caitlinthomas wrote:Given what I understand to be true however, to pay hundreds of dollars for a reader, and then buy ebooks at almost the same price as print on top of that, but with far more risk of losing them all, and limited ability to share with my sisters is... not appealing as a value.
There seems to be a widespread belief that if someone purchases an e-reader, they should be entitled to cheaper e-books.
Why is that?
Seriously. If you purchase an electric car, you are not entitled to a cheaper domestic electric rate from the utility company. If you buy a Juicing Machine, you are not entitled to cheaper fresh fruit from your greengrocer. If you buy a SmartCar, you don't pay less at the pump per gallon for petroleum.
Amazon does not pay authors a commission every time it sells a Kindle (machine). However, there is an expectation that authors will provide a discount (not to mention a "buy-one-get-up-to-six-free" promotion) to reward folks who purchase Kindle machines.
You should buy an e-reader for the convenience and myriad advantages of owning an e-reader.
The cost of the books to read on the device should not be part of the expectation. If e-books are cheaper, that should be the authors' own, freely made business decision. It might well be a very wise business decision (to sell e-books more cheaply than printed books). However, that decision should be made by the content owners, not by the people selling a product that would have no value at all if the content were not available.
Take the juice/fruit analogy further (although it is not perfect!). Juicedfruit = e-books. Fruit = print. Amazon makes juiceboxes.
I'm the farmer. I produce fruit. I charge $6.99 per fruit, and that earns enough income within a reasonable period of time to pay for all my production costs and give me a fair (but not excessive) profit.
It doesn't take less fruit to make juicedfruit... so what happens to my business model if the juicebox maker demands that I sell juicedfruit at the equivalent of $2.99 per fruit, moreover, I am to sell the juicedfruit equivalent ($2.99) at the same time that I sell my $6.99 fruit?
Now, the customer not only expects cheaper fruit if it comes in the form of juicedfruit. They want to drink the juicedfruit and pay me --after they've consumed it-- according to how much they enjoyed it. You cannot unread a book, once you've read it, any more than you can return juice for a refund once you have swallowed it.