BookExpo America, Day Two, Book Signings

So today was the real beginning of BookExpo America. Today was the first day of the book signings. Which, really, is what I am all about. The author signings. ;)

I really, really wanted Rachel Vincent’s Shadow Bound and Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder. But they disappeared moments before I got to their table. Moments! If I could have gotten their a single minute earlier, they would have been mine.

All I got was a picture:

Maria V. Snyder and Rachel Vincent, signing books

I, did, however manage to get a lot of mystery books. I am looking forward to reading these.

Autograph:

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

BookExpo America Begins

The BookExpo is this yearly event where the publishers get together, have conferences and do stuff. Today, they were still setting up.

I went with my printed out pass and they registration desk gave me the real thing. The Javits Center is pretty big, but luckily they had people standing everywhere, waiting to give you directions. I’ve never been before, so I needed directions.

Only the Remainders thing was on today, so I don’t regret not staying long. Tomorrow, when it really gets started, I expect I will regret it.

I couldn’t spring for the blogger con so . . . I really, really wish I could have gone. Maybe next time.

I did take some most pics. Sadly, they came out blurry. I didn’t have time to actually focus. :(

U is for Ultimately, publishers have to ditch DRM

Come July, Tor will get rid of DRM. Tor publishes a lot of the science fiction/fantasy I read. So, yeah, I am excited to hear they are planning on publishing books sans DRM. Between Tor, Baen and Angry Robot, almost all of the books I read will be DRM free.

This is big. It’s big because Tor is ultimately owned by Macmillan, one of the big 6 publishers. The link between Tor and Macmillan is long and kind of twisted. I am not sure I understand it all. Tor is an imprint of Tom Doherty, which a subsidiary of Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, which is part of Macmillan, which is one of the big 6 publishers. I suppose at the end Tor is an imprint of Macmillan. Until now, they have insisted on DRM.

Ultimately, publishers have to ditch DRM. DRM helps no one but the retailers. Their price fixing deal was to break Amazon’s hold on the eBook market.

Since the government objected to that illegal activity, they might decide on removing DRM as a way to let people decide who they want to buy from. If kindle owners decide to buy from someone other than Amazon, they could and still read their books on their kindle.

Charles Strauss also a pretty good post on DRM. I think he is right about the planned obsolescence about current ereaders is right (and all other consumer devices).

I have a kindle and I have little doubt that the battery will stop holding a charge sometime soon. (I could replace the battery. Maybe. Maybe not.) I will have to buy something new sometime in the next couple years. I might buy anything, a nook, another kindle, a tablet. I don’t know. But if I am forced to consider DRM, I will have to buy another kindle and that just locks me to Amazon again. Or break the DRM myself, which gives me more choices.

This is an article I read from an anonymous publishing exce on why he/she broke DRM. One admits it here, but there might be more. I have to say, if the publisher execs themselves are breaking DRM, they will soon get rid of it entirely.

So I think other publishers will follow Tor’s example. At some point anyway. Hopefully soon.

Rant on Kindle Prices

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

The new book by JD Robb, New York to Dallas, came out September 13. The price for its various editions look like this:

Kindle: $14.99

Hardcover: $15.51

Paperback: $7.99

MP3 CD: $16.49

Audible: $23.95

In what world does the Kindle version cost nearly twice the paperback version?  It makes no sense. Most people would get the paperback over the Kindle. And I am thinking that’s the whole point; the publisher is pricing the Kindle version absurdly high so it won’t sell. They don’t want to sell Kindle books.

But I have no space; I cannot buy any more physical books and I have no intention of paying fifteen dollars for the Kindle version. I have the New York to Dallas on hold from the library (the city library). When I get it, it will live on my table, because there is no space on my shelves.

I am thinking one of the reasons they can do that is because JD Robb (also known as Nora Roberts) is a bestselling author; everything she writes ends up on the New York Times bestseller list. Plus, the In Death books is a long, beloved series (no, I don’t know why New York to Dallas doesn’t have the words In Death in it like every other book in the series). People hurry to get them. I did in high school. (I am more patient these days.)

The top fifteen books from the New York Times bestseller list for September 18: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson & Marchall Karp, 1105 Yakima Street by Debbie Macomber, Blind Faith by CJ Lyons, The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan, The Abbey by Chris Culver, The Lincoln Lawyer, Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, One Day by David Nicholls, Second Son by Lee Child, Only Yours by Susan Mallery, One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost, A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Marin and Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens.

Out of fifteen books, there are two whose kindle editions are more expensive than the paperback, four are the exact same price, two more are almost exactly the same price. Three are in ebook version only and one is not yet out in paperback. Only three price their kindle and paperbook version different.

I’ve heard that ebooks don’t cost that much less to produce, that the storage and distribution of physical books make up the smallest cost of producing them. But even that slight difference isn’t reflected in the prices of a quarter of these books. As for the two whose kindle price is almost exactly the same – one has a difference of 6 pennies; the other has a difference of $1.19. I am not buying 6 cents is the cost of storage and distribution of physical books. 1.19? Maybe. I don’t know (because the publishers won’t give out exact numbers) but it could be.

Only the Harlequin books have a price difference I have no difficulty buying: $2.61. Near as I can tell, I think they are also the only ones who still let Amazon set the price.

Only twelve of the books on this list are published traditionally; the other three are self-published. The other twelve? I cannot help but feel 7 or 8 of them are trying to rip me off. It’s outrageous.

Plus, I also feel they are trying to keep people from buying ebooks and that makes no sense at all.

Kindle more expensive than paperback:

Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, imprint of Hachette. Paperback: $9.77. Kindle: 12.99. Hardcover: 14.71

One Day by David Nicholls. Publisher: Knopf Doubleday, imprint of Random. Kindle: 11.99. Paperback: 9.97.

Exactly the same price for Kindle and paperback:

Canyons of Night: Book Three of the Looking Glass Trilogy by Jayne Castle. Publisher: Jove, imprint of Berkley, owned by Penguin.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. Grand Central Publishing, formerly Warner Books, now owned by Hachette. Reissue edition

One Grave at a Time, by Jeaniene Frost. Publisher: HarperCollins.

Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, by Stephanie Laurens Publisher: HarperCollins.

Slight difference between Kindle and paperback price:

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, imprint of Macmillan. Kindle: 9.99 Paperback July 5, 2011: 9.54. Hardcover: 13.59. Difference of 6 cents.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Publisher: Berkley Trade, imprint of Penguin. Kindle: 9.99. Paperback: 8.80. Hardcover: 14.97. Difference of 1.19 cents.

Significant difference between Kindle and paperback:

1105 Yakima Street by Debbie Macomber. Published by Mira, imprint of Harlequin. Price set by Amazon. Kindle: 5.38. Paperback: 7.99

Blind Faith by CJ Lyons. Publisher: Createspace. Kindle: .99. Paperback: 12.59

Only Yours by Susan Mallery. Publisher: Harlequin. Price set by Amazon. Kindle: 5.38. Paperback: 7.99

Books with no physical edition.

Second Son by Lee Child. Publisher: Delacorte, imprint of Dell, owned by Random. Second Son is in ebook format only, probably because it’s only 161kb or only 40 pages. I’ve heard 40 pages is not a good length for print. Before I saw this, I didn’t know any of the big publishers put some stuff in ebook only format.

The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan. Publisher: Amazon digital services. Kindle: .99.

The Abbey by Chris Culver. Publisher: Amazon digital services. Kindle: .99

Only Hardcover

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin. Publisher: Random House. Kindle price is 14.99, hardcover price is 18.80.

27 Loans Kills Library’s HarperCollins eBooks

A month back, HarperCollin released this letter.

It basically states that as far as ebooks and libraries go, HarperCollins will only allow 26 loans. They have some absurd idea that physical books only last for 26 loans and after that, they are so damaged the library is forced to buy a new copy. Not true!

Mass market paperback, the cheapest binding possible, do not die at the 27th loan.  Hardcovers surely don’t either!

If they did, my childhood mss would have fallen apart a long time ago. The pages are yellowed and there is the odd stain, but the pages have not fallen out. You may be sure I read and reread my favorites far more than 26 times!

Even if physical books were prone to such damage, so what? The near perpetual lifetime of ebooks is one of their attractions.

I could understand their canceling the library’s license to a book after 500 loans (or five years, whichever comes first) but 26? That just makes no sense.

I don’t know. Maybe they are trying to make the library to buy their physical books and avoid their ebooks. But that seems a little out there.

Why are they doing this?