Veterans Day, and all our disabled military veterans. Many Baen authors are veterans themselves, using a military setting as the setting of their tales. Right now convalescing vets might welcome an exciting, fast-action tale to pass the time.

Jim Baen, founder of Baen Books, who passed on June 28, 2006, decided to "provide each challenged reader with a permanent pass" to the regular e-publication of Baen’s new books. His successor, publisher Toni Weisskopf, is implementing his idea with this program.

Since 1999, Baen has published its new books as ebooks each month, in several formats, with no Digital Rights Management, through WebScriptions (, for a small fee. Now, this service will be available at no cost to the disabled, who must apply for this privilege.

Applications will be processed by ReadAssist (, a volunteer group devoted to helping disabled readers find the books they want in the form they need, and join the community of fandom. The application form has been set up by ReadAssist, and can be found through either WebScriptions or ReadAssist.

If you'd like to volunteer to help ReadAssist, please contact them at their website: [email protected]

As iphigenie pointed out, Baen 'gets it.' :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 07:55 AM by 40hz »