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Old October 22nd, 2017, 10:32 AM   #51

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I've always preferred physical books. But over the last few years, I've had to do a lot of travelling by train - time I spend reading and writing. I got tired of lugging around 4-5 books with me and now adore my Kindle.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 11:50 AM   #52

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Sure, but printed books are bigger and heavier, take up more room in your bag, harder to read in the dark, etc. Some people don't mind all that, and if you're happier with your printed books, then use whatever suits you best. But if you enjoy the convenience of ereading, eInk is just a better experience than a tablet, if you ask me.
Actually, I now find real books too limiting and less comfortable to handle when reading than a tablet.
Given a choice I prefer reading from a 24" wide screen monitor that I have oriented sideways.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 08:53 AM   #53

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I used to work as a high school English teacher so have literally thousands of books in my house. Now that I'm in the process of changing houses, considering moving all of my books is a major understaking. Thankfully my local public library takes donations. Have already offloaded a couple hundred books on them.

I've written a couple of books and like a lot of people, always preferred having a hard copy in my hands. After I wrote my first book in 2013, couldn't wait to get the first printed issue.

The book was released a couple weeks earlier as an e-book, but I didn't own a Kindle or an iPad. My son went out and bought me a Kindle so I could see what it looked like before the printed version came out. Though I hated even the thought of using an e-reader, now I love it. Have rarely bought a hard copy since. And now that I'm moving, wish I'd made the switch years ago as it would make transporting everything so much easier.

A few comments about Amazon. When I hand delivered a couple of copies of my first book to our local bookstores, when they asked about pricing, I told them the cost on Amazon as a gauge. The bookstore owner looked at me and winced, "Amazon, the evil empire."

If I owned a small, local bookshop, I'd probably feel the same way. Amazon has purposely suppressed book prices. You could say they're doing this to make books more available to more people, or you could say they're squeezing out the competition. Your choice.

The traditional publishing industry also hates Amazon, for the same reasons. By depressing book prices, they're cutting into Simon & Schuster's profit margins.

One of the ways Amazon does this is by rewarding authors for pricing their books low. If my e-book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99 I make a 70% royalty per book. I can price my book at any other price, but if I do, I get a 30% royalty. This is why you see tons of books priced for less than $9.99. And why book publishers gnash their teeth at the mention of Amazon.

My e-books are priced at $4.99. As paperbacks they're roughly $17.95, and I make less money per copy. Why? Because of the paper, printing and postage.

One of the interesting things about putting books out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., is learning that very few people buy hard copies anymore. 95% of all the books I sell are as e-book. The price is one reason. The other is instant gratification. I don't have drive to B&N or wait for it to come in the mail.

Whether we like it or not, print, whether in book form, or as magazines and newspapers is going the way of the dinosaur.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:45 AM   #54

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Actually, I now find real books too limiting and less comfortable to handle when reading than a tablet.
Given a choice I prefer reading from a 24" wide screen monitor that I have oriented sideways.
That's certainly a unique way to do it, lol.

My favorite way to read is curled up in my bowl chair with my Kindle in one hand, hot tea in the other, and the cat snuggled on my lap.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:27 PM   #55
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The big problem with Kindle is that the maps are practically useless - so small that even with a magnifying glass I can see ziltch.

Why can't they adopt technology which allows the user to expand the map?
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:29 PM   #56

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Amazon has purposely suppressed book prices.
Maybe with self published ebooks, but Amazon doesn't control the prices of Kindle ebooks from big publishers. Publishers set the price. You'll see on the right under the price it says "Price set by seller" whenever it's from a big publisher. For a couple years, publishers and Apple were actually conspiring to raise ebook prices across the board, so including at retailers like Amazon. Fortunately, the DOJ stepped in and took care of it, publishers and Apple were forced to give ebook customers partial refunds, reduce ebook prices, etc. So they are now more reasonably priced.

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One of the ways Amazon does this is by rewarding authors for pricing their books low. If my e-book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99 I make a 70% royalty per book. I can price my book at any other price, but if I do, I get a 30% royalty. This is why you see tons of books priced for less than $9.99. And why book publishers gnash their teeth at the mention of Amazon.
That doesn't apply to the big publishers, I think that's only for self publishing? Are you self published or with an indie publisher?

Big publishers themselves will often sell MMP, mass market (ie cheaply made) paperbacks, for less than $10, so I don't think it's necessarily the price itself that bothers them, it's the fact that previously, they could release a new book from a bestselling author in hardcover first, and make a ton of money off it because lots of people didn't want to wait for the paperback version. Then they'd release the cheaper paperback version about 6 months to a year later. Now though, they are forced to release the ebook at the same time as the hardcover (in the early days of ebooks, they tried not releasing the ebook version along with the hardcover first but too many people complained) and this undermines their ability to sell expensive hardcovers first. Even when they were conspiring to raise ebook prices, they often lowered the ebook prices once the paperback was released, to match the paperback price.

It's all detailed here: How Steve Jobs And Apple Fixed Ebook Prices - Business Insider

This is the best quote from Walter Isaacson's book: "Amazon screwed it up. It paid the wholesale price for some books, but started selling them below cost at $9.99. The publishers hated that - they thought it would trash their ability to sell hardcover books at $28. So before Apple even got on the scene, some booksellers were starting to withhold books from Amazon. So we told the publishers, "We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway. But we also asked for a guarantee that if anybody else is selling the books cheaper than we are, then we can sell them at the lower price too. So they went to Amazon and said, "You're going to sign an agency contract or we're not going to give you the books.""

Apple are just as "evil" as Amazon when you see quotes like this. All capitalist are. They basically bullied Amazon into giving publishers control over ebook prices, which is what allowed them to conspire to raise the prices. Fortunately, they got caught
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:38 PM   #57

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The big problem with Kindle is that the maps are practically useless - so small that even with a magnifying glass I can see ziltch.

Why can't they adopt technology which allows the user to expand the map?
You should be able to zoom in on images. On my Kindle Paperwhite, I just press and hold the image, then the option to zoom in pops up over it. Tap the zoom in icon and it should be legible. But of course it depends on the resolution of the image the publisher provided. Not much Kindle can do about that if the publishers made it too small.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 11:45 AM   #58

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That doesn't apply to the big publishers, I think that's only for self publishing? Are you self published or with an indie publisher?
Nice post. You covered a lot of ground that I left out because my post was long enough. All good information. Thank you for sharing.

I am self-published. Started out going the traditional route, but once you've been treated like a total rube by the traditional publishing industry, and find out you can do it all yourself and make the bulk of the profits - you end up flicking agents and their minions the bird like I did.

There is a revolution going on in the publishing world. Authors have been abused by agents and publishers for eons. You can spend years writing a book, have to beg an agent to even read it, and then they throw you scraps in payment while they keep the lion's share of the profits.

I know a lot of people hate Amazon, but I'm not one of them. They are a well oiled machine. Having published my books through them, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, Amazon makes the whole process extremely easy.

When I first enrolled my books with Smashwords years ago (who get your book out to tons of booksellters), their instructional, formatting document was over 100 pages. Amazon's was tiny in comparison, much more professional, and much easier to follow.

I know some authors who have problems with Amazon, and that there is a lot of shennanigans that go on within their site. There are horrifying stories of criminals creating bogus self published books, scamming people for their money, and Amazon doing nothing to police their own site.

So Amazon is not perfect, but they've opened up a whole new world for writers.

It does not bother me in the slightest that the traditional publishing industry hates their guts. I've read that when paperbacks came out, the traditional publishing industry tried to supress them, because like e-books, it cut into their profits. Who's going to buy an expensive hardback when there are cheap paperbacks around? You know how that one ended for big publishing.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 06:05 PM   #59

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It does not bother me in the slightest that the traditional publishing industry hates their guts. I've read that when paperbacks came out, the traditional publishing industry tried to supress them, because like e-books, it cut into their profits. Who's going to buy an expensive hardback when there are cheap paperbacks around? You know how that one ended for big publishing.
Yeah but like I say, they've always sort of gotten around that by releasing hardcovers first, especially for bestselling authors. They basically force anyone who doesn't want to wait for the paperback to buy the expensive hardcover. That's harder to do with ebooks because they can't say "well, we haven't printed it yet". Everyone knows everything is digital now, and there's no reason to withhold the ebook, which could arguably be released before the hardcover since there's no need to wait for any printing and distribution. People just aren't going to stand for that now and that's why they're panicking.
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Old October 28th, 2017, 05:52 AM   #60

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That's certainly a unique way to do it, lol.

My favorite way to read is curled up in my bowl chair with my Kindle in one hand, hot tea in the other, and the cat snuggled on my lap.
Not that unique really. Programmers like to do this as it allows them to see more of the code at once.

This lets me kick back in my 'executive' chair and turn pages with my cordless keyboard by clicking the Page Down/Page Up keys and or the arrow keys.

Don't have a cat right now but plenty of tea.
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