Book ’em, Dano

Hawaii Five-Oh first appeared in 1968.  Garrett used the line in almost every episode.  But that’s not the book I am talking about.  They used to be paper and now I read the e-versions.   There is a war going on there.

Amazon and Hachette  are at war.   It comes after a court decision that found the publishers guilty of price-fixing.  Hachette is keeping their prices higher than Amazon thinks they should.  Amazon has retaliated.  e-books have disrupted publishing and the publishers have used manipulation to control or attempt control using DRM and, as noted, price-fixing with Apple as a seller seeking greater profit.

The reported share for books goes one-third each to publisher, author, and seller.  Some authors are very prolific and often use a second author to enhance that further.  Publishers edit at a cost.  Retailers because of Amazon are under pressure with many folding.   The business has been disrupted.

Copyright started in the U.S. at 14 years with one renewal allowed.   But, recently lobbing efforts increased that dramatically.   This allows long-term republishing of out-of-print via e-publishing and should be a nice bit of income for those involved.  They’ve generated new income that doesn’t have the overhead of the original effort.

Compare artist to authors and you’ll see a discrepancy in creative effort.  An artist has copyright license but it is seldom few garners great income.  Original works are the property of the museum or owner in many cases.  Limited editions are dead after that run of 100 or whatever.  Few have their works passed down for real income to their estates.  Authors more often have such a benefit as does the publisher.

Looking back, I started buying books at $.25-$.50.  At the time I made $10 working Saturday in my Dad’s store.  I could go through $4-5 in a weeks reading which was about the same cost as 6-gallons of gas and a can of oil for my boat.  Lunch was $.75-1 at the restaurants near the high school.

Amazon sold paperbacks before e-books came along at $5-7.95.  But, they had a 4 for 3 deal.  Then, e-books started to take over and the cost of those is often more than the cost of the e-book. Save some trees but doesn’t benefit me.  What the heck here?  An e-book will typically cost me more than the old deal for paperbacks?  Just doesn’t sound fair does it?

In the paper days, one could easily share and even sell their used books.  I often visited a used book store to garner substantial saving.  That’s not possible although EU courts have recently said OK to that there for e-books.

As I said, the Internet has been disruptive.  People see what is happening and can rebel by just downloading the books they want from various locations like — but a host of them are out there.

With the opportunities that exist,  it would seem the publishers should find a way to better accommodate the customers.  They don’t have the remainder cost.  They don’t have an ongoing delivery cost.  They could seriously discount older books that, without electronic publishing, would be moribund. Instead they are trying to force their dated business plan on the world.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.  The Internet isn’t going away.  Their business plan is in tatters and declining further.  They continue to legislate instead of innovate.


Thanks for the remarks that I’ve been missed.  I’d thought my views redundant.  Maybe I’m wrong.  I’ll try to write about Rhubarb more — never realized the immense  popularity the vegetable has.  I’ll look for other veggies to feature.  I don’t think Rutabaga going to be it though.  Not sure why my Dad loved them. Lot left over on Thanksgiving, I recall.  Am open to suggestions.

  1. August 12th, 2014 at 10:39 | #1

    1. Don’t forget turnips.

    2. E-books on Amazon used to be almost as expensive as regular soft-back books. Now that didn’t make sense to me. This seems to have changed. I just purchased Jonathan Little’s Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker, Volume 3. I paid $9.99 for the e-book. If, instead, I had bought the paper-back version, it would have been $22.47 — so considerably more.

  1. No trackbacks yet.