Friday, 1 April 2011
I'm Not Paying That!
By Richard Jay Parker
Was having a discussion about ebooks this week and the person I was debating with raised the inevitable question of cost.
'I mean, how much does it (an ebook) cost to produce...'
It was a fair point. Overheads for ebooks are certainly lower for publishers - no print run implications etc
But you can apply the same argument to a paperback. They're also cheap to produce but a standard cover price has to be maintained. Why? Because you're not just paying for the paper and glossy cover. The writer's intellectual property aside there's an army of talented people involved in its production - editors, designers, sales and promo experts.
You wouldn't look at a priceless painting and say - 'How much? It's only canvas and oils.'
I'm certainly not claiming that every book is a masterpiece but creative product can't be judged on the basis of what its made of or the small amount of memory it requires.
But I don't get as passionate about the ebook vs paperback argument as others. I think there's room for both. Both formats have advantages and I think readers are grown up enough to make the choice between which one is most convenient for them.
Books age. Ebook formats will change and a book you buy for one reader may not be the reader you have in ten years time.
Your imagination won't discriminate. The most important thing is to carry on reading.