My Reading Rant: I Can’t Read What??

There’s been a lot of press given to a certain article that ran in the Slate last week (no, I refuse to link to it – Google it if you haven’t seen it yet), calling out adults who read young adult novels. The author of the article berates them, and emphatically states that they should be embarrassed to read YA.  This is not the first time I have heard this.  First, the fact that anyone feels superior enough to mock someone else’s reading preferences really pushes my shit-o-meter.  Really?  What makes what you read so much better than what I read? Here’s the funny thing.  When I was a young adult, all I read were adult books.  Now that I’m an adult, I read everything. Well, pretty much everything.  I still avoid pompous literary works like the plague.  Mock Dick?? Crime and Punishment?? Really? Did someone somewhere actually enjoy these dull, ponderous novels that are best relegated to nighttime sleeping aids?

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The Sunday Post–May 20 Edition

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

 

Last week, Jane of Dear Author had an informative post on the status of the Department of Justice case against Apple and several of the Big Six publishing houses.  I will refer to this going forward as Applegate.  After reading both Jane’s analysis of the case, and well as the complaint itself, I am dumbfounded.  The arrogance of these executives is just mindboggling.  You have Steve Jobs making very public statements about  price fixing and the need to remove  competition based on price from the market.  You have not so secret meetings and emails between all of the parties involved, as well as their collective pressure against Random House to hop on board with their planned Agency Pricing.  All of this to try to topple Amazon’s dominance in the eBook market.

What really gets me is that everyone is so afraid of Amazon that they are willing to do anything to steal away their market share.  Anything but find innovative new ways to deliver up what their customers want to purchase.  I don’t think Amazon is the boogey man in the closet – the problem is all of the publishers and their blind adherence to a sales model that isn’t working anymore.  It is broken.  All they have done by raising prices (an average of 40% increase in the cost of eBook, while netting themselves a 31% DECREASE in profit) is give smaller digital first publishers an open invitation to grab market share of their own.  If eBooks didn’t cost so much, often more than print books (Penguin, I am looking at your Sensation line), so many of us wouldn’t be snapping up Carina Press, Entangled Publishing, and so many self-pubbed/small press eBooks.

At one time, I would have laughed my rear off if you had told me that I would soon prefer digital books to print.  My preferred reading standard was a mass market paperback.  Hardcovers are heavy and hard to hold.  Trade paperbacks are too expensive.  Then I bought an iPad, installed the Kindle app, and it was farewell print books.  You collect dust, take up valuable space in my small house, and cause the destruction of countless trees. 

I admit that I did not like digital better at first.  Then a couple of things changed, and my preference for digital changed with them.  My vision is not what it once was, so being able to change text size is major selling point for me now.  Being able to read the same book on my Kindle, iPad, and iPhone without lugging the book around was also a plus.  The ability to take notes, make highlights, and make digital bookmarks has become a tool I rely on while reading review books.  And probably most important, Dean is making a big push in our house to be more environmentally friendly. So I am doing my part by buying fewer paper books.

Does this mean that I never purchase print now?  No, if print is significantly less expensive than digital, I will purchase the print book, and when I am finished with it, I give it away to a friend, have a contest on the blog, or donate it to the library.  I can’t do that with eBooks, so that is the one compelling argument  for physical books.  Once you buy an eBook, you are stuck with it.  You can’t resell it, give it to your friends, or donate it to the library.  I think as more pressure is put on pubs to get rid of DRM, this will change, too.

So what is the point of my long-winded rant about Applegate?  To the publishers – Guys, if you are going to cheat and break the law, don’t be such arrogant dickheads about it.  Two, if you would stop and think about ways to cater to your real customers, you might actually find ways to get us to buy more of your product, instead of fewer.  Yes, yes, yes, I realize that brick and mortar bookstores are your true customers, in your ancient and archaic sales model, but as more and more bookstores yield to a tough economy and close shop, you need to swing your focus on the people who actually read your books.  Your true consumers.  The people who shell out hard earned cash to read your end product.  Right now, we want digital.  We want it free of restrictive DRM.  And we want it cheap.  I don’t know who was purchasing those $30 hardbacks you are so proud of, but I wasn’t me.  Even discounted, I can’t afford a $20 book, not in this economy, where my bills are always going up, by my salary is stagnating.  So think about that.  Think about ways to coax more sales from the people clamoring to read  books, instead of wasting time, effort, and money trying to devise ways to stick it to Amazon.

Whew!  Applegate rant – OVER.

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

New Arrivals at the Café:

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

That Thing Called Love by Susan Andersen

Amazing Grace by Eve Gaddy

Lady Can Never Be Too Curious by Mary Wine

The Last Good Man by Kathleen Eagle

Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Snowbound with a Stranger by Rebecca Rogers Maher

Ashers Invention by Coleen Kwan

Redemption by Veronique Launier

Hell On Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

The Flowers of Evil Vol 1 by Shuzo Oshimi

GTO The Early Years Vol 12 by Tohru Fujisawa

VS Aliens by Suzuki Yu

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik ($2.99 for the Kindle version!)

The Cop, the Puppy and Me by Cara Colter

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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