This is an interesting article in the Library Journal about digital books.
WOW, ain’t this some crap…does Amazon not know how important libraries are?
The few people I know who borrow eBooks from their local library all stopped buying most eBooks.
The authors/publishers/sellers got used to having significant eBook sales when the ecosystem first started because there was no way to borrow them for free. I suspect the vast majority of people won’t buy an eBook they have already borrowed once because most books don’t get re-read often. Even if they decide to re-read an eBook they can always borrow it again for free.
Its business - this was bound to happen eventually
This has been happening since digital media first hit in big way. Think I first head about this in 2002 or 2003. Amazon also bought Good Reads. Amazon is a world company. They are working to control media. One Company is in control of most reading material. They also own a rating site. To me this rivals controlling the press. Just one person’s opinion.
Books are often simply too expensive. I know why they are expensive and I know the authors have to eat.
But my wife reads at least 2 - 3 books a week. There is no way that we can afford to buy 2 books a week, let alone 3 or 4. I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, which helps. We still buy a many books, but borrowing books, especially the “dime novel” level books, where you read them once and never pick them up again, is the only way we can afford to read.
I think that Amazon wants to replace libraries with free books with its subscription service.
I disagree, I think Amazon is just fine with libraries and the traditional physical book model. That model is unencumbered by digital licensing so at least in the USA that model can’t change without a re-write of copyright law.
I also suspect Amazon is just fine with the original model of eBooks were they are only available for borrowing by physically visiting the library to check out the eBook.
I am hopeful that the authors/publishers/sellers can come to an agreement with libraries that works for all parties. Perhaps something like no eBook lending, only physical book lending or in person eBook lending, for the first X years after publication (that’s when the vast majority of the money is made).
My biggest concern is having a world sized commercial entity in control what we read. Having amazon decide what they want to sell and control the publics access to books. Amazon also can control prices for books. If amazon want to promote an idea they can have a “sale” on books that promote their agenda. This is a monopoly that can control the access to ideas and opinions. The free trade market system is based on competition. No entity can compete with a world sized control of our access to to books and ideas.
We are not talking about shoes, storage containers, furniture, etc. We are talking about “ideas” Just as authoritarian governments control their citizen’s access to differing opinions, a world sized entity controlling our access to other opinions and criticisms differing from “status quo” is frightening. We may agree or disagree with the amazon right now, but what about 10 years from now and amazon decides we should be thinking!
I have a pretty extensive library of physical books, but I haven’t bought a physical book in a long time! All of my reading these days is done on Kindle or the Kindle App on iPads, or audio books from Audible - such are the times and its much more efficient
What is good source to fine ebooks for free best seller lists?
My choice is a library. However have seen people also using
bookbub.com. It has a combination of purchase and free ebooks.
Libby is an app/site that can link you to a library that lends ebooks.
trying to find a list of great books especially on ebooks to hear or read for free
NY Times is one source
In my country (Greece) a while ago, while discussing online with a writer about ebooks I was told that they are considered as unprofitable so most publishers won’t bother with an ebook version.
I think there are now some publishers that are producing ebooks as well but they are still a minority.
I believe that even though most people enjoy physical books, you can not beat the convenience of ebooks. A physical book is a scarce item and it is expensive to produce and move around. The ebook is a lot cheaper to produce and move around.
Until publishers decide to adopt ebooks as a first class citizen, we will have Amazon (who has realised the potential of the format) dominating the space and driving traditional publishers out of business.
Just a comment about ebooks. Live in Michigan. In southwest Michigan is a company that has been acquired by Blackstone Publishing. The company was originally Brilliance Publishing. From my research have found this company, I think, to have always done e-publishing. They started with mp3 and books on tape etc. Think this publishing is more of an add on to traditional publishing. Ie. First author± agent + Traditional pub like fiction etc. Now e-publishing is an addition to publishing. There are so many kinds of publishing. Maybe someone who knows can write a concise overview of publishing a traditional book for the average reader today. Also who pays(by time & money) and who receives the income from the sales?
The big companies benefit from our lack of knowledge of the time, costs and income from e-publishing. We only think of how to find the cheapest way we can access the books. We all pay in the long run. Think we should know who receives our dollars for what we consume.
This 2019 article from Vox might interest you:
Thanks for sharing. Think the latest business model is confuse the consumer. Make them think they a saving money. Anti-trust maintains we need competition. This is not competition. This is confuse the consumer and make them believe they have a bargain. This tactic was used to draw consumers to buy more in a store. In amazon they have replaced the book market. Amazon did the same with music. Since Amazon has taken over sales from local stores, That means one place is in control of prices. How does anyone believe Amazon will always treat consumers fairly. Personally I will never trust one company to be ethical. Do you really believe when Amazon controls most sales they will keep prices resonable.