Publishing Into Extinction…

Three of my favorite books

As the article “UK customers angry at agency model; considering piracy” indicates, readers of ebooks are getting fed up with the rapacious pricing structure of many publishing houses. And of course it isn’t just Brits complaining; until recently the comments section for the Kindle edition of Sh*t My Dad Says was filled with ire toward HarperCollins for setting the Kindle price so high above the paperback version. (Dudes! We can sell or gift a paperback after reading it! How can you in good conscience charge so much for a DRM-hostaged text?)

I’d never recommend piracy. Fortunately, for us consumers, there’s an even better reaction than thievery.

  1. Recognize that there is more great reading waiting out there for you than you can ever get through. Besides wonderful classics at places like Gutenberg.org, there are scads of new fiction authors taking advantage of the pricing disparity to build new careers.
  2. Post a message on the sales page for a high-priced book, saying, “Sorry. Too pricey. Plenty of other things to read. You lost an impulse sale, and chances are I’ll never be back to this page.” Block-copy-and-paste that message wherever you find an overpriced ebook. Even if it doesn’t result in lower prices (though Sh*t My Dad Says seems to have dropped), it will sure make you feel better.

Photo by Andrew Mason

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