Dunno if I’ve posted from this before, but I like it. I would totally buy an ebook reader for a paperback price, and then buy eBooks for a less-than-paperback price.
So, it’s time for me to advance some tentative conclusions about why the commercial ebook market is broken:
# Most current ebooks are grossly overpriced relative to their utility to the reader. eBooks are actually disposable literature, like mass-market paperbacks only more so.
# We are not going to see cheap ebook readers any time soon because publishers need them, but consumer electronics manufacturers don’t.
# Readers won’t buy expensive ebook readers because they’re reluctant to pay over $25 for a novel at the best of times. Only bundling a metric shitload of high-value content with a reader will make it attractive.
# Insofar as there are no lending libraries or second-hand bookstores for ebooks, ebook piracy is the equivalent niche to those traditionally tolerated outlets.
# Historically, only 25% of readers paid into the authors revenue stream. A 75% piracy rate may therefore be seen as a continuation of business as usual.
# The pirates are not motivated by profit but by a poorly-understood social phenomenon connected to status in a gift-giving forum.
# We do not know what ebooks are worth to readers, but the relative lack of Baen product in the usual places suggests that if unencrypted ebooks are readily available at an affordable price (i.e. less than an MMPB) then demand for the pirate edition will be reduced.