Seriously. I finally jumped on mightydogking's bandwagon, and started really reading stuff on my phone. And by "stuff" I mean, books. And I'm diggin' it. Even the legitimate sources have a plethora of free stuff, and not just classics.
So, again, there's no doubt that there's a tablet in my future. It's a matter of when, not if. I've got apps for the Kobo and Kindle right now, and I'm finding that because of them, I'm reading more. Which, for me, is saying something. And I'm now completely completely sold on a tablet rather than an e-reader. Given that e-readers tend towards being locked to a single purchase point, and don't do anything BUT e-read, where a tablet does all my interwebs stuff, plus every e-reader market place out there? It's a no-brainer for me.
That said, the companies have to get their shit together. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. There is NO WAY an e-book should cost the same, or more, than a dead-tree book. NO WAY. Yes, I know, the distributor has to get paid, and the host has to get paid, and the author has to get paid. But the overhead on producing and distributing an e-book is nowhere near that of a paperbook, and gets cheaper and cheaper the more you sell. Bestsellers should actually be cheaper than other stuff. Will that happen? No. And I don't begrudge the authors their profit, either. They gotta get paid, and I want them to, because if I bought the book, it's because I like it. If I like it, I want them to make more of them. That means they gotta make a consistent living doing it.
So I get that.
But if a paperback is $6.99, why the FUCK would I pay $9.99 for the e-book?? Hell, if the paperback is $9.99, why would I pay the same price for e-book? If the paperback is $6.99, the e-book should be $2.99, at most. The overhead is nil, and if you believe the author's getting ANY of that extra money from the ebook? I think you're dreaming. So, much like the music industry, why would I pay extra to prop up the middleman in an obsolete business model?
And I'll tell you, find the pricepoint? And I'll buy a lot. I regularly spend $150 every six to eight weeks on books. I'm a fucking junkie. The only reason I buy that little is because that's enough to keep me fixed, without breaking the bank. I've got $70 queued up at chapters.ca right now. I'll buy a lot more volume of books, and a lot more frivolously, if you let me do it on the fly, and for a price I consider "nearly inconsequential".
But if you charge me more for a non-physical thing than for the physical thing?
Well, torrenting it is, kids.
Also, anyone who buys a physical book should get the e-book version for free. And I don't want to hear "that's not economically viable" or "people will just share it and we'll lose sales". Because independent authors, podcasters, and self-publishers are ALREADY DOING IT. And making money. Know how? By selling a product people actually want to buy. They're fostering a community of fans, rather than consumers, people who buy it because it's there and they want to support it, and 'their' author. My posts about my favoured podcasters are a good example. If all I wanted was the story, I can have that for free. They give it away, serialized weekly, in an audio podcast. Voila. I've got my stories. I buy the books when they're released (pre-order, in fact) because I want these guys to surivive and keep going. When they publish the book? Email them with your recipt, they send you (a number of them do, not all, to be fair) a non-DRM format of your choice. They have apps for varied and sundry platforms, providing the same materials.
Sorry, ranting a bit.
But it really is crazy. e-books will explode, if they're priced realistically. But this is, I firmly believe, a case of an industry protecting the 'old' way of doing business. They're ALMOST adapting. But not quite.