Monday, August 29, 2005

The price of ebooks

Sharon Long has a great post over at RTB about ebooks. I posted a long response over there, but I wanted to make some comments here, too. Toward the end of her post she complains about the rising price of ebooks. I don't like to see prices going up either (I still cringe when I pick up a paperback marked $7.99-- eight bucks! yikes!), but the ebook industry is growing, and that may have something to do with rising prices. EC and NCP (and for all I know other e-publishers) are both expanding into the print market and getting their books distributed nationwide, and that's not cheap. I'm not a publisher, but you have to figure the cost of setting up the books, printing the books, warehousing the books, and shipping the books is a lot for a small company to bear. And then the publishers don't get paid for quite a few months, even if the books are vanishing instantly off the shelves. So if ebook prices are going up, I imagine it's at least partly because the publishers are expanding.

And RuthW commented in the same thread about poorly edited ebooks. I'll repeat what I've said before... please, make sure your books are as close to perfect as possible before they leave your desk! Yes, it's possible a copyeditor might screw it up somewhere along the line, but you can't do much about that. You CAN make sure it's proofed to within an inch of its life when it leaves your computer. Readers tend to perceive ebooks as a homogenous product , so when one of us produces a poorly edited ebook, it reflects poorly on other ebook authors.

So proof that manuscript!!!

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