OK, I’m cheating slightly here, since a few of these appeared toward the end of last week. But here are a number of articles I found interesting this week:
Want to create your own ebook using MS Word? PC World tells you how..
It’s caveat emptor at Amazon, where copycat books (or books with copycat titles) of dubious quality and provenance are easy to mistake for the book you’re really interested in. And Amazon doesn’t seem to be doing much about it. Steven Gandel at CNN Money explores the problem in “Amazon’s knock-off problem (35 Shades of Gray, anyone?)”
Jane at Dear Author makes a persuasive case for eliminating DRM as the best way for publishers to maintain competition against Amazon. (Whether publishers will pay any attention is another question entirely. So far, their stance suggests not.)
Rich Adin at An American Editor believes that ebook vs. pbook value should take the collectors’ market into account. He makes some good point. A first edition hardcover has at least a chance of increasing in value, because of the scarcity factor. No matter how big the initial print run is, it’s finite; the same can’t be said for an infinitely duplicatable ebook file. Of course, new ebook prices are already usually lower than the new hardcover list price (though not always lower than the discounted hardcover price.) Mass market paperbacks — where ebook and pbook prices are usually the same, or higher for the ebook — rarely sell for more than the original cover price, though there are exceptions.
Author Charlie Stross has some interesting thoughts on Amazon’s strategy; he believes it it trying to achieve both a monopoly and a monopsony. (Don’t worry, I needed the latter explained to me, too.) I’m not sure I agree with him, but the post certainly made me think. I do recommend reading the comments on this post, many of which — both those in agreement and those opposed — are cogent and to the point.
And on agency ebook pricing and the DOJ lawsuit (the topic that just won’t quit):
“What the DOJ e-book lawsuit means for readers now” (Laura Hazard Owen, PaidContent)
“Agency is dead; long live new agency” (Phillip Jones at Futurebook)
“The DOJ E-Book Lawsuit: Is It 1934 All Over Again?” (Jason Boog, NPR)
“All 50 states may join e-book refund settlement” (Jeff John Roberts, PaidContent)
“Apple slams Amazon for behaving just like Apple” (Mathew Ingram, Gigacom)