Used to be that Microsoft was the bugbear of all right-thinking Web users and little Apple the oh, so righteous darling. Well, when it comes to ebooks, Apple is no longer little and certainly not righteous.
Comes a lawsuit that’s been long overdue, arguing that Apple is colluding with traditional publishers (HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster) to keep ebook prices artificially high. It’s been quite noticeable for a long time now at Amazon, when a paperback sells for $8 or $9 and an ebook for $16. Time to take a big righteous bite out of the wormy Apple.
Via Kindle Review.
Borders, it seems, is on the financial ropes. Stuck with stock it can’t unload and, so far, uncompetitive on ebooks. Will they be missed? Says Megan McArdle, not much:
“In the good old days of local bookstores, I frequently went without books that I knew I wanted, because it was such a pain in the butt to order them. Now if I know I want to read a book, I can do so in short order. Ultimately, this is a bigger boon than the occasional undiscovered gem–particularly since there are still libraries.”
Like me, she prefers the almost-instant Internet acquisition of a book you know you want via something like the Kindle, something no bookstore can match. Yet. If they want to survive, they’d better figure out how to beat Amazon at its game.
Via Instapundit, who notes that employee lefty politics may also be involved at Borders.
I don’t know why nine folks decided on Veterans Day to buy a Kindle copy of my 2006 short story collection Leaving The Alamo, Texas Stories After Vietnam, but I’m grateful. Certainly was an appropriate time to do it. That makes eleven of them sold in the past six weeks.
Meanwhile three Kindle copies of my 2010 novel Knoxville 1863 have been sold in the past two weeks, making seven altogether in the aforementioned six week period. I attribute that to the success of my blog about the novel. Paperback sales? Far behind. I do believe ebooks are the future. Cheaper, easier to buy, quicker to receive.
I read many more books than I review, on Amazon and in the pages of the Scribbler, and lately that’s become the norm. I keep reading, but I keep being disappointed. And it’s not just the Indie, DIY novels, but the Big Publisher ones, as well.
I keep running across some of the latter which are more afflicted by PC- and New York Liberal-sensibility and hack, anything-that-will-sell writing than usual. And some of the former are not so much damaged by the alleged grammar and spelling errors of Big Publishing’s mockery as by stories that crash-and-burn long before the end—done in by errors of craft, plot- and character-development.
Oh, well. I am committed. And my Kindle makes it easy and cheap. Onward through the fog.
As I wrote in a comment on a publisher’s blog the other day, in response to his contention that traditional publishing will be around for a long time yet, the ebook future may come sooner than expected.
I’ve learned three things from my Kindle: Ebooks are cheaper, there’s no storage problem (my bookshelves already were full) and there’s nothing like browsing, buying and starting to read within minutes, all from the comfort of your easy chair. No driving, no parking, no standing in line to pay.
Kindle is helping some traditionally-published authors see the light as well: “…unlike a lot of other folk, I’m not at all convinced that mortar and brick publishing will never die. As a matter of fact, I suspect it’s beginning its own elaborate suicide even now….So, if you’re a writer, give Kindle a whirl. You don’t have any thing to lose…except an agent and a publishing house stealing a big hunk of your profits.“ Heh.
Nice to see the 16-year-old sailor attempting to solo circumnavigate the planet is alive and at least semi-well, considering the dismasting of her boat in the rough Southern Indian Ocean. Presume she will be rescued soon by the Aussies.
If she can blog, we can presume she won’t under too much stress waiting. But it would be nice if the saltwater hadn’t corroded the power port on her Kindle way back in April. Or if Jeff Bezos had seen the way clear to deliver her a new one.