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iPad’s First Victory February 1, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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Just as we had predicted (with the help of Flavorwire), Apple has helped to force the e-book market into a new model, taking power away from Amazon and back to the publishers. While this seems like a victory for us as readers, breaking the monopoly that Amazon held over the e-book market, it means increased prices across the board. As library denizens and vigilant defenders of copyright this might not mean much to us but is it enough to force more people into committing e-book piracy? In The Millions article “Confessions of a Book Pirate”, the “book pirate” says that he does, “not buy DRM’d ebooks that are priced at more than a few dollars, but would pay up to $10 for a clean file if it was a new release.” Key words: up to $10. The “pirate” has a lot of good arguments about why e-books should be cheap, including the very convincing one that e-books cost little to nothing to reproduce. While angered e-book fans may be tempted to illegally download copies, publishers are happy with the decision, so happy, in fact, that they have agreed to limit their digital profits. So while the prediction that iBooks and the iPad will break the monopolization of e-book sales has come true, the other prediction, that iBooks will do to the publishing company what iTunes did to the music industry, has turned out to be completely false. By putting prices back in the hands of publishers, Apple has done the exact reverse –empowering and assisting the already struggling publishing industry. Are Jobs and his cohorts the silent saviors of the publishers or is this thwarted prediction a necessary result of destroying Amazon’s vice grips on the industry?  What do you think?

From AdaFruit's Flickr stream, Creative Commons licensed

Read the New York Times full article on Amazon’s new ebook policies here.

How Low Can They Go? October 20, 2009

Posted by dataduchess in Uncategorized.
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Late last week, Walmart.com announced it was going to sell pre-ordered copies of 10 highly anticipated books to be released in November for the low price of only $10 each. This didn’t sit well with Amazon.com an online outlet known for usually selling books cheaper than anyone else. According to an article in the New York Times this started a price war between the 2 outlets that left Wal-Mart charging only $8.99 and Amazon charging $9.00 for several new anticipated best-sellers.

Several interesting points made in this article, including that with Wal-Mart and Amazon’s price-cutting, even the big-box bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble cannot compete, let alone the small independent booksellers that are already threatened by the big chains. Also, what will this mean for the publishing industry? This might be a temporary publicity stunt to draw attention to Wal-Mart’s book sales, but if prices are driven down, will publishers be able to stay in business?

I happen to love B&N, its one of my favorite places, especially since I don’t have an independent bookseller nearby. I think books are overpriced as it is, and since I buy so many anyway, I usually try to find the lowest price, especially on expensive new releases. But I would rather not buy the books at all than support a movement that could potentially destroy the very industry it is promoting.

What do you think – do you have a store to which you are a loyal customer, no matter how cheap Wal-Mart and Amazon go? Or do you want your books as cheap as you can get ‘em?

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