My news year's resolution is not to download any ebook that is priced below $5. This includes any book requesting a donation.
A lot of my posts last year were about the potential for free and ridiculously cheap ebooks to destroy the publishing industry, so I will only download ebooks where the author/publisher has said that they deserve to make some money out of their efforts.
Forget all this crap about selling huge numbers of $1 ebooks, it won’t work. Not when there are millions of free ebooks (2.5 million on google books, 50% of the Kindle bestseller list) and tens of thousands being sold for $1 or less. And you can ditch the argument that cheap downloads worked for the music industry. (Did it?) Novels are a completely different commodity. Consumers can consume 100’s of downloaded songs a year, whereas the average consumer purchases about one book a year (which many will not even read). The quantities purchased don’t compare.
Oh, I hear you say, but when books are cheaper, they will buy more. To do what with? If many males are having trouble reading one book a year, why will they buy more. It’s not like music, where you can listen to hundreds of songs a day. There is only so many books a person can read in a year. I have hundreds yet to read on my shelves, so I have no intention of filling up my Kindle with lots of ebooks, even if they are free, that will forever remain unread.
So I intend to make a stand. I will also continue my policy of buying from Amazon and other international online stores, only when I can’t get the book from an Australian supplier. Yes, it will cost me more, but I want the Australian publishing industry to survive. I want to read Australian authors. I want Australian authors to make some money.
So are you with me? Or are you just going to follow all the ridiculously optimistic writers who think that they will be the exception, that their novel will somehow stick out from the million of free ebooks, and who think that Amazon, Google, the Book Depository and Apple give a stuff about Australian authors or the quality of their writing.