So the tech set is a-flutter with news that book publisher Macmillan got into a tiff with Amazon about e-book pricing. The techsters seem to think the casualties in the skirmish over price points and who gets to set them will leave writers and readers as collateral damage. Amazon wants to charge $10 for its e-book downloads to Kindle and Macmillan wants to charge $15.
Disputes are bad for business...Savvy “Silicon Valley Watcher,” says either way, disputes like this aren't good for e-readers and e-book markets. “It will stunt this young, emerging market because it points out that fragmentation in e-reader markets will require multiple devices. With Apple's iPad we already have two e-readers with separate libraries. And there will be many more e-readers coming onto the market.”
Walking, chewing gum ...However this gets worked out, the technology is still running behind the possible. And, writers and artists are losing out. Let’s have multiple price points and use e-readers that can handle VOOKs! An e-book with embedded icons that provide more info, music, videos when you click on them. You can get the book trailer, author interview, photo slide shows, historical background, etc. Makes reading a book a multi-media experience. You can choose to stay with the text or make it something more -- a virtual world. I'm hoping my book will work in this emerging format. But there’s also the idea of having quick downloads, such as a selection of short stories from the New Yorker, or a favorite author. If only we can find publishers and retailers who are thinking this way and who are willing to pay writers and artists for the content.
We'll see . . .