Has Agency eBook Price Controls Changed Your Reading Habits? (It Did For Me)
Earlier today Felix left a comment on my post about the 2016 Kindle’s lack of accessibility features. He remarked on how I seemed to use the same author’s series in many of the screenshot’s posted to this blog.
Side note: you really like your Honor Harrington, don’t you? This isn’t the first time you use it in a demo. 🙂
After I got over my brief panic that you might think I had limited reading interests, I started thinking about why I kept using that one series in screen shots, and I realized just how much of my reading is in paper these days.
Thanks to the high price of ebooks from the Big Five, much of my new reading consists of books checked out from libraries. The major publishers have been controlling their ebook prices on and off since 2010, and they’ve been keeping the prices above the price I’ll pay for either an impulse purchase or when I encounter a new author, so I’ve been finding cheaper ways to read their books.
And The Magicians tv series made me want to read Lev Grossman’s novel which was the inspiration for the series (he has committed a crime against literature).
When I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies this spring it was a library book (and really only of interest to Jane Austen fans). And finally, I’m waiting to check out the alternate history novel Judenstaat (you can read an excerpt on tor.com).
The one consistent thread through this reading list is that all of these titles are from one of the Big Five (even PPZ, which is distributed by PRH), and the ebooks all cost $10 or more. That’s a high price to pay for a book which I don’t know I’ll like, from an author new to me, or one I’ll want to read again, which is why I check them out of the library.
I still buy ebooks, obviously; I get the monthly bundles most months and I frequently buy SF from Baen Books. But when it comes to the major publishers, I have largely stopped buying their titles because the ebooks cost too much and I don’t want to clutter up my room with more paper books.
I’m sure that’s not what the major publishers wanted when they re-instituted agency, but it worked out okay for me.
So how has agency ebook pricing affected your reading habits?
image by cnewtoncom