Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why eBooks should cost MORE than paper books

E-reader on top of books.
E-reader on top of books.
You will be hard pressed to find a title in the amazon store or barnes&noble that is cheaper to buy in paperback than as an ebook.  But why?  Well, presumably it is a lot cheaper to produce and upload copies of an ebook than it is to print and ship a paperback.  But, in my not-so-humble-opinion, ebooks should cost more than buying a print book.  Here's why I say that.

First of all, ebook will last for ever and never wear out.  Paperbacks start getting worn out after just the first read through.  If it's a good book that you reread or loan out it's gonna look pretty ragged.  Same thing never happens to ebooks.  They are always as good as they were on day 1.  In theory, my children's children could inherit all my ebooks and they will work just as well for them as they do for me.

Second, it's hard to lose an ebook.  Since most ebooks sellers allow you to redownload an ebook an unlimited amount of times, There is no such thing as misplacing an ebook.  You can't leave it at the beach, or on the bus.  Sure you could leave your DEVICE, but you can always re-download it.  Even if they don't let you redownload a purchase, it is easy enough to make several backups of a file.

Finally, ebooks are upgradable.  If you're used to reading brand new first edition books, you can come to expect a few typos or small grammar errors.  If the publisher releases a second edition, most ebook services will let you update those books to the latest version.  Print books you would have to buy the new edition.

I think that ebooks objectively provide more to readers than a print edition ever could.  I understand many people still prefer physical books.  But to me, eBooks provide so much more, that you would think people would be willing to pay more for them.  Fortunately, since ebooks are cheaper to produce they are cheaper to buy despite their advantages.  To me, ebooks are a real steal.
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