It’s another self inflicted nail in book publishers’ coffins although I doubt they think so. France has passed the law allowing the publishers to set the price of ebooks.
Apparently “Signs are, consumers expect e-books to be priced considerably lower than physical books”. Well yes, I expect that the copy of the book that just required you to a digital copy of the book you already have should be cheaper than the one you have to send to print, bind, deliver and stock.
However unlike the music industry, I don’t think digital piracy will be the problem, self publishing will. Already self-publishing in the kindle store is make some people serious money and successful authors are moving away from the publishing houses.
The reality is, most of what a publishing house does is rapidly being replaced by the web. The cost of publishing has gone, marketing is now also much easier and cheaper, the wisdom of crowds is filtering the good form the bad and you can get yourself a copyeditor online.
A combination of self promotion and the fact that the author gets more of the book sale, means self-published books are often among the cheapest on eBook stores and end up at the top of the sales chart.
In the mean time, heads are still in the sand, and we are trying to protect the ‘independent bookshop’ by keeping the price of the digital copies artificially high.
It winds me right up – every time anything, and I mean anything is seen as getting in the way of people being chained to their desks, it costs the UK economy. Never a mention of how driving people into an early grave or mass depression from unrealistic demands would cost the UK economy.
We worship at the alter of productivity, if something isn’t seen as productive (and who knows what that means) then it must be demonised and ultimately we must put a price on it.
Today it’s facebook at £14bn, but what else costs the UK Economy?
Google Pacman - it will cost you
- Free downloads £12bn
- Twitter £1.38bn
- Social Housing Squeeze £2.5bn
- Sickness £16.8bn – (because people wilfully get ill)
- physical inactivity £8bn
- Dementia £23bn
- Agisim £72bn
- bad weather £600m a day
- Dry central heating £200m
- Criminal Gangs £40bn
- EU Membership £60bn
- delivery problems in online shopping £1bn
- truancy £800m
- poor middle management £220bn
and Google’s Pacman doodle cost the UK $120m – so here is the link to play it some more…
I like the idea of style guides, maybe it’s because I’m a secret list maker – but knowing the correct way to refer to pensioners is something i think we should all have easy access to.
My usual preference is for the Guardian style guide, probably because I’m a pinko liberal – but also because it’s free online, and I can’t bring myself to pay £11 for a book I really know I will never use.
Well now Yahoo! have a style guide – and it’s all about writing for the web – yes it has the list of words but it also has some actually quite helpful stuff about how to make web copy readable… you can even buy it as a actual book maybe I should stop this ramble and go read it.