Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kindle and eBooks - A to Z Challenge

Rocket eReader
Many years ago, I bought a Rocket eReader, and although I loved the idea of ebooks, it ended up eventually collecting dust. The Rocket was big and heavy and not terribly easy to load new books onto. Plus, at that time, few books were in ebook format.

My Kindle - several hundreds of books
in my purse all at once! Reading nirvana!

Today, that’s not the case. In fact, a recent survey says that 19% of Americans own an e-reader, 28% if you include tablet owners. Even some public libraries are lending ebooks.
Ebooks have been in the news a lot lately. The Justice Department sued HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple for price-fixing ebooks. Right not, it looks like the lawsuit may be settled with at least a few of the publishers. There's a lot of discussion about what this will ultimately mean to consumer prices as well as writer royalties, but opinions vary quite a bit.

The Big Six (HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Macmillan) were in the news just this week over declining to renew their ebook contracts with Amazon. It seems they’re arguing about the terms of the contract, especially fees. Independent Publishing Group recently refused Amazon’s terms as well, and over 4,000 of their ebooks were immediately pulled from Amazon’s site.

Clearly, ebooks are here to stay, but the industry is changing all the time. We’ll have to watch and see what prices we’ll end up paying for ebooks and through which distributors. Is it just me, or do you think ebooks should cost less than a paper book?


  1. I read ebooks on my IPad and love the convenience but I also like books. Just holding and reading a book is comforting. Like you, I love books. Recently I priced the cost of downloading a book onto my Ipad and found that the Kindle version was actually about $4.00 more than the paperback. I can't help but feel that publishers are now raising the prices of ebooks to get a bigger profit share. That's just more corporate greed.

  2. I owned a Rocket eBook, too. I loved it--especially the backlight. Then I bought an eBookwise, which was essentially the same thing but with more memory. :^) I sold them both on eBay and bought a Nook, it's great and lightweight but it doesn't have a backlight. Now I have an iPad, too, which lights up. However, I still read paper books and go to the library. I want to be immersed in words.

  3. Oh, I so agree that the ebook should cost a whole lot less and I am a published author. There are no printing costs--though formatting and editing and getting the story written (and marketing it) is a lot of blood, sweat and tears for the author.

    Ebooks v. publishers, the whole concept is a tantrumy toddler just learning how to walk. It will get better with time. Hopefully soon and for the benefits of AUTHORS and readers mostly. ;P


    A to Z co-host

  4. EBooks from the big publishers are overpriced but I'd probably side with Apple in the lawsuit.
    I still won't pay over eight-nine dollars for an eBook, but fortunately there are enough reasonably priced books out there. My iPad is quite full!

  5. Well, now, I tell you...i have a Sony e-reader that my daughter gave me for Christmas one year. There is a kind of complicated routine I have to go through to download books on it, and it's battery power is not as good as I think it should be. I make a trip to the local library about every two weeks and check out at least three books and usually finish them up before the time is out. The e-reader is handy for trips to the doctor's office where one must wait for what seems an eternity. Somehow, there is something about the feel of an actual book in one's hand that cannot be compared with an e-reader. I love that feeling of the actual book. JMO :) Prices for e-books should be less than for a paperback, by all means. Best regards to you. Ruby