I want a Kindle for Christmas. If I don’t get a Kindle for Christmas, I plan on saving a few dollars here and there until I can afford one.
There are to real reasons I want want a Kindle: 1.) I like reading new books and 2.) hardcover books are uncomfortable.
I often buy my favorite authors in hardcover because I don’t like to wait on a paperback release (that, or I listen on audiobook). Unfortunately, buying the hardcover books generally becomes more physically uncomfortable to read because of their size. Ebooks, then, seem to be the best option because the Kindle edition is not only cheaper than a hardcover, it is also much more comfortable to read.
In the past few days, however, I have heard buzz about publishers considering pushing ebook releases between hardcover and paperbacks just to get people to still buy hardcovers.
Personally, I think that completely defeats the purpose of migrating to ebooks. And it kind of irks me.
In all, I’m fine with the occasional book not coming out in ebook for a while. Stephen King’s Under the Dome did it just to get physical books in consumers’ hands. An author making a request every now and then, I can respect.
But if every book were to have a two-month delay attached to the digital release? That’s where I draw the line.
I just don’t see that as an adequate way to get people to buy the hardcover books. If anything, I think delaying ebook releases hurts a developing market and drives media-dedicated readers to piracy. It angers a nascent consumer demographic and makes them
Remember the Napster backlash years ago after people were effectively cut off from their supply? I do. It wasn’t pretty.
Sure, they weren’t paying for that music, but once they were told they were not allowed to get it from Napster anymore, they became wary of the established online vendors.
The face of digital music has never been the same, nor will it ever. And that’s not a good thing. Digital music as a legitimate industry still struggles because of its rocky start (even as successful as iTunes is), and digital books are in even more dire straits. The format needs all the help it can get.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating piracy or theft. I am very much a proponent for fair copyright law, but the RIAA fiasco was a huge detriment to the digital music industry, and I can very easily see ebooks heading into that very same murky area. Publishers need to be careful.
If they are not, it would be very easy for consumers to “justify” their expensive ebook reader purchase by pirating books to save money instead of having to wait additional time to read a book that has already been released.
It is not as though ebooks are more difficult to produce or, from what I read, provide the publisher with a considerable profit loss. I presume that pushing ebook release dates behind those of hardcovers is a way to maintain the status quo that has existed within the publishing industry for as long as there has been a publishing industry.
It’s really not that hard for a dedicated reader (or few dedicated readers) to PDF a book and get it online as a torrent within a day or so of the novel’s release. It happens all the time as it is, and I project the numbers only increasing if desired books are unavailable.
From my experience, most media pirates don’t pirate out of a want to not pay; they pirate from a want of convenience, which is precisely the draw of digital media to begin with.
For me, I don’t think I’d end up pirating novels, though. I’m too much into wanting to pay my authors their due. I don’t, however, think I would be forced into buying a hardcover like the publishing industry wants unless it is someone like Stephen King.
There are plenty of books out there that I haven’t read that can keep me company while I wait on the cheaper, more convenient digital release. And a few more weeks/months until I get to comfortably read that new book won’t kill me.
But it might the publishing company’s pocket book.