If you have an eReader you may have noticed that an eBook costs just as much and sometimes more as the physical copy. This is mainly because authors unlike musicians can’t make up for pirated books. I think eBooks are at a critical time in their life and it’s time to lower the prices. Online retailers like Amazon tend to agree and are now slashing the prices on all eBooks.
The problem with books is that authors struggle to monetize their works. Musicians can afford giving their music away for free because they don’t rely solely on music sales to generate income. Performing at concerts and selling merchandise is a massive part of a musician’s earnings. Authors are limited in the fact that the sole way they make money is selling books.
This creates problems in the pricing of new and old eBooks. New release eBooks are priced the same as books that have been around for years. Books that can be rented in a library cost just as much to purchase as a newly released book. Something has to change before it’s too late.
With eBooks you can’t trade digital copies, you can’t borrow them to friends, and you can’t even pass them on in a will. Currently there’s little to no advantage in purchasing an eBook except for the fact that you don’t have to go to a book store.
With the rise in popularity of tablets and eReaders, it’s imperative the book industry evolves with the times. They’ve had plenty of time to learn from movie and music sales to learn how to monetize digital media. Hopefully in time they learn how to moderately price the sales of books and eliminate things like DRM which customers tend to stay away from.