Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Should There Always Be a Free Lunch?

2009_07_21_DSC04873Image by gwydionwilliams via Flickr

By Anthony S. Policastro

I recently received a comment from a reader named Pepe on my earlier post Would You Pay $26 for an ebook? about the price of ebooks. I was impressed at what he said because he is a reader in favor of the author.

Here is what Pepe wrote:
"I think that 10$ is too much for having a book with drm, indeed for a book with drm I wouldn't pay more than a dollar.

Otherwise, if a get a book at a small price, provided it's without drm, and provided at least more than 50% of the price goes to the author I would pay for it, gladly, even these 10$ if the book really pleased me and is a long one."
He believes at least fifty percent of the book price should go to the author. And he has good reason.
"But this is even expensive, lot of people paying this amount will consider they have the right to give it away freely, and this is not good for the author, so why not sell them really cheap, let say 2 or 3$ and convince people that they should pay for reading it because that way the author will be able to produce more of these books they really enjoyed?

I think this is really possible, there's money for the author, for the online editor and people will be happy knowing most of the money they pay goes to whom really deserves it."
Like many authors, Pepe believes that Internet users should change their mindset in the belief that digital products on the Internet should be free.

Whether you believe it or not, there is a cost to someone to create the book, upload it to an ebook site and promote it so that readers may buy it. The cost may not always be physical, but it is a cost in time - time the author could be using to write the next great American book or just spend thinking of something new to write.

We need more readers like Pepe.
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