I'm trying not to break. I've been avoiding ebooks since their popularity exploded several years ago, but the price point is just getting harder and harder to ignore. I mean, who wants to pay $11 when they can pay $0.99? Hopefully not many people, but I know some of you are out there, I used to be one of you.
So this journey I'm going on, this movement towards the E, it started today. Or maybe, if I'm honest, I'll admit it started the moment I read a paper copy of Write.Publish.Repeat, a how to guide on self publishing. In the book the author, Johnny B. Truant, refers to these crazy projects he wrote over and over again, The Beam, Fat Vampire, and Unicorn Western. He says the names of his products so many times that I just can't not go out and buy one. I buy Fat Vampire for 5 bucks in paperback, the ebook is free, my bitterness begins. I read the book, I love the book, it's the first of a series, and it's less than two hundred pages, I don't buy the next one, as I'm contemplating how I'm going to afford this new habit of reading paperback serials. And then came today, when I wanted to purchase Hugh Howey's sci-fi novel, WOOL, I looked for it on amazon, and found the paper back priced at 11 bucks, the ebook is 99 cents. How do I justify that purchase? The short answer is, I can't. Especially since I know that independent authors who publish through amazon (and it's paper publisher createspace) only receive a 40% royalty for their paperback sales, while they receive a 70% royalty for their ebook sales. Now those royalties don't mean much on an item priced at 99 cents (and the royalty is not 70% for ebooks priced under $2.99), but WOOL is now Hugh Howey's intro product, so it sells cheap, the sequel to WOOL is priced at $5.99 for the ebook and $16.25 for the paperback, now the royalty percentage starts to matter, and the price hurts even more when I look at that double digit number for a paperbook that I'm going to be finished with in a week.
I just can't convince myself to drop the cash on paper books anymore. Not if I'm going to read at the level I'd like to, which is a book a week. That leaves me with no choice but to give the kindle a shot. I have friends who've done it (Michael Rubi), they say it's great. Books are cheap and the kindle isn't that different from reading a real book. As a consumer, I'm sold on the price. I can get over the loss of the paper in my fingers, if it means I get more paper in my wallet.