Now, Christopher, don't get me wrong, but you say the option is there for anyone who's willing to use it. Now, I'm appereantly not willing, simply because it's not my cup of tea. You make it sound like I have a choice. But I don't, not really. If I want to read these books, I'm not given an option how to read it. The only option I have is to read or not to read, to buy or not to buy.
You do have a choice. You could choose to read e-books occasionally
, even while preferring paper books. That's what I do. That's what I'm sure a lot of people do. But for whatever reason, you instead choose an absolute, inflexible refusal to read an e-book even once in a while
. That absolute refusal to make any exception whatsoever to your normal pattern is entirely your own choice.
Obviously nobody is trying to prevent any given consumer from reading this book. It's for sale to anyone willing to pay for it. So the only thing keeping you from getting it is your own lack of willingness. That makes it a consequence of your choice.
Now, from a sales point of view (I work in a store, I know a thing or two about sales) that's kind weird. You basicly want to eliminate the option of not buying, and give your consumers choice. You this by giving people several options, not just one. We make sure we sell several versions of one type of item (say a coffee machine) so people can make a choice that way.
But as I've explained, the current print market offers zero
options for the publication of novella-length media tie-in stories. That's simply not going to happen. E-books are what enable that option to exist
in the first place. So publishing e-books does
increase the number of options available -- maybe not for you as an individual, but for the audience as a whole. After all, the audience doesn't share a single uniform taste. Some people prefer print books, others prefer e-books, others prefer comics. Some prefer adult fiction, others young-adult fiction. Some prefer mass-market paperbacks, others prefer hardcovers. So it only makes sense to put out multiple products targeted to all those different audiences. Sure, if a specific customer is unwilling to give a particular format a try -- for instance, if someone doesn't believe in reading comic books, or doesn't buy hardcovers because they're too expensive -- their choice not to purchase that format will keep them from experiencing the work. But because there's a breadth of material available in different formats, there will still be something else they can enjoy. So collectively, there's something for everyone. And those customers who are
willing to sample different formats can experience everything. Again, it comes down to the customers' choice of which formats they are or aren't willing to buy. There's no obligation to make every story available in every format simultaneously, otherwise there'd have to be a novelization of every comic book and vice-versa.
I don't understand the whole "not comfortable" thing as a reason for absolutely refusing to read an e-book even occasionally. Do you really expect me to believe that you've never, ever felt the slightest bit uncomfortable reading a paper book? That you've never sat in the same chair too long and gotten stiff and sore, or read a big heavy hardcover that made your arms ache to hold, or got a paper cut turning a page, or got eyestrain because the text was really small? You've never once in your entire life been willing to read under circumstances that weren't absolutely free of discomfort?
I just don't understand the absolutism of your position here. Preference
for paper over e-books, I can understand. I have the same preference. But I still read e-books occasionally, particularly if it's the only or most feasible way to read a story I'm interested in. I don't understand an absolute refusal.
For that matter, if reading on a screen is so intolerable for you, then how are we having this conversation? Are you dictating your posts to a friend?
As I said before, if the work itself is enjoyable enough, then you don't even notice the discomfort of the reading situation.
It's a very simple step for Pocket books to take two or three of these novella's and publishing them in a collected works. It's a freaking win-win situation!! They sell both e-books AND hardcopies.
Two or three, no. Four to eight, yes, of course, as they've already done fourteen times
with e-book collections, so it's pretty disingenuous of you to be talking about it as if it were some daring idea that they were unwilling to contemplate. It just takes time, as I've explained.
Mike Winters wrote:
Just to throw in my two cents into this. I prefer the dead tree format myself, but I have no objection to E-Book (my wife has a Nook Color so I could use that). My major gripe right now is the pricing model. Currently a physical MMPB book sells for $7.99 for anywhere from 300 to 400+ pages. However, the E-Book cost is $5.99 for a novella that is typically only a third to half that size. I have a hard time mentally jumping that "hurdle".
But compare it to the price of a hardcover (typically 25-28 dollars for about the same page count) or a comic book (around 4 dollars for under 2 dozen pages of story) or a DVD of a feature film (maybe 15-20 dollars for an amount of story equivalent to a short novel). If anything, the price of MMPBs is an exceptional bargain.
And while you're right about the price for The Struggle Within
, didn't I read that In Tempest's Wake
will be $3.99? I imagine TSW was priced more steeply because it was a test case and they weren't sure whether it would sell in enough quantity to let them make a profit at a lower price point. Since the experiment worked and they're publishing more, maybe that means they feel a lower price can be profitable. New things often go down in price once they become established and popular.