I hope everyone had a great weekend. But now it’s time to get back to work — at least for me. So, to start the week off, here are a few links that might be of interest. And, of course, there is an update on the Borders situation.
There is an interesting article in the Washington Post about how the publishing industry needs to take a page from the music industry and get rid of DRM. I have to agree. We didn’t see the music industry end when they finally did away with DRM and settled on a generally recognized format. Did it change the industry? Sure. But that would have happened anyway simply because of new technology and demand from the buying public.
As a consumer, I’d love to be able to buy any e-book without DRM. It wouldn’t even matter if the e-books were offered in different formats. With no DRM applied, it is easy to convert from EPUB to MOBI to LIT or LRF, etc. It would allow me to move an e-book from my kindle to my iPod touch to whatever. That way, if I happened to be going somewhere and didn’t want to take my kindle with me, I could at least continue reading my e-book on my iPod touch, which certainly fits into smaller purses — or pockets — than the kindle does.
As an editor, I wholeheartedly agree that DRM needs to go away. Oh, I can hear the screams of anguish now about how that would lead to an increase in piracy. Sorry, but I don’t buy it. If e-titles are easily available, the demand for pirated copies will decrease. I’ll lay odds on it.
For those of you who might not follow the kindle boards over at amazon.com, there’s an interesting discussion going on about why e-books cost so much. Now, you do have to wade through the grouchy responses about the agency model and others who won’t pay more then X-amount for an e-book. But one response in particular caught my eye this morning. This particular poster simply responded that e-books cost so much because they are still books.
I have to agree with him to an extent. In particular, I do believe an e-book is no less a book than a hard cover is. However, there are differences in the cost of production, distribution, etc. And those cost differences should be passed on to the reader. Pricing an e-book at the same — or higher — price than a hard cover will come back to bite the publisher on the butt. (And hurt the author at the same time. See the comments and posts about Michael Connelly’s The Fifth Witness last week when the digital version cost more than the hard cover versions at both Amazon and B&N. Since then, the publisher has lowered the price of the e-book by $2, making it less expensive than the hard cover version.)
Finally, our Monday morning update on the Borders bankruptcy proceedings. According to Publishers Weekly, the figure for unsecured creditor claims is in excess of $500 million. That thud you heard was my jaw dropping to the ground.
Borders also argued for — and was granted — the ability to continue its contract with an outsourced call center. The figures for this are in the article. Go take a look.
In fact, just go read the article. There’s a lot of information in it, much of it that still has me shaking my head. The one thing it does include is the fact that the U. S. Trustee filed an objection to Borders’ request to pay its execs bonuses. To say such plans are premature has to be the understatement of the year so far.
On the NRP front, we will have two new titles out Wednesday. Check back for more on that later.