I went to the Kindle store the other day on my Kindle, natch. I was thinking about buying ebook versions of the ancient tattered Ian Fleming/James Bond paperbacks I’ve owned forever.
I was appalled to find the price set at $9.99 each! That’s $9.99 for an ebook version of a work by a deceased author that has been out in paperback for 50 years. That is insane. It’s more than new paperbacks cost. Who would pay that?
I would scan my old paperbacks, OCR them, and make my own ebook versions just for my own use, mind you before I would spend that much money on ebooks of older backtitle works. I probably don’t have to though. The text is probably right out there on the Internet.
And that’s the whole point. The major publishers haven’t learned anything from the music industry. If they settle on a reasonable price point, people are willing to pay a fair amount for ebooks and will continue to buy them legitimately. However, if they are greedy, and price gouge, people will find ways to get those ebooks anyway–for free–and the big publishers will be forced to change the way they do things, or fail.
Oh yes. I railed against the Ian Fleming prices just last week on Twitter. And all of the texts are out there on the Net. Not looking pretty, but they are free.
And Ian Fleming is dead, so it’s not like anyone is stealing from the guy who wrote them.