Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto:  Message ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page: Previous12All
Current Page: 2 of 2
Re: Introduction to Thomas Ligotti
Posted by: weorcstan (IP Logged)
Date: 2 December, 2012 02:52PM
> Definitely a good option, but no affordable paperback edition tho... Just seems short sighted to me.

I worked for a publisher years ago when Usenet ruled and there were no real e-books. The publisher was not fantasy/horror (or even fiction) so likely of no interest to this forum. Back then one had to print a huge number of paperbacks to have the cost per volume be reasonable (we printed in the U.S. not China). If a very small edition was planned a hardcover could actually be cheaper than a softcover per book. If it was something of limited interest, it just wasn't feasible. Hardcovers were easier to do in small batches -- and of were of much more interest to collectors (who were the most realible buyers).
.
.
.
And you guessed right, I was obviously not a writer or proofreader! ;-)

Publishers: what is the problem with e-books? They do not sell? They can be hacked and made free of charge? I'd really like to know! (Obviously some people do not like them. I felt this way myself till I bought a Kindle to save space in my suitcase when going on a vacation! I think they are great now!)

Re: Introduction to Thomas Ligotti
Posted by: Gabriel (IP Logged)
Date: 2 December, 2012 04:35PM
weorcstan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Publishers: what is the problem with e-books?
> They do not sell? They can be hacked and made free
> of charge? I'd really like to know! (Obviously
> some people do not like them. I felt this way
> myself till I bought a Kindle to save space in my
> suitcase when going on a vacation! I think they
> are great now!)

I guess the reasons vary a lot.

Ebooks do sell, it's a fact. On Amazon, ebooks sales have surpassed those of printed books, both hardcover and paperback. As for sharing ebook files, more than one publisher have already said that such thing actually boosts the sales of a given book. I take it means that a person gets the file via p2p or whatever, takes a look at it, gets interested in the work, and then decides to buy the book, because he or she likes the story/author/physical books in general enough to spend money with it in a legal way. There are still some publishers that don't believe in such a thing, insisting on selling ebooks with DRM (ultimately useless, for it's easy to remove such protection; not to mention the unethical restriction of your using an ebook that you paid for the way you want it), but already they're the minority.

It's basically some small presses that have a problem with ebooks. And understandably so, in most cases. They're usually businesses that were set up before ebooks became a thing, that focus on the printed book, usually special and limited editions, etc. The physical product is what makes them stand out. So it's easy to understand why some of them may see ebooks as something "cheap", especially in quality. Which they are, but that's the whole point. Some of these publishers have to concede in selling ebook versions of their books, for financial reasons. It doesn't mean that they necessarily like the situation. The editor of Chômu Press, for example, has repeatedly said so on the publisher's FB page: he loathes ebooks, but there's a market for them and they need the income to keep the business running.

Ebooks exist for those who want to read a work, regardless of its format. Most of these people love physical books as well, of course, but given the choice, especially because of the price differences, they'll go for the ebook version of a work. That's my case, at least. I have hundreds of physical books and I still buy them. But now I usually look for the ebook version of a work first; if it exists, I go for it; if not, and if the price if not prohibitive, I go for the printed book. My main reason is financial, for I simply don't have enough money to spend on the quantity of books I usually want. But lately space is a factor as well: my shelves are full, I keep piling up books, it's a mess. So, in this sense, buying a Kindle was truly a blessing. I can have the best of both worlds: the works themselves, which are the important thing to me, and an almost limitless space to keep them. For example, before owning a Kindle, I bought all Dickens novels in mass paperback editions from Penguin and Wordsworth. They were cheap and even the thick volumes don't weigh much. But they occupy a large portion of the shelves, not to mention the fact that most of them are not that comfortable to read, given their size. Then an ebook version of the complete novels was published, all of them in a single file, almost for free (not to mention that you can also get the books for free anyway, in websites like Project Gutenberg, since they are in public domain). The practicality is undeniable. Nowadays, when I want to read a Dickens novel, I go for this ebook version. I may sell their physical equivalents now, to save some shelf space, but I'm not sure yet (after all, I do like having them as well).

So, I think we can have both. If price is not a problem and one prefers to read something in printed form, you have the option. Otherwise, why not go for an ebook version? Despite some prophets of the apocalypse, ebooks won't be the demise of printed books. They can coexist peacefully, and the reader will only benefit from it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2 Dec 12 | 04:41PM by Gabriel.

Re: Introduction to Thomas Ligotti
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 3 December, 2012 09:06AM
weorcstan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I worked for a publisher years ago when Usenet
> ruled and there were no real e-books. The
> publisher was not fantasy/horror (or even fiction)
> so likely of no interest to this forum. Back then
> one had to print a huge number of paperbacks to
> have the cost per volume be reasonable (we printed
> in the U.S. not China). If a very small edition
> was planned a hardcover could actually be cheaper
> than a softcover per book. If it was something of
> limited interest, it just wasn't feasible.
> Hardcovers were easier to do in small batches --
> and of were of much more interest to collectors
> (who were the most realible buyers).

Forgive me, but doesn't your argument ignores PoD technologies entirely? If you can make a eBook version, you can make a PoD version at the same time. Or do a paperback print run, but make it quality. Yeah, it might not be possible to sell paperbacks of niche subjects at high quantities at low prices, but then simply don't sell them at low prices. Tartarus have got paperbacks in the £12 to £15 region. Not as cheap as Penguin et al but still affordable to the casual buyer. The hardcovers still have a premium and are still desirable, but I'm far more likely to take a risk on a new author at that price. And yes, Wordsworth seem to have created a rock-bottom price model for ultra-cheap editions, so I'm afraid I take everything you say with a massive pinch of salt.

But there's many reasons to despise eBooks and the utopian progress trap assumption that we should all jump on the kindle train without a second's thought. Here's just a few: aesthetically I don't want to experience literature on a screen (even a kindle screen) - especially ghost stories); I like books as aesthetic artefacts in themselves; I don't want to see an even greater slice of the publishing pie given over to Amazon et al; I like bookshops, book sellers, printers, etc - these things are likely to suffer as ebooks take over the market (or at least they are at greater risk of suffering), I firmly believe that eBooks will have the same impact on publishing as the mp3 had on music; and the medium is the message - you change the medium, you change the message, you change the way we read that message and ultimately (I suspect) you will change how that message is delivered (interactive books must be just a click away). Basically, eBooks make the world a worse place to exist in imo.

Goto Page: Previous12All
Current Page: 2 of 2


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Top of Page